Leah Zheng


Hi! My name is Leah Zheng and I am a current sophomore at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory. 

All my life, science – specifically topics that are related to the human body –  have been of interest to me. Last summer, I attended an Introduction to Neurobiology class at UC Berkeley and learned a lot about the various aspects of the brain. However, it was a lot harder than I expected, but nevertheless, I did end up really enjoying the learning process of it all. This year, I was asked to be a teacher’s assistant for the class, and provided assistance with grading projects, setting up labs, and giving feedback on the course. Since I had taken the course during the pandemic, I wasn’t able to do the hands-on labs when I took the course, but I was allowed to give them a try this year. I even got to dissect two sheep brains! 

In addition, I also completed the UC Santa Cruz Summer Internship Program this year, and I chose to aid a sociology doctoral student with her research in Black Community-Based Education Curriculum. It was an eye opening opportunity that taught me a lot about qualitative research, allowing me to use the software Nvivo to code images and transcripts.   

At school, my current favorite subject is English, since I love the open-ended discussion and the prompts that really allow me to think. The books we are reading are representative of all types of people, giving me access to all sorts of new perspectives that I had never previously thought about. Also, I am co-leader of Women’s Empowerment CCC, which has been very enjoyable so far! Our leadership team has some great ideas, and at our first meeting, many members had more ideas to help encourage the girls and non-binary people at our school. This year, I am also a part of the Sports Medicine Club, Mandarin Club, and the Oracle. Outside of school, I volunteer in a food bank in my neighborhood weekly, allowing me to help serve my community in a positive way. 

Last year, my i2 project was a research project testing different methods for getting the best night’s sleep. While it didn’t end up working out like I’d hoped, I have since taken steps to learn more about the nature of basic research and the science behind sleep through my internship and taking AP Psychology at school. 

As a part of the I2 program, I would like to study issues in the world and create effective solutions for them. With this wonderful community, I am confident that I will be able to achieve my goals and make innovative projects. 



The Best Night's Sleep Update

I am currently working on my project, The Best Night’s Sleep, and there have definitely been some ups and downs throughout this process. My project is an experiment determining which of the four methods that I found on the internet would give someone the best night’s sleep. My initial plans have actually been pretty successful […] Read more

The i2 Journey Begins

I am very excited to begin my journey as a member of the I2 program, and hopefully, I learn a lot about how to successfully serve my community in a helpful way. This group was not something I knew about until I received my acceptance letter, but I was very excited once I read about […] Read more

i2 Projects

The Best Night's Sleep

Having a restful night of sleep has become very difficult for numerous people, for various reasons, such as distractions from devices and insomnia. Unfortunately, even if they are able to sleep for a long time, their quality of sleep might not be very good, causing them to be irritable and tired in the morning.

Project details

Traditional Chinese Medicine for Youth

TCMY was designed for students to be able to understand Traditional Chinese Medicine in an easy and accessible way, with sources and information they know they can trust. There are two ways that students can go about learning from TCMY, depending on their needs and how much they want to learn. 

Project details