The Jennings-UMSL Mentorship Program: A JUMPstart for science!
Our students are passionate about giving back and paying it forward, and one way they show it is through the Jennings-UMSL Mentorship Program (JUMP). Founded in 2015 by Dr. Patty Parker and the Biology Graduate Student Association, JUMP pairs Jennings High School students with UMSL Biology graduate students to learn about science, college, and life after high school. A hands-on interactive experience, our students share their excitement about science with their high school mentees during field trips and bonding activities, exploring local sites like the Endangered Wolf Center, Riverlands Audubon Center, and even City Museum. As Sage Rohrer (PhD candidate) says, “We can learn about wildlife conservation, take a hike along a riverbank, and climb through St. Louis history at the City Museum, all within less than an hour's drive of their school. Seeing their excitement at discovering so much happening in their backyard is the best part of the program.”
“I think it’s important that we as academics engage with the communities our institutions are situated in, and as biologists, that we work to make science approachable and inclusive for everyone.”
—Meghann Humphries, doctoral alum (2019)