200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 119: “WINS Alums to the Rescue ”

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WINS students in college tour of Penn State University
WINS graduate and Penn State junior Aminah Ford-Ellison leads WINS students on a college tour of Pennsylvania State University.

WINS Alums to the Rescue

When it was time for college tours, the girls from the Academy’s Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) program were excited. Though WINS is dedicated to preparing Philadelphia high school girls for careers in the sciences, the program’s college tours are the girls’ first real taste of the college lives that will lead them into those careers. This year WINS Manager Betsy Payne had trouble coordinating WINS’ ambitious tour schedule with the admissions office at Pennsylvania State University, but she knew just how to solve the problem. She simply reached out to WINS graduates and PSU juniors Aminah Ford-Ellison and Chantel Harley to request a personalized look around the University’s impressive campus.

“It was an honor to be able to share my experiences with the girls on their annual college tour, not to mention exciting to see so many familiar and eager faces,” Aminah writes. “They are women—ready to take on the world and embark on their college careers. I can only imagine the excitement when the acceptance letters start rolling in.”

During her senior year of high school, Aminah was the WINS assistant, the student charged with helping “Ms. Betsy” coordinate lessons. She mentored the current WINS assistant, Dominique Thomas, who has been in the program for four years. Dominique helps out in Butterflies! and changing exhibits and assists with lesson planning and mentoring for the younger WINS students.

“It’s interesting to see where the girls are now and how they got there,” says Dominique. “Now I’m doing research on the schools to see where I’d like to go!”

Visit ansp.org to learn more about the Academy’s WINS program and to read about more exciting things the students are doing.

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