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Attending the Seattle Urban League Young Professionals Leadership Summit


TAF and TAF Academy students are being noticed for their hard work, passion, and innovation. Near the end of the school-year, Seattle Urban League Young Professionals (SULYP) hosted a Leadership Summit at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC). This convening was an opportunity for participants to learn about pressing community issues and to practice mentoring, supporting, and partnering with one another. It also turned out to be an opportunity to see the inspiring impact of TAF’s work.

leadership summit
In the afternoon, Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb of FHCRC gave a thought-provoking lecture about increasing diversity in the field of biomedical research and reducing health dispar ities in communities of color. She argued that in order to achieve these goals, programs like FHCRC’s and TAF’s internship partnership are essential.

Dr. Beverly explained in detail that the TAF Academy /FHCRC internship is mission work in action.

“We could only do it through a partnership with TAF,” she said.

Dr. Torok-Storb (or as her students affectionately call her, Dr. Beverly) explained that students need early exposure to STEM field opportunities (at least by 10th grade), sustained support throughout high school and college, and a supportive community that reinforces students’ sense of belonging in a field where they are often very underrepresented. Our student interns receive this and much more in this unique opportunity.

TAF’s amazing high school students also received recognition at the Leadership Summit. Volunteers Jaylon Bond and Denise Engracia (Fred Hutch interns), A’Leesia McKinney, Chanah Melonson, and Lorenzo Scott were there as student volunteers to help with set-up, registration, greeting of participants, and other needs. Their high engagement and professional polish were so impressive that they were often mistaken for SULYP members (SULYP’s target demographic is young professionals in their 20’s and 30’s). The students were commended for their maturity and willingness to serve as volunteers.


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