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By Camille Spurlock '18
Freshman Jalyn Williamson from Temple Hills, Maryland was invited into the 2018 W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute at Princeton University. The program was founded in 1988 and is named after the famous author and activist, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (see more information below). The institute is a wonderful summer opportunity focused on high achieving African-American and Latino students throughout the country. The program is held in the summer for five weeks and is a rigorous academic and leadership experience for the students.
Jalyn was informed about the program through her Honors Conceptual Physics teacher, Gerald Smith. Mr. Smith teaches AP Chemistry, and both Honors and College Preparatory Conceptual Physics at Bishop McNamara. Mr. Smith encouraged all of his students to apply for this amazing opportunity, and Jalyn was one of those accepted! "It's a pretty great program and Jalyn is overjoyed to attend!" Mr. Smith told us.
In addition to taking Honors Conceptual Physics, Jalyn takes Honors Algebra I, Journalism, and American Sign Language. She says Journalism has expanded her documentation writing, as well as giving her experience and skills in editing journalistic films. A dedicated member of the Varsity Lacrosse team and the Poetry Club here at McNamara, she also volunteers her time at the Oxon Hill Library with teens and children planning events such as scavenger hunts and the Build a House Challenge. She has always loved Math, but didn't get interested in Science until BMHS with encouragement from Mr. Smith. She loves to cook and bake, starting her own catering company.
Jalyn, who was notified the end of April about her acceptance, will be attending the Summer Scholars Institute from June 23rd to July 28th, where she will remain on campus at Princeton, participating in the Pre-Med/Neuroscience Academy program. This program aims to facilitate the development of well-rounded scientists and researchers in the traditional fields of science, medicine, and information driven technology. She will be taking such courses as Anatomy & Physiology, Neuroscience, and Neural Basis of Behavior.
Jalyn plans to further her education after Bishop McNamara in the field of Psychology. She finds the human brain interesting and wants to pursue a career as a Ph.D. in the mental health field.
Our heartiest congratulations to Jalyn from the Bishop McNamara community - we look forward to hearing more about this experience when you return in the fall!
About the WEB Du Bois Scholars Institute
The WEB Du Bois Scholars Institute is a leadership development organization for adolescents and secondary students from families and communities who have experienced historical barriers to achievement and opportunity. To help overcome these challenges, the Institute develops a diverse cadre of leaders and scholars who, through rigorous preparation and nurturance, excel in higher education and professionally. With an array of academic enriched content, career development resources and cultural awareness, the Institute aims to foster well rounded young minds and wisdom-loving change agents working to create a more just and human world.
W.E.B. Du Bois, a renowned sociologist, philosopher, historian, activist, scholar, author, and public intellectual, was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1868. Throughout his life, Du Bois challenged barriers to equality and debated the course of freedom for African Americans. As co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, People (NAACP), Dr. Du Bois was committed to scholarship and the development of leaders among African Americans. He argued that the most effective leadership will come from the best trained minds. Therefore, African Americans must focus on and educate its "talented tenth" to maximize its potential for political, social and economic success. In keeping with Dr. Du Bois' teachings, especially his idea of the "The Talented Tenth," the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute was founded and named in his honor with an aim to recruit and groom high-achieving African American and Latino American youth who have demonstrated an ability to lead and achieve, both in and out of school settings. The Institute is designed to develop leaders with a sense of community purpose who will assume key roles in restoring impoverished communities. Surely, a central part of training in the Institute is instilling in participants a sense of duty to give back to help people in need.
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