Katie Heath, a Junior Fellow at The PuLSE Institute, Detroit’s anti-poverty think tank, has been accepted at Duke University where she will be studying this fall in the next phase of an impressive academic and community journey. Heath plans to explore science and technology and social change. A senior at Bloomfield Hills High School, Heath joined the Junior Fellows Program of the Institute in 2018, where she has been focusing on the complexities of STEM disparities and its impact on poverty-stricken communities.
At the Institute, Heath who has a penchant for social justice causes participated in leadership development training programs as well as contributed to the debate around STEM inequality. She pushed for the need to support more students of color who are underserved in STEM education prepare for a technological future.
“As a Junior Fellow at PuLSE, I am learning that not only is it important to participate in a civilized dialogue to effect change, but it is equally important to take action to initiate change. In my short time as a passionate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education advocate and community organizer, I have learned that both strategies are more impactful with commonly shared goals and understanding,” Heath wrote last year about the impact of The PuLSE Institute. “The time is now to harness the power of the younger generation guided by the principles of civil disobedience to demand change in this unjust disparity. High school students like me have the determination and ability to make positive change not by humiliation but by respectful action—aggregating caring community members through PuLSE and sharing action steps for sustaining the change we want to see.”
In a recommendation letter The PuLSE Institute sent to Duke University last year making the case for Heath’s admission, the Institute’s editor-in-chief Bankole Thompson wrote, “In addition to her passion for STEM education, Katie is a tenacious and diligent individual who is always prepared for the task demanded of her and always willing to volunteer beyond what is required. Most of all, she is a very compassionate human being who is trust worthy and would be an asset to any organization that is seeking to foster leaders of the future.”
Thompson, who chairs the Institute’s Academy of Fellows which oversees the Junior Fellows Program added, “At a time when STEM education is at the crucible of the global economic frontiers, it will be of tremendous value for Duke University to have a student like Katie who has shown a selfless and tenacious desire to work for the greater good of our communities.”
Tina M. Patterson, Esq, the president and director of research at The PuLSE Institute, said Heath is an example of the work the Institute does in empowering the next generation of anti-poverty champions.
“At The PuLSE Institute, the investment in our Junior Fellows as they make their way into the world as young adults goes beyond the reach of the program. We closely follow their trajectory and help harness and develop their skills and resources outside the classroom, so a myriad of options await them as they graduate from high school,” Patterson said. “This is why we are proud of the recent announcement of our Junior Fellow, Katie Heath, for her acceptance to Duke University, one of the leading academic institutions in the nation. Katie has demonstrated not only scholarly achievement, but also community commitment and civic-mindedness in her work here as a Junior Fellow. We look forward to developing even more young leaders to advance to the nation’s leading institutions and beyond.”
For her part, Heath in an email announcing her admission to Duke University wrote, “I have learned so much from The PuLSE Institute and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve.”