Snapshots of Summer

From lab placements to symposiums at MIT, our LEAH Knox Scholars had a very busy summer! Looking back upon the LEAH Knox Scholars summer program, we wanted to share our successes and highlights from the summer: 

Getting a “Handle” on DNA and Protein: 2019 Cohort 

The 2019 Cohort of LEAH Knox Scholars hit the ground running in lab work after introductory molecular biology workshops. They delved into laboratory tests as they successfully identified an unknown bacteria from the Charles River. Youth extracted water samples from the Charles River, and began an in depth analysis of the microorganisms they found in the water. From the extraction process, they ran a number of experiments such as polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis, and pipetting to discover what kind of bacteria they had. At the end of the summer, the youth presented their results at a symposium at a symposium at MIT. Youth enjoyed the process and the autonomy in the lab they as they were working on their research question. 

This program is significant to the youth because many of these youth don’t have the opportunity to conduct independent research projects, much less access to labs in the schools they go to. The LEAH Knox Scholars program enables them to become the scientists they have the potential to become. 

 Check out our pictures to see these amazing young people in action, presenting their findings on what they learned all summer! 

Melissa Gonzalez, one of our LEAH Knox Scholars is presenting on her bacteria from the Charles River.

Melissa Gonzalez, one of our LEAH Knox Scholars is presenting on her bacteria from the Charles River.

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 Expansion for Second Year Internships: 

We witnessed great gains this past summer as we tripled the number of LEAH Knox Scholars in labs around the Greater Boston Area. Our lab partners included a mixture of leading hospitals in the state, innovative pharmaceutical companies, and top tiered universities such as: Broad Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Vertex, and University of Massachusetts, Boston. Our youth worked on projects ranging from cancer research to environmental microbiology, all the way to engineering probes inserted into the brains of birds. Two of our LEAH Knox Scholars at labs said after their experience and career direction:  

“I feel like we were able to put everything to the test… not only what we learned last year in the lab, but also the professional development workshops… We were able to do that in a more professional setting.” 

“Before (LKS), I was really undecided. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but now, after these two years, I feel like it definitely influenced me a lot on what I wanted to do.” 

This program exists to expose students to STEM and empower them to pursue careers in related fields and it is great to hear from our young people that we’re doing just that.  

Kathleen Wei (left), Angelys Matos (center), and Talia Marc (right) sharing good times after presenting on their second year lab internships at the symposium.

Kathleen Wei (left), Angelys Matos (center), and Talia Marc (right) sharing good times after presenting on their second year lab internships at the symposium.

Seniors: 

  • 100%. We are so proud to announce that 100% of seniors in the LEAH Knox Scholars program not only graduated from high school (compared to 75.2 from Boston Public Schools), but all of them have been admitted to colleges, most with scholarships. For our young people in college now, we’re already seeing great things. Below, you’ll see one of our LEAH Knox Scholars alumni Hubert Galan at his new professor’s office at Dartmouth College: We can’t wait to see what else is in store for our alumni!  

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