This proposed Summer Research Program builds upon the success of the JJ Vance Memorial Summer Internship in Biological and Computational Sciences at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics (HIHG). Part of HIHG's mission is to train the next generation of researchers. For this reason, it has hosted for the last five years the JJ Vance Memorial Summer Internship in Biological and Computational Sciences (JJ Vance internship), a program that has offered rising seniors from Miami-area high schools a unique opportunity to be directly involved in scientific research. The program has been highly successful, and this year has received applications from 62 applicants representing 30 different high schools in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties for only eight positions. Last year, we had 56 students from 24 high schools apply to the program, a steady growth from our start of six applicants in 2009. Since its inception at the HIHG, we have had a total of 201 applicants from 53 different high schools. Of the 38 selected interns during this time, 24% were white non- Hispanic, 26% were Hispanic/Latino, 29% were African-American, 16% were Asian and 5% were other ethnicities. Currently, STEM majors represent 80% of the ex-intern's college major fields of study. Thus, the JJ Vance Internship is reaching a large group of individuals and filling a great need in the highly diverse Miami community. We have established this internship from ground zero in the Miami area. Its rising trajectory of applicants over the years show that it is a established program in the community and that has been obviously successful as it has grown and schools keep sending new students back to apply. We also now have data on successful outcomes, and active mentoring years after the students' summer internship occurred. Given this success and the program's potential, we can no longer run the program trying to accrue year-to-year funding from foundations. We need stability in order to serve the community better, increase the number of students that we can enroll in the program for the program's continued growth., This grant, if funded, would provide us with that stability to continue our highly successful program into the future, and increase the number of participants.
This proposal will provide financial stability and opportunities for growth for a highly successful Summer Research Program in human genomics for high school students. It has and will continue to serve a diverse set of deserving students in the Miami area.