The Science Matters Research Internship (SMRI) program aims to foster interest and confidence in the sciences within underrepresented and underprivileged New York City high school students. SMRI selects enthusiastic 11th grade (Junior Year) students from Minds Matter NYC, who first attend a rigorous Bio-Boot Camp where they receive lectures given by CUMC graduate students and postdocs on a wide range of biological topics and are introduced to a laboratory setting during a tutorial workshop. This important training element to the internship provides the interns a baseline level of knowledge and skillset that prepares them to excel when they start their research project. Secondly, they begin the three-month research internship where they are paired with their mentor, a senior pre or postdoctoral fellow, in a Columbia University laboratory to engage in a research project that culminates in a final presentation. SMRI interns earn valuable research experience at Columbia University, develop professional speaking skills, and participate in active discussions on scientific research, career goals and life in the sciences.