Eighth Grade: From West Baltimore

New Documentary Puts UMB CURE Scholars Back in the Spotlight

Five scholars from the UMB CURE Program will be featured again on Maryland Public Television (MPT) thanks to the new documentary Eighth Grade: From West Baltimore.

A pipeline program that began in 2015 and guides West Baltimore students with an interest in science from sixth grade through high school and beyond, UMB CURE Scholars was first featured by MPT in the acclaimed documentary From West Baltimore. Both films, which follow the same five scholars, will be aired Sunday, Oct. 14, at 5 and 6 p.m., respectively.

The new documentary will provide an update on Shakeer Franklin, Davioin Hill, Courtney Jacobs, Tyler McKenzie, and Princaya Sanders as they navigate eighth grade before embarking on their high school years, supported by their UMB CURE mentors.

MedSchool Maryland Productions, which produced both documentaries led by director Susan Hadary, MA, describes the new film this way:

“Eighth grade, a year of incredible pressure for these young teens, determines their future. They must get a very high composite score to be accepted at one of the few highly competitive college preparatory schools in Baltimore. The stress of middle school now intensifies as they challenge themselves to get good grades and excel on standardized tests. Their future will be delivered in the all-important acceptance letter — the first hurdle to overcome in their personal fight for a better life.”

From West Baltimore, the original documentary, was nominated for an Emmy Award by the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the five CURE Scholars attended the Emmy gala June 23 in Bethesda, Md.

To watch a trailer of the new documentary, go to the Eighth Grade: From West Baltimore webpage. For a look at the original documentary, go to the From West Baltimore webpage. To learn more about the UMB program, which involves the youngest students ever funded by the National Cancer Institute’s Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) Program, go to the CURE Scholars website.

(Note: Poster by Kellie Gable; poster photo by John Anglim, MedSchool Maryland Productions)

Communications and Public AffairsCommunity Service, Education, For B'more, People, UMB News, University LifeSeptember 10, 20180 comments

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