Students like Tylen make for a brighter, more hopeful future

September 18, 2012 | by Darrin Joy

Photo of High school student Tylen Kelly, left, and science teacher Jeff Radsick High school student Tylen Kelly, left, discusses her research with science teacher Jeff Radsick. (Photo by Darrin S. Joy)

You just don’t see a lot of 17-year-old high schoolers like Tylen Kelly.

She’s bubbly and talkative, with highlighted braids and bright, smiling eyes. And she’s as sharp as they come.

More than that, she’s driven to succeed. And she’s getting an early shot at scientific success through her class at City of Hope – an opportunity to work directly with scientists in the lab even before graduating from high school.

Kelly is one of 11 students from nearby Duarte High School who spent their school summer break learning lab research skills. The eight-week course was part of City of Hope’s partnership with the Duarte Unified School District, funded by a National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award.

The opportunity could help Kelly fulfill her dream of becoming a surgeon and researcher — and world traveler.

“I want to be able to do medicine and research because I’d be able to travel the world and tell others about the science I do,” she says. “That would put several things I like to do together in a bundle: I like to travel, I like to talk and I like research.”

Kelly also hopes to submit the research she is doing as part of the NAACP’s ACT-SO (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics). The program encourages high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. It would be her second time entering the contest.

“Last year I did sciences. This year I want to do oratory and sciences and talk about what I did here,” she says. “I think that would be so cool.”

Know a high school or college student from the San Gabriel Valley who’s interested in science, but doesn’t attend Duarte High School? City of Hope also runs the annual Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Student Academy.

NIH grant: OD010513

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