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CURE Program Bridges Pathway To Science, Medicine For Baltimore Students

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- For 40 years, the number of African American men entering medical school has not budged. They make up less than 5 percent of graduating doctors. What's the solution?

The University of Maryland: Baltimore has one idea.

The CURE program is aimed at giving new opportunities to the young boys and girls who live in the school's West Baltimore neighborhood.

A robotics program that is part of CURE, which launched three years ago, tries to give Baltimore children a pathway to careers in science and medicine.

It's scholars meet after school two days a week and every Saturday and are mentored by volunteer PhD and medical students.

CURE program member, Mali Baysah, built a robotic car and now he's building programs. No small feat for a 6th grader.

"It can only be a good thinking to be in a different environment surrounded by adults, professionals, college professionals, college students," said 6th grade teacher Corey Gaber.

"I don't know much about medicine since my mentor--she does malaria and stuff. And her name's Dominique so she helps me with medicine," Baysah said.

Mali and 25 other 6th graders were welcomed into CURE with the White Coat Ceremony last October. His teachers already see a difference.

"My research paper is about automation and how it helps medicine," he said.

"Obviously they have better science skills and they're better at their science content, but more so, it's their confidence in class they speak up a lot more they show a lot of leadership, especially the 8th grade girls," said science teacher Jessica Harceg.

Baysah and each of the 79 CURE middle schoolers work closely with their mentors building and learning with role models who could help change the future face of science and medicine.

Eight in 10 CURE scholars, who are now 8th graders, are still in the program. They have had significant gains in reading and math and are now preparing to enroll in some of the city's best science and stem high schools.

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