Chance meeting puts Moldova teen on the road to Harvard

Sunday, May 21, 2023 - 14:32 in Psychology & Sociology

This story is part of a series of graduate profiles ahead of Commencement ceremonies. As a middle schooler, Ilinca Mazureac knew two things for certain — she was going to be a scientist, and she was gay. Both of those things would not be easy in her home country of Moldova, a small Balkan nation formerly part of the Soviet Union. Moldova declared its independence in 1991. So for many young Moldovans like Mazureac, change has been a constant throughout their lives. Economic challenges and corruption in business and government have continued to hamper all aspects of life, including the nation’s higher education system, and social change happens slowly in the predominantly Orthodox Christian nation. But Mazureac’s persistence, along with a love of learning and a chance encounter with an American Peace Corps volunteer, would help set her on a path away from the personal and academic challenges of her homeland. Mazureac, a senior with a...

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