Middle School, High School & College Diversity Recruitment

Recruiting for Diversity Middle School, High School & College Diversity Recruitment
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Recruiting for Diversity Middle School, High School & College Diversity Recruitment

NYU School of Medicine identifies and recruits diverse middle school, high school, and college students who may be interested in pursuing medicine and the biomedical sciences. Our recruitment programs address a lack of opportunities and access to resources that disproportionately affect students according to their race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. 

C21 STEP Scholars

The C21 STEP Scholars program seeks to cultivate diversity in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math by increasing the numbers of racially underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students who apply for college and medical school. It is made possible by the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) grant from the New York State Education Department’s Office of Postsecondary Access, Support, and Success.

The program provides 11th-grade students with SAT preparation, financial aid workshops, health professions training, social justice education, trips to local academic institutions, professional schools and colleges, and academic, career, and personal mentorship. It is held during three consecutive semesters: spring, summer, and fall. Participants are required to commit to all three semesters.

During the spring term, scholars take part in an intensive 40-hour SAT preparation course and college workshops that meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, several Wednesdays for social medicine workshops and clinical training, and some Saturdays for practice testing. Scholars also attend STEM workshops and mentoring sessions, take trips to local colleges, and attend events at NYU Langone.

During STEP’s summer sessions, scholars engage in interdisciplinary STEM coursework; attend college and career development workshops; complete health workshops, clinical training, and media community health projects; visit local colleges and universities; become familiar with educational opportunity programs in New York State; engage in group-initiated social science, health sciences, or technology research; and enjoy field trips to scientific, academic, and cultural institutions in New York City. 

Throughout the summer, scholars learn about research methods and work in groups to create a poster presentation that they present to compete at the Annual STEP Research Conference. These group poster presentations are about pressing topics in the social sciences, public health, or technology fields. 

In the fall, scholars attend college workshops and receive mentoring from medical students. Each scholar is paired with a medical student mentor who helps with filling out college applications, writing personal statements and résumés, completing financial aid documents, and applying for scholarships. 

The program also partners with academic departments to host workshops, interactive seminars, and labs. 

STEP Schedule 

In the spring, SAT preparation courses take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5:00PM to 7:30PM. We partner with Let’s Get Ready to provide SAT tutoring twice a week and some Saturdays. Students also take social medicine and clinical training workshops on five Wednesdays.

During the summer, the program runs from Monday through Thursday, from 10:00AM to 3:00PM, for four full weeks. Local field trips and the Annual STEP Research Conference may have different hours, where students attend until late afternoons or early evenings.

During the fall semester, scholars meet with medical student mentors or attend scientific research workshops once a week, from 5:00PM to 7:00PM.

Students are permitted a maximum of two absences per semester. Two tardies equal one absence.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants for the C21 Step Scholars program must express an interest in future study in STEM or licensed health professions and be actively pursuing interdisciplinary learning, holistic personal development, and wellness. They also have demonstrated resilience, determination, and self-awareness in overcoming personal challenges, as well as cooperation, empathy, and compassion in dealing with peers. An exceptional school attendance record is required, as is a full commitment to attending the program for three consecutive semesters from February through December.

In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be enrolled in 11th grade 
  • have a cumulative overall GPA of 80 or higher 
  • have been a resident of New York State for the past 12 months or longer
  • self-identify as Alaska Native, American Indian, Black or African American, or Latino/Hispanic, or demonstrate economic disadvantage per New York State–determined criteria 

Students who provide documentation that they receive free lunch are given priority. 

Training in LGBTQ+ and QTPOC (queer/trans people of color) consciousness raising is an integral part of the curriculum that all STEP scholars receive.

While STEP exists to address racial inequities, it also confronts economic inequities that prevent educational access. If you do not self-identify as a part of a racially underrepresented group, you may also submit documentation of economic disadvantaged status.

You may document economic eligibility by providing proof of one of the following: 

  • free or reduced-price school lunch (this is the preferred option). A school administrator may write a letter that includes her or his signature and contact information certifying that the student received free or reduced-price school lunches. The letter must be on school letterhead with the school’s or administrator’s contact information.
  • Family Assistance Program aid
  • Safety Net Assistance through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance or a county Department of Social Services
  • family day-care payments through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Assistance or a county Department of Social Services
  • student ward of the state or county status
  • single-parent family status, meeting income requirements shown below

If you do not qualify on an economic basis through any of the above criteria, you may also qualify by income, according to the following New York State Opportunity Programs Income Eligibility Criteria for the number of people in the household dependent on income for 2016–17:

  • 1 person: $21,978
  • 2 people: $29,637
  • 3 people: $37,296
  • 4 people: $44,955
  • 5 people: $52,614
  • 6 people: $60,273
  • 7 people: $67,951 (add $7,696 for each additional family member)

We recognize that program fees often prevent underrepresented and underserved students from accessing greater academic enrichment and professional training. As a result, STEP dedicates its resources to ensuring that its program activities come at no cost to students and their parents, guardians, or family members.

Food is provided during the fall and spring semesters, and students are expected to use their school-issued student MetroCards to travel to NYU School of Medicine. During the summer semester, MetroCards are provided and students are given lunch cards to purchase meals at the Tisch Café, Smilow Café, and other food vendors at NYU Langone.

How to Apply 

Applicants must complete and submit paperwork by the assigned deadline. This includes a Google Form application, a one-page résumé, a one-page personal statement, the most recent school transcript, one letter of recommendation, and economic documentation if you are applying for economic disadvantage eligibility. All materials should be submitted together in one email.


Your résumé should demonstrate a prior exposure to and interest in medicine, science, health, STEM fields, and the licensed health professions. This can include science fair projects, mathematics competitions, internships, related work experience, volunteerism, extracurricular activities, and community engagement. Please submit résumés in PDF or DOCX format, not through Google Drive or other cloud-based documents.

Personal Statement

In your one-page personal statement, discuss your background, your passions, the diversity you bring to STEP, and how your interests and experiences inform your decision to pursue study or a career in STEM and the licensed health professions. Please double space and use 12-point Times New Roman font and submit in PDF or DOCX format.


All applicants must submit their most recent school transcript, a report card after each semester in the program, and a final school transcript at the end of 12th grade. Complete transcripts, not semester report cards, are required for admission into the program. Unofficial transcripts are accepted.

Letter of Recommendation

Submit a letter of recommendation from a science or math teacher, homeroom teacher, guidance counselor, principal, employer, advisor, or professional mentor. Applicants are permitted to read letters of recommendation. 


Send all of your documents in one email to step@nyumc.org and fill out the form by the deadline. Incomplete applications are not considered. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, because applications are reviewed and students are notified of their admissions status on a rolling basis. 

For any inquiries, contact:

Justin Fernando, MA
Director, C21 STEP Scholars
Office of Diversity Affairs
NYU School of Medicine
550 First Avenue
Medical Science Building, Suite G62 
New York, NY 10016

You may also email step@nyumc.org