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Woodson Top Students Recruited for Summer STEMM Program

The Distance Learning Center STEMMPREP Consultant Charlene A. Joseph encourages John H. Woodson Junior High School students on Wednesday, February 1

to apply to participate in the summer program geared toward engaging students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine.


About 70 John H. Woodson Junior High School 7th and 8th grade students set out to determine their chances of experiencing university life next summer on the U.S. mainland. With encouragement from Guidance Counselor Joan Willock, all of school’s honor students participated in the Distance Learning Center (DLC) STEMMPREP Project presentation on Wednesday, February 1 in the school’s courtyard.

“We have invited our honors classes to participate in the DLC assembly because of the program’s criteria for students to have an “A” average, and they have to be tested at a certain level,” Ms. Willock said. “Some of the students may not be “A” students, but sometimes they test well, especially the 7th graders. If they (7th graders) don’t make it this year, they have an opportunity to know about the program so it is something they can look forward to next year.”

According to DLC STEMMPREP Consultant Charlene A. Joseph, the DLC is recruiting high-achieving 7th and 8th  graders for summer of 2017 to participate in the five-week STEMMPREP Project at the University of Washington, Seattle. The STEMMPREP Project is a vehicle for producing the next generation of minority researchers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine (STEMM).

“This summer, we will be in Seattle to guide minority students into biomedical research fields,” Joseph continued. “They might want to go into Science, they might want to be a researcher or a doctor.  Right now, we are working with them in the summer so that they will have the foundation to pursue those kind of careers.” 

The STEMMPREP Program focuses on underrepresented minorities in STEMM, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Island Pacific Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Hawaiians, Native Americans, and Mainland Puerto Ricans.

In 2003 students from the John H. Woodson School were the first Virgin Islands' students to participate in the program. "They made history; it is always nice to comeback to Woodson,” Joseph said. She encouraged students to download the application and that an essay is an important part of the application process. “They are asking why do you want to be in that career and want to know if students are independent enough to stay away from their parents and live on the campus for five weeks," she further explained.

Thirteen schools and approximately 50 trainees in the Virgin Islands have participated every summer in the STEMMPREP Program since the inaugural class in 2003. Schools who have participated in the program, include John H. Woodson Jr. High, Good Hope Country Day School, St. Croix Educational Complex High, All Saints Cathedral School, Addelita Cancryn Jr. High, Elena L. Christian Jr. High, AZ Academy, St. Mary’s Catholic School, Peter Gruber International Academy, Arthur A. Richards Jr. High, Antilles School, Church of God Holiness Academy and St. Patrick’s Catholic School.

Joseph encouraged students with “A” grade point average for the last three years to complete an application and take the SSAT national exam (fee waivers can be obtained for the SSAT). 

The deadline to apply has been extended to February 28, 2017. 

For more information, visit or contact Charlene Joseph at (340) 513-4883, via email at   To support V.I. student-trainees, donations may be sent to:

Moses L. Williams, Ph.D., Executive Director

STEMPREP Project, Distance Learning Center, Inc.

1324 Clearfield St.

Philadelphia. Pa. 19132



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