DC Public School Students Learn About Public Health

During the afternoon on Tuesday, June 24, the sounds of young teens’ excited voices enlivened Professor Melissa Perry’s laboratory and the halls of the Milken Institute School of Public Health building. The 20 rising 9th graders from Stuart Hobson Middle, a D.C. public school, were participants in the After-School All-Stars’ CampUS program, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. The tour of the lab and building was a highlight of the week-long camp being hosted by GW, and the camp’s participants learned about college and public health careers from Dr. Perry, as well as her lab director, Dr. Yuwei Zhang, and graduate students Fran Branch and Linda Nguyen.

“We know that many students drop out between 9th and 10th grade,” says Aminata Ahmadu, an After-School All-Stars program manager involved with the camp. “We thought it was important to catch them now and open their eyes to all of the great things open to them in high school and college. We know that a lot of STEM careers currently aren’t being filled by U.S. citizens,” she explained.

Many of the students on the tour say they’d like to come back to GW for college. “We’d love to see that happen,” Dr. Perry says.