January 21, 2014  

Saturday Science Academy II 14th Annual Junior White Coat Ceremony Celebrates Students’ Commitment to Science, Technology, Math

K-12 students in South Los Angeles Honored with a Symbolic Doctor’s Coat

This weekend, the 14th Annual Junior White Coat Ceremony and Reception honored over 150 students who completed a 24 week program in the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science Saturday Science Academy II (SSAII), a program that encourages K-12 South Los Angeles students to excel in math, science and technology and pursue careers in the health professions. Graduates’ families gathered at King/Drew Medical Magnet High School to celebrate as graduates received a white lab coat, a universal symbol of the medical profession typically given at the beginning of medical school. 

Under the direction of Lorraine Grey, the SSA II gathering was attended by hundreds of parents, dignitaries including hosts Pat Prescott from The WAVE, and Senator Roderick Wright.

“I’ve been attending Saturday Science Academy since I was in PreK  . . . now I am getting A’s in all my classes,” said 6th grade SSA II participant Alayna Bowman. “Thank you to my parents and teachers, my fellow classmates at SSA II, but especially Miss Grey, for making me successful.”

“The White Coat Ceremony honors the start of our students’ path to become health professionals,“ said Dr. David M. Carlisle, President and CEO of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.  “From experienced doctors to aspiring doctors, CDU is proud to participate in this affirming celebration for the students and their families.”
The Saturday Science Academy II, sponsored by Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science for more than 20 years, is dedicated to providing minority youth with exposure to the fields of math and science disciplines.  This rigorous academic program is designed to foster knowledge, self-esteem, discipline, positive study habits, confidence and the encouragement to succeed. 

For inquiries about the event and program, please contact: Lorraine Grey, Director, Saturday Science Academy II, 323-563-5901.

For more information, please contact:
  Jessica Gelzer
(w) 323.892.2080 (c) 818.399.4088




About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals. CDU has earned designation as a minority-serving institution by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, and its College of Medicine is recognized by the Department of Education as a Historically Black Graduate Institution. The University is also a charter member of the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools. CDU is recognized as a leader in translational and health inequities research, specifically with respect to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health, and HIV/AIDS. The CDU/UCLA medical program was named the “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians by the Greenlining Institute. For more information, visit


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A Private University with a Public Mission

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