Verida Jennings Leandre has been passionate about the learning process since early childhood. While most other first graders were playing in sandboxes and learning to read, Ms. Leandre was winning regional spelling bees and national essay competitions. After reading a biography of Dr. Benjamin Carson, an innovative and pre-emminent neurosurgeon at John Hopkins University, Verida decided to dedicate her life to the study of science and medicine. Ms. Leandre started her burgeoning research career in an 11th grade Independent Research Course. She studied the various pharmaceutical and surgical treatments of neurological disorders and diseases such as epilepsy and brain cancer under the advisement of researchers at John Hopkins University. Ms. Leandre has also interned at Howard County General Hospital and participated in the 2008 National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) Research Experience for Undergraduates program. She modified and analyzed thin-film polymer nanofiltration membranes for water purification purposes. Verida is currently researching particle physics, Cherenkov radiation and photomultiplication in conjunction with Jefferson National Laboratories at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she is pursuing a bachelor's degree in physics.