Over the three-year project period, a total of 102 high school students participated in the program. Participants were low-income, first-generation college-bound students who expressed interest in STEM careers. Since the program, roughly 70% have expressed interest in pursuing a career in biomedicine. Four students who were were particularly successful in the program are profiled below.
As Julio Pinto entered high school, he was unmotivated and unaware of his potential advantages as a smart kid. His poor grades during middle school were replaced with enthusiastic leadership and motivation to excel once he entered high school. This motivation has been maintained by his involvement in the BioDECIDE program. He has been a leader in the youth community as he teaches a Saturday class on math application, interned with Office of Environmental Health and Safety at the University of Miami and is planning on attending an international conference in Denmark on steps to improve the environment. Throughout the program, he has been able to focus his career path, speak to professionals in related fields and experience the daily life of an environmental scientist. Once Julio graduates, he will be attending Stanford University where he will continue his education as a Gates Millennium Scholar and a Dell Scholar.
As a current junior in high school, Findjy Dorvil has grown tremendously over the past two years through his involvement in the BioDECIDE. Through his involvement in the environmental and engineering career days at the Museum, he has learned about the diverse careers in engineering, which has always been an interest to Findjy. His career goals were focused on robotics through his exposure to the opportunities available at the universities visited during college tour. Through the support and academic enrichment offered by the BioDECIDE program, he has been able to maintain a 3.3 GPA, regardless of being the only male role model in the house for his younger brother. As he enters his last year of high school, Findjy plans to take an engineering course and continue his involvement with the Museum as he prepares to attend college.
Geraldine Placide is a sophomore who is interested in pursing a career in the biomedical field. During middle school, Geraldine's interest in science drove her to join the BioDECIDE program. Her diligent participation in the program has helped her to focus her interest in biochemistry. She has learned to approach her classes and youth program activities with a critical eye and to ask insightful questions that improve her understanding of the topic. Her ambition carries her further than her peers, as is evident in her leadership roles in the Museum community. As a member of the Museum's Youth Advisory Board, she provides peer counseling for other students, participates in fundraising for youth program field trips and is a role model for other students. Geraldine is a member of her school's choir, soccer team, and National Honor Society chapter, and she is currently planning an after-school program in a local park to engage younger students in biomedical science activities.
The past few years have been very challenging for Rosny Joseph. He completed his freshman year with a 0.82 GPA and skipping at least three classes a day. Since then, his participation with the Museum sponsored programs has significantly increased his motivation to excel in school which is proven in the fact that he has earned a 2.6 GPA, has only missed 2 days of school, attends every class on a regular basis and is excited about attending college next year. Through his involvement in the BioDECIDE program, he determined that he would like to become a psychologist. Rosny's passion for understanding the mechanics of the human thoughts and actions and his dedication to his education will ensure that he succeeds in this field.