Mays High Students Shine Through Summer Enrichment Programs

Several students at Mays High School participated in summer enrichment programs this year. From theatre to science, these students were involved in a myriad of internship, academic and creative experiences.

Makeda Phillips, an 11th grader at Benjamin E. Mays High School, had a fun-filled and impactful summer comprised of amazing field trips and memorable experiences. Makeda was one of eight students chosen to serve as a student publisher for the Wren’s Nest. The Wren’s Nest serves as an educational resource for the community, the greater Atlanta area and visitors from around the globe. The organization works to preserve the legacy of the famous author, Joel Chandler Harris,  and the heritage of African-American folklore through storytelling, tours and student publishing.

Makeda and her fellow student publishers created and published a student literary journal. Additionally, one of Makeda’s poems was featured in the publication. During Labor Day weekend, the student publishers presented their literary journal, entitled Smoke Signals, at the Decatur Book Festival.

Additionally, Amanda Watts, a 12th grader at Mays, attended the National Science Foundation Neuroscience Fellowship at Brown University.

“My neuroscience summer experience was the best experience I’ve ever had in my life,” Amanda explained.

This program seeks applications from highly motivated high school students who are interested in the field of science. After participating in introductory neuroscience courses, students conduct a laboratory research project. During her time at Brown University, Amanda conducted research on how tadpoles react to certain stimuli.

Brianna Martin, a 12th grade student at Mays, spent her summer under the bright lights of the stage. Brianna participated in the Pearl Cleage Collision Project.

Each summer, the Alliance Theatre Education Program assembles a diverse group of teenagers from throughout the metro Atlanta area to explore a classic text under the guidance of a professional playwright.

The source texts for Brianna’s Collision Project were the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation.  Under the guidance of New York Times Best-Selling Author and celebrated Playwright Pearl Cleage, students explored the themes of freedom and examined instances of slavery in modern times.

The teens used improvisation, choreography, and their writing to create a one-of-a-kind performance piece that they performed at the Woodruff Arts Center.

“My favorite part was collaborating with different students in Atlanta and sharing the memorable experience of performing on stage,” Brianna said. “We were truly able to depict how we felt about the emancipation proclamation through our work.”

Congratulations to these stellar young ladies for making the most out of their summer experiences!

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