LaGrange Native Interns at Ivy League

Published 8:30 am Friday, August 12, 2022

In 2020, Sidrick Cameron made joyful noise for dramatically increasing his SAT score by 210 points. At the time, Cameron was a junior at Callaway High School and was struggling to meet the standard SAT scores needed go to college.

Now, in 2022, Cameron is about to enter his senior year of college at Morehouse College, all thanks to his mother’s ingenuity, his drive to succeed and a little help from the tutors at Greater Achievement Youth Empowerment Academy.

“After graduating from Morehouse College, I want to enter into a Ph. D. program in neurobiology and do research on Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases,” Cameron said. “I also want to do neuro-pharmacological research and help find therapeutics cures for such diseases.”

Originally, Cameron entered Morehouse College in the fall of 2020 wanting to be a business major. Due to curiosity in what makes the brain forget central memories, he switched over to major in biology and neuroscience. His research focuses on the subcellular localization of brain development and proliferation of neurodegenerative diseases.

“I’ve always been inquisitive and wondered about the hows and whys of life. That is how I began to want to study the brain and specifically Alzheimer’s is because it’s a neurodegenerative disease,” Cameron said. “I’ve always wondered why does it cause individuals to lose memory and then I determined was its due to neurotransmitters. The understanding of brain and its many different functions is what drove me to study the brain in lieu of business.”

Earlier in the summer, Cameron got the opportunity to conduct research in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City.

His research focused on a protein called CREB3L2, which is an ER stress transducer that is believed to regenerate aggregation proteins/neurons. 

“My internship with Columbia University was life changing. Being among some of the greatest minds in academia, on a trip with housing, plus a very generous stipend was just life changing,” Cameron said.

Being able to solidify what he wanted in his career to be as well as being in a different environment than what he was used to at Morehouse and here in LaGrange was a great experience and one that he will cherish forever, said Cameron.

“We’ve had students who have gone on to do amazing things,” said Glenn Dowell, community liaison for the Greater Achievement Enrichment Program. “He is a young man that has proven just do it despite your circumstances.”

Now that he is a graduating senior from Morehouse, Cameron plans be a successful doctor and to one day come back home and teach high school students about the importance of financial literacy.

“Financial literacy is the key to a successful, lucrative career no matter what field one goes into,” Cameron said. ‘I would want to teach financial literacy, especially to high school students that are entering to college and high school students that are entering to the workforce.”

In Cameron’s experience being in the greater achievement program to attending Morehouse to now graduating and heading into the adult world, he credits his parents, God, and dedication wanting more as his key inspirations. 

“My parents always instilled in me the value of education but secondly, how important it is to remain true to yourself being grounded in God and keeping the faith even when things are hard and seem to work against you,” he said. “I have had many influential people in my life, who have each influenced me to continue the drive to be great.”