For the third year, the Gregory B. Davis Foundation (GBDF) planned and sponsored a visit for high school students to the North Carolina Central University’s (NCCU) Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) on October 17, 2017. BRITE is created specifically to train the next generation of biotechnology scientists and expand North Carolina’s
already booming biotech industry. GBDF’s Board Members, Dr. Maurice and Valencia Davis chaperoned a group of 12 students from Northampton County High School who were actually on their fall break, but were excited to embark upon this adventure. The students were also joined by Rayshawn Powell, GBDF Young Adult Advisor, who is currently a freshman at NCCU. Lois Deloatch, GBDF Board Member from Durham, also joined the group briefly.
By establishing a faculty of nationally recognized scientists and educators and partnering with premiere biotech companies like Eli Lilly and Company, Biogen Idec, Novozymes and Wyeth to create curriculum, BRITE is becoming one of the leading biotechnology educational institutions in the nation. The students were given the opportunity to do experiments, view cancer cells, talk with a botanist and talk to an admissions officer. After completing a full day on the campus the students rated this experience a “ten” and thanked the Foundation for the opportunity.
Edna Davis-Brown, GBDF President, shares that “we are so excited to have the opportunity to expose Northampton County students to this program and Valencia Davis, our Youth Initiatives Coordinator, has done an outstanding job in working with Northampton County Public Schools and NCCU in putting this together. Gregory would be incredibly proud.” A special note of appreciation goes out to Dr. Faye Calhoun, BRITE Interim Director, who stopped by to challenge the students to use their spare time wisely. Appreciation is also extended to Ms. Betty Brown, BRITE Outreach Coordinator. Also, we want to thank the Roanoke Valley Historically Black and Colleges and University Collaborative, Inc. for providing funds for breakfast for the students and the Center for Responsible Lending, Durham, NC, for providing lunch.
GBDF hopes to expand this initiative as well as other Youth Initiative endeavors to involve additional schools, new partnerships, and new sponsors for future opportunities for youth in the Roanoke Valley next year. For more information about GBDF, please visit www.gbdf.org.