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CBE Life Sci Educ. 2013 Fall;12(3):410-8. doi: 10.1187/cbe.12-12-0206.

A summer academic research experience for disadvantaged youth.

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Department of Cell Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Internships are an effective way of connecting high school students in a meaningful manner to the sciences. Disadvantaged minorities have fewer opportunities to participate in internships, and are underrepresented in both science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors and careers. We have developed a Summer Academic Research Experience (SARE) program that provides an enriching academic internship to underrepresented youth. Our program has shown that to have a successful internship for these disadvantaged youth, several issues need to be addressed in addition to scientific mentoring. We have found that it is necessary to remediate and/or fortify basic academic skills for students to be successful. In addition, students need to be actively coached in the development of professional skills, habits, and attitudes necessary for success in the workplace. With all these factors in place, these youths can become better students, compete on a more level playing field in their internships, and increase their potential of participating actively in the sciences in the future.

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