2020 DAC Spotlight

Yeabsera “Yeabi” Tadesse

June 2020Yeabsera

Yeabsera “Yeabi” Tadesse is a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and mentor with the UMB CURE Scholars Program. A first-generation graduate school student, she hopes to inspire the next generation in West Baltimore through mentoring for UMB CURE.

UMB CURE is a groundbreaking science pipeline program that prepares sixth- through 12th-grade West Baltimore students for competitive and rewarding research and health care careers. Through rich scientific opportunities, scholars gain presentation experience, academic growth, self-confidence, and the motivation necessary to succeed. The goal is to increase the pool of under-represented minorities pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), health care, and cancer research.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that forced schools to close in March, Tadesse and other mentors at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) committed to providing tutoring sessions for scholars for the remainder of the semester, educating middle and high school scholars virtually in math subjects.

Tadesse was born in Ethiopia and moved to Maryland during high school. She was an Herb Block Scholar, an award given to students attending community college in the Washington, D.C., area, and studied at Montgomery College. There, she participated in the NIH Community College Enrichment Program and conducted medical research on neuropsychology focusing on how different parts of the brain store memory.

Tadesse decided to become a mentor at the University because she wanted to give back to students with similar backgrounds. When she moved to the United States, she says she faced several obstacles that she would not have known how to overcome if she did not have a mentor. One of those obstacles was applying to college. If it was not for her mentor, who was also her high school English teacher, she believes she would have had a hard time getting accepted into college.

“I did not know what the SATs were or how to take it,” she says. “I had no idea of how to properly write an essay and several other details of the college application process. My mentor helped me go through the application and at the end [of the process], I was accepted to several schools.”

With UMB CURE, Tadesse has worked with high school students and supported academic enrichment sessions where scholars engage in STEM activities and tutoring on Saturdays. Tadesse assisted scholars as they developed their research projects this year focusing on crime and resource disparities across the “Black Butterfly and White L” neighborhoods in Baltimore. She helped scholars learn about resources in their assigned communities while exploring the social determinants of health.

I got involved with the UMB CURE Scholars Program initially for school requirements but decided to stay after I fulfilled those requirements because I loved what I was doing,” she says. “I cannot wait to see what next year brings.”


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