A Year of Meet-Ups
2022 has been a special year. We’ve slowly got back to normal life. The silent streets and all the uncertainty about a perilous future are well behind us, and it’s been an absolute joy to get together again, reconnect and strengthen our bonds with old friends in the ”la Caixa” Foundation fellows community.
At our yearly dinners and meet-ups, we have shared laughter, stories and new projects. The workshops and talks have helped us to keep on learning and growing. Our ceremonies are back to stay: it’s been such a pleasure to see the enthusiasm on the faces of talented young people setting out on new adventures once again.
With 2023 just around the corner, we’ve made a capsule of the memories of five members of this community. What was their experience like?
“It was an absolute joy to get back together again with my friends from my cohort from 10 years ago, but I was even happier about meeting the youngest members, the undergraduate scholarship holders, and spending time with them. You could see the drive to learn on their faces. They asked us for advice and told us what this new stage was like for them... I think it was a really good idea and an amazing opportunity to start offering these scholarships,” said Elena González.
Specifically, one of these undergraduate scholarship holders is Emilly Noelia Villacis, who said she was really grateful to have met the people in her cohort and the “older members”. “I’ve come away from the experience having met amazing people and friends that I hope will last. It was an amazingly enriching experience: the cherry on the cake for this year.”
For Ferriol Calvet and Lilian Marie Boll, the in-person activities were an opportunity to share ideas with people in the same field as them and who have had different careers. “I had the chance to swap contact details with different oncologists and biomedical scientists who are working in immunotherapy for cancer. It's really valuable for me because these kinds of contacts help me to get an external opinion when I’m dealing with a problem in my research,” Lilian said. “I met a lot of people who I'd had a similar career to or worked in the same places as in recent years, without knowing that they were also fellows. It was very intense talking to them and getting a different perspective on certain problems in the biomedical sector,” Ferriol said.
For Alex Rodríguez Martín, who just moved to Barcelona after many years living abroad, the dinner was his first activity. “I hope it’s not the last! You realise that, after all this time, the experience and opportunities you get from the fellowship give you a connection forever.”
A connection that we want to keep on building on in the future. Because your stories are our stories too. Because we can build a better world together. Here’s to a 2023 full of new hope, new projects and discoveries!