YOUTH SPEAK: Six Miami Science Museum Upward Bound Students Awarded Prestigious College Scholarships

Miami Science Museum was the first science museum in the nation to become an Upward Bound Math & Science (UBMS) Center in 1999. The Museum’s youth programs focus on providing low income students with training, mentoring, work experience, academic enrichment and technology skills, while improving their communication skills and self-confidence.

Miami Science Museum is proud to recognize Geraldine Placide, Geslande Belus, Sainte-Fanie Jean-Baptiste, Rose-Laure Jean-Joseph, and Yolandy Michel, five students from the Museum’s Upward Bound Math & Science program, as new members of the Dell Scholars Program. Additionally, Geraldine Placide is both a Dell and a Gates Scholar, and Viodie Douceur is a Chabela Foundation Scholar.

“Each of these young women has been an active member of the Miami Science Museum Upward Bound Math & Science Program, which has contributed to development of their leadership skills, academic excellence and widened their horizons through exposure to multiple career opportunities,” said Gillian Thomas, President and CEO, Miami Science Museum. “We are very proud of these young women and look forward to learning about their continued success in the future.”

In order to apply for the need-based Dell scholarship, students must have at least a 2.4 GPA, participate in a college readiness program for at least two years, and intend to attend an accredited institution of higher education in the fall after their high school graduations. This year, 300 out of the 6,534 applicants were awarded scholarships.

Geraldine Placide

Geraldine Placide was awarded both a Dell Scholarship and a Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS) Program, which is administered by UNCF—the United Negro College Fund. Students may be considered for the Gates Millennium Scholarship if they: are an ethnic minority; have a GPA of 3.3 or higher; intend to enroll in an accredited university the Fall after their graduation from high school; have acted as leaders in the community; and demonstrate significant financial need. Geraldine’s continuous drive toward bettering herself has allowed her to graduate from Miami Edison Senior High School as the sixth in her class with an EMT certificate. In the fall, she will attend the University of Florida, where she plans to major in Biochemistry with a minor in Business.

Geslande Belus

Geslande Belus joined the Miami Science Museum Upward Bound program as a sophomore from North Miami. Her continued commitment to the program is a result of the continuous exposure to new opportunities on Saturdays, introductions to new people, and the emotional and academic support. After she graduates from the Health Academy of William H. Turner Technical Institute, she plans to attend either Florida State University or Florida International University.


Rose-Laure Jean-Joseph

The summer before she started high school, Rose-Laure Jean-Joseph eagerly jumped off the school bus when it arrived at the Museum because she was excited about the journey she was about to embark upon. This excitement is what has kept her an active member and a leader within the program. Additionally, she has benefited from the helpful and engaging nature of the mentors and program activities. After her graduation as the Valedictorian at Miami Edison Senior High School, she plans to attend the University of Florida and major in a science field.


Sainte-Fanie Jean-Baptiste immigrated to the United States just before high school began. Initially, she joined the program because she was new to the country and anticipated needing help navigating through the American high school experience. As she states: “the mentors and my friends show that they support us and make it a priority to ensure that we succeed.” In May, she will graduate from the Finance Academy of William H. Turner Technical Institute and plans to attend university in Florida where she intends to major in Business and Hospitality Management.

Yolandy Michel and Sainte-Fanie Jean-Baptiste

Yolandy Michel’s initiative and community impact is most seen in the organization that she founded to educate young women in Miami, FL and Malawi, Africa about each other’s cultures. After being in the program for two years, she states: “Now I can officially declare that without this program, I wouldn’t have had the experiences, the opportunities and the love that I share with those in my UB family.  Most importantly, I wouldn’t be who I am without it.” She recently graduated from the School for Advanced Studies with an Associates Degree and plans to attend the University of Florida, where she will major in Music while completing the prerequisite courses required for medical school.

Viodie Douceur

Viodie Douceur received a scholarship from the Chabela Foundation, which provides full scholarships to students in financial need. Students are eligible to apply for this scholarship if they: have at least a 3.5 weighted GPA; plan to attend a four-year college in the fall proceeding their high school graduation; have a minimum 28 ACT score or 1920 SAT score; present evidence of financial need; demonstrate dedication to community service; and do not yet possess a degree from a two- or four-year institution. Viodie is extremely resourceful and has been an active participant of the youth programs for three years, using the academic and emotional guidance provided by the program staff.  She is truly focused on her future and will contribute greatly after she graduates from Young Women’s Preparatory High School and pursues an International Studies degree at the University of Miami in the fall.

For more information on Miami Science Museum’s Youth Programs, contact Amy Rubinson at: (305) 646-4295 or

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