UMB CURE Scholars Program
About: Underrepresented minorities are the fastest growing populations in the US but make up only a small percentage of the biomedical workforce in Baltimore and nationwide. Increasing diversity in these fields is expected to have positive impacts on healthcare disparities and the quality of biomedical research while providing broad employment opportunities for minorities trained in STEM disciplines. To address this need for workforce diversity, the National Cancer Institute Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) program was developed to attract promising students from diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds to careers in health, biomedicine and broader STEM fields. Current efforts span high school through post-graduate studies. Despite the successes of this program, minority representation in health science fields remains low; therefore, new approaches are required. Towards this goal, the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) CURE is an expansion of the CURE program that targets a younger population of underserved middle school students in West Baltimore with the aim of inspiring them to enter a STEM or health science career. Recognizing that the success of students in the classroom and extracurricular contexts is multifactorial, UMB CURE integrates academic, mentoring, family and community components in a holistic approach to the scholars’ lives and education as the centerpiece of the program. Specifically, UMB CURE:
- Introduces hands-on activities to enhance STEM curriculum and engage scholar interest
- Improves the home learning environment by assisting families with social services and job training and placement
- Provides role models and educational and emotional support through mentoring
- Leverages UMB and its partners citywide to broaden scholar opportunities through diverse resources and support
This multifaceted approach will enhance competence in STEM/health science subjects in the near term and will effect a durable impact on the opportunities of future UMB CURE scholars to increase their progression into the workforce.
Baltimore Corps Fellow: