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Stony Brook Hosts LILTA Summer Program for Local Middle and High School Students

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LILTA high school students at Stony Brook’s Student Activities Center.

More than 30 middle and high school students from Brentwood, Central Islip and Wyandanch schools visited Stony Brook University in July and August as part of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association (LILTA) summer programs. 

During the two-day programs, students had an opportunity to explore Stony Brook’s campus and learn about careers in STEM and healthcare through activities led by SBU professionals. The visit was coordinated through Stony Brook’s University and Hospital Community Relations Office and is part of an ongoing partnership between the office and LILTA, a not-for-profit organization that works to increase graduation rates and encourage higher education enrollment and retention among Long Island students. LILTA volunteers were present throughout the program and helped translate for English-language learners. 

“We’ve seen how important it is for students to get a taste of college,” said Dafny Irizarry, president of LILTA. “Opportunities like this help get students excited about pursuing higher education.” 

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Colby Rowe demonstrates how to use a tourniquet at a “Stop the Bleed” training for LILTA students.

The high school students, who visited campus on July 26 and 27, heard from Christine Veloso, co-director of STEP and CSTEP, and Colby Rowe, director of Emergency Management, Training and Outreach. Veloso led a game of STEAM Jeopardy, which showcased the vast variety of career opportunities in STEAM. Rowe presented “Stop the Bleed,” a hands-on program offered in collaboration among Stony Brook Medicine’s Trauma Center, Emergency Management and the University Police Department. The training provides ordinary citizens with the skills to recognize and respond to situations where an individual is experiencing uncontrolled bleeding. 

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LILTA middle school students disassemble a toaster oven during an “appliance autopsy” activity.

Middle school students visited campus the following week on August 2 and 3 as part of the Matthew Moore Summer Youth program, named in honor of the former Stony Brook employee and LILTA vice president. The group participated in team-building and career-exploration activities led by Joan Dickinson, assistant vice president for University and Hospital Community Relations, and Erika Karp, community relations representative for Stony Brook University Hospital. Working in teams, the middle schoolers crafted helmets for eggs as part of a helmet-safety activity and performed an “appliance autopsy” on old toasters, microwaves and computers donated by Stony Brook faculty and staff. The students also participated in a campus scavenger hunt. 

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LILTA middle school students pose for a photo by a fountain on Stony Brook University’s campus.

The LILTA summer programs at Stony Brook, which began in 2016, are made possible thanks to funding from the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. 

— Erika Karp

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