Event Date: January 17, 2015  

The Saturday Science Academy II’s 15th Annual
Junior White Coat Ceremony January 17

K-12 students in CDU’s pipeline to medical careers honored with a symbolic doctor’s coat


As the Southland prepares to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the third weekend of January one event embodies his dream in action

On January 17, 2015, the 15th Annual Junior White Coat Ceremony and Reception will honor over 200 students who participated in the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU’s) Saturday Science Academy II (SSAII), a program that encourages K-12 South Los Angeles students to excel in science, technology, and math and pursue careers in the health professions. Families of the graduates will gather at 11 AM at King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, 1601 E. 120th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059, to celebrate as some of the students receive 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 will be attended by hundreds of parents, students, friends and dignitaries. MC’s will be KJLH personality Adai Lamar and Atty. Jaaye Person-Lynn, of the SSA II Dad’s Club. Tyrese Gibson, a long-time supporter, has been invited to speak and SSA II alumnus and former teacher, Rasheed Ivey, now a medical student at CDU, will deliver the keynote address. A reception will follow.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. longed to see children of all backgrounds playing and working together, and the Jr. White Coat Ceremony will showcase young African American, Latino, and other students who drive in from as far away as Orange County to participate in STEM education on their path to become health professionals, “said Dr. David M. Carlisle, President and CEO of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. “CDU is proud of the work of our pipeline program that pairs experienced health professionals with aspiring health professionals.”

A proud product of the CDU pipeline, Rasheed Ivey was chosen to be the Alumni Keynote speaker because since the 4th grade he was an SSA II student, he later became an SSA II teacher, and this year while he worked at CDU as a researcher, and he was accepted to CDU’s School of Medicine which includes studies at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine, not an easy feat.

And there are many more poised in the pipeline to follow his steps. “I’ve been attending the Saturday Science Academy II since I was in Pre-K. Now I am getting A’s in all my classes,” said 6th grade SSA II participant Alayna Bowman when she was a student speaker last year. “Thank you to my parents and teachers, my fellow classmates at SSA II, but especially Miss Grey, for making me successful.”

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science has sponsored the program for more than 20 years. It is not advertised because it has a waiting list each year even though almost 300 students enroll each year. In addition to the STEM courses, 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, at (323) 563-5901. For more information about CDU, visit




Isidra Person-Lynn,
Communications Specialist
323.563.5833 or 213.422.8707




About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,700 post-graduate physicians, more than 1,200 physician assistants, 450 nurses and hundreds of other health professionals. CDU’s mission is to conduct education, research and clinical services in the context of community engagement to train health professionals who promote wellness, provide care with excellence and compassion, and transform the health of underserved communities. For more information, visit .


1731 East 120th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059
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A Private University with a Public Mission

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