FERNDALE, Mich. – Not many high school students can say they spent their summer working toward a cure for cancer. Yet, two Detroit high school students, Adolpho Ramirez of Western International High School and Olivia Eve Johnson of Cass Technical High School have made a difference in the fight against cancer. Sponsored in part by Credit Union ONE, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s “Detroit High School Summer Research Apprenticeship Program” is an eight-week paid summer internship that takes 10 minority students from Detroit area high schools and helps them to explore various areas of cancer research. Some of the areas of study include molecular biology, immunology and epidemiology. Once they are acclimated to lab safety, scientific procedures and the research at hand, the students become an integral part of their mentors’ work. Each student chooses a specific research topic that will be pursued throughout the program. In addition to their lab work, the students participate in a weekly cancer-related lecture series and learn about the practical application of research within an academic professional environment. They also learn to organize their lab research into presentation formats. Students then present their research findings during a 10- minute slide show presentation before their mentors, parents and program sponsors at the Meyer L. Prentis Comprehensive Cancer Center in Detroit. According to Credit Union ONE President/CEO Armando Cavazos, the opportunity and experience the program presents for students from underprivileged backgrounds is “absolutely amazing”.
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