Smallwood student attends STEM leadership program

Smallwood student attends STEM leadership program

General Smallwood Middle School seventh grader Shawn Jenkins earned the chance to participate in a unique academic development program this past summer. He attended the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF): Explore STEM program held at Occidental College, located in Los Angeles, from June 28 through July 3. The six-day program introduces high-achieving middle school students to innovative and rewarding academic experiences and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as the medical field.

While attending the program, Jenkins learned how to apply engineering design processes to program robots, analyze the influence technology has on sustainability and green communities, and worked with professionals in STEM-related careers as part of a real-world simulation in which a fictional town sustained growth. Program participants also created personal success plans in which they outlined academic options for high school to help them better plan for their future.

Jenkins was nominated to attend the program by one of his science teacher’s at Smallwood, Holly Fallica. The STEM summer program, sponsored by Envision, is for middle-school students only. Participants are either nominated by a teacher or community member, or can choose to enroll themselves to attend. There are costs associated with program participation, and Envision provides scholarship opportunities for students who wish to attend.

Envision is an education organization dedicated to enabling students of all ages to explore their interests and gain learning experiences beyond the classroom. Envision sponsors several programs for students at the elementary-, middle- and high-school levels, as well as college students. These programs range from the medical field, digital media and law to youth leadership and business.

For more information on Envision programs available to students, visit

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.


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