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Foundational Updates October 2019

October 17, 2019

GSSM is on the road!

GSSM's newest initiative, GSSM Elementary, is on the move! The STEAM bus launched this year in Hartsville and Darlington County thanks to the generous support of The Byerly Foundation. Next year, it will travel the state, bringing hands-on, standards-based activities to elementary schools across South Carolina. The inside of the bus has been transformed into a modular science lab, complete with computers, a Lego wall, a 3-D printer, and a YUMI robot. Check out the bus in action!

The 2019 Townes Award: Honoring the Students & Graduates of GSSM

GSSM and the GSSM Foundation honored GSSM students and alumni with the 2019 Townes Award during "Transforming Lives," the 26th annual Townes Award Celebration, on Wednesday, September 25.

Named for Dr. Charles H. Townes, South Carolina native and Nobel Laurate in physics, the Townes Award is presented annually to honor individuals, businesses, or institutions that have transformed South Carolina and the world.

An alumni representative from each of the three decades of GSSM’s history, along with a current student, addressed attendees and shared their own stories of how GSSM transforms lives.

Shiva Vafai Hodges, Class of 1991 and now a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, described finding her place as a student, not just a number, when she arrived at GSSM. Her decision to attend GSSM was the transformative event in her life, because it gave her the opportunity to walk side by side with the best.

Marcus McLaughlin, Class of 2004, realized during his time at GSSM that his childhood love of video games could translate into a career in computer science. He is now Head of Engineering at Amitree in San Francisco, CA. He credits his ability to learn from failure and keep moving forward to his GSSM experience.

Reilly Kilpatrick, Class of 2014, is pursuing a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies at MUSC in Charleston, SC. She considers her two years at GSSM an incubator for personal growth. The opportunities she had at GSSM gave her a more defined sense of character, confidence, humility, an appreciation for people, and a fascination with science.

Patricio Ortiz, Class of 2020 and Student Body President, described his journey at GSSM as one of maturity, responsibility, and learning to grow as a person. The research experience, global Interim trips, mentorship of professors, specialized classes, strong friendships, and supportive community have all contributed to his success.

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