Future Reflections         Fall 2008

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The National Federation of the Blind Youth Slam 2009
July 26-August 1, 2009

University of Maryland, College Park

Macy McClain (OH) and Portia Price (MD) do a last minute rocket check before launch.Have you ever wondered how police use forensics to solve crimes? Do you want to learn more about environmentally friendly energy and resources? Do you dream about a career in chemistry, engineering, or journalism? Or do you just want to meet other blind kids from around the United States? Then we have the summer program for you!

This Youth Slam participant gets a chance to learn how to independently light a Bunsen burner; an essential skill he can take back and use in a high school or college chemistry lab course.Join us for the second National Federation of the Blind Youth Slam, an experiential academy focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math subjects and careers. Two hundred blind and low vision high school students will stay at the University of Maryland and be mentored by blind role models during fun and challenging activities meant to build confidence, expand leadership and advocacy skills, and increase science literacy.

Don’t worry if you aren’t interested in science--there is something for everyone at the NFB Youth Slam. Participants will also attend various social events as well as workshops on topics such as leadership, career preparation, and advocacy. The NFB Youth Slam will culminate in an inspiring rally in Washington, D. C.

NASA was one of the many important partners that made the 2007 Youth Slam a success. This student examines a NASA tactile/Braille display during one of the programs.Those interested in participating as students or mentors should complete an application by March 1, 2009. Visit <www.blindscience.org>, e-mail <youthslam@nfb.org>, or call (410) 659-9314, for more information.
Why should your teenager attend? Here’s what people said about the 2007 event:

“When I participated in the Youth Slam 2007, it was my first involvement in the Federation or the blind community in general. My mentor opened up a world to me that I never dreamed existed.” --Candice Chapman, Mississippi

On the last day of the Youth Slam, students gather for a rally at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and march from there to the nearby headquarters of the NFB to celebrate the end of an exciting week with dinner and a dance.“(We) have watched Chelsea blossom over the last few years as she has had learning and social opportunities such as Youth Slam... She has really benefited from the opportunity to interact with other blind students. She has become more confident, more mature, and has developed life-long friendships.” --Terri and Bob Henrizi, parents of Chelsea, Michigan

“Yuck!” might have been these young women’s first reaction to the news that they would learn how to independently do a shark dissection at the Youth Slam, but these proud smiles show the importance of raising the bar of expectations, and providing challenging experiences in science.“This program has provided Brent with the confidence to attend a college away from home. He learned so much about how to rely on himself and that anything is possible in the field that he wants to study.” --Donna and Russell Bowling, parents of Brent, Ohio

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