Alfonso Gonzalez, Texas A&M University
Veterans Memorial High School, Brownsville, TX
Upon discovering that his community is ranked as having one of the highest mortality rates for type II diabetes, Alfonso gathered a team of students to help manage and prevent the disease. In order to raise funds to purchase cells for testing the project, Alfonso and his team dressed as elves and sold “pictures with elves.” He also took the initiative to dress as Cupid for Valentine’s Day, further encouraging his teammates to continue their three-year-long project. The team won second place in the state and earned the grand champion title in their district for testing the effects of cinnamon extract in glucose uptake in T3-L1 cells. Alfonso plays the guitar, and he has also played tennis and football.