Joy Brown-Bryant would like to be U.S. surgeon general one day. But first, the 14-year-old from Oakland, California, wants to help reconstruct the faces of military burn victims as a plastic surgeon. Brown-Bryant is well on her way to achieving her goal; she is spending the summer at Southern Methodist University taking college level science classes, extracting DNA from strawberry cells in biochemistry lab and preparing for weekly exams.
As one of 100 seventh- and eighth-grade minority STEMPREP Project students at SMU this summer, she is part of a program that boasts an impressive success rate – 100 percent of STEMPREP project students who finish the program attend college and 83 percent go on to graduate school to become physicians, pharmacists, dentists, researchers or engineers.
“Being in this program empowers students,” says Charles Knibb, STEMPREP director of academic affairs, an SMU research professor and a former surgeon.