What happens to graduates of high school biotech programs?

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Sandra Porter
Some of them work for Bayer.

The San Francisco Chronicle has a nice article on a 15 year old education program in Berkeley that serves students from Berkeley High and Life Academy. Over 1500 students have participated in this program, with 862 placed in internships. I really liked reading about some of the kids who started in the Bayer Biotech partners program and finding out what they're doing now. One of those interviewed started the program in 1992, as a 15 year old. He liked it so much, his four younger siblings signed up for biotechnology courses, too. Another student was a high-school teenage mother. Now, she's an assistant supervisor at Bayer. Part of this program's success most likely comes from the staff's ability to help out with the little things. Quoted from the article:

The small staff of Biotech Partners tries to clear obstacles for students the way middle-class parents smooth the career path for their youngsters. The program provides tutoring, mentors, class aides, field trips, coaching on workplace behavior and attire, career guidance and help with college applications. No student has to pass up a summer internship for lack of bus money. "If they don't have appropriate clothes, we take them shopping," Bellush said. The companies offering summer internships include Bayer, the Emeryville site of Swiss drugmaker Novartis, and Libby Laboratories. Academic snags are often the least of the participants' worries, Bellush said. "This summer, we've dealt with a student's alcoholic parents, two students who were homeless, and students with emotional problems," she said. The staff arranges counseling or other help. With an annual budget of about $400,000, the program serves as many as 120 students a year.
Thanks Genome Technology!

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