Damon is the first Wells Scholar from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California, where he was a National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction. Vice president of the Academic Challenge Club, he competed on his school’s Science Olympiad, HOSA (Future Health Professions) Bowl, and Quiz Bowl teams. Reinforcing a long-standing plan for a career in medicine, Science Olympiad opened his eyes his freshman year to the wider world of science. His awards include second in Science Olympiad state competition in Geologic Mapping, third in Cell Biology, and fourth in Disease Detectives as well as second- and third-place awards at the HOSA state leadership conference. He captained the Science Olympiad team, co-founding a summer study program, and captained and then coached the HOSA team. He enjoyed researching and presenting work he did on leukemic DNA damage response at the City of Hope Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy, an experience that confirmed his interest in biomedicine. Damon plans to major in biochemistry and public health in order to understand the connections between our biology and the cultures and environment to which we belong. His awards include the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine Creativity Award. His creative energy has been
evident as well in his love of music. He performed with the school jazz band and orchestra and the TEAM music group on piano and viola. He also served as vice president of the Visual Arts and Music for Society Club.

He finds Walt Whitman’s words especially relevant: “Let that which stood in front go behind,/ Let that which was behind advance to the front,/ Let bigots, fools, unclean persons, offer new propositions,/ Let the old propositions be postponed.”

He will hold the J. Peter Grace Scholarship in the Wells Scholars Program.