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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Jeter’s Leaders’ Return to NIH - Teens Team Up with NIH Scientists to Explore the Developing Brain

For Derek Jeter and his New York Yankees teammates, the dog days of summer usually mean it’s time to make another run at the pennant. But for Jeter’s Leaders—the baseball star’s teen outreach program—it’s time for another road trip to NIH. For over a decade, NIAAA has arranged site visits to Bethesda for the group. Recently, nearly 100 high schoolers from Michigan and New York came to campus to meet NIH scientists and to explore research on alcohol and the developing brain.

It was the largest contingent of participants to date, according to NIAAA public liaison officer Fred Donodeo. He started the collaboration in 2001 with a call to the Turn 2 Foundation, Jeter’s charity organization. The leadership program promotes social activism, academics and healthy lifestyles free of alcohol and substance use.

The students enjoyed a full day of science-based activities and presentations. Donodeo led things off with an NIH overview, followed by a Clinical Center tour with Greg Roa. Dr. Dan Falk from NIAAA’s Division of Treatment and Recovery Research led a question-and-answer session with the group.

Next, the students watched videos on underage drinking and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Then Donodeo threw the high schoolers a change-up: he challenged them to record their own short videos about what they had learned. “Everyone had a lot of fun in front of the camera and many of the kids did an impressive job voicing the importance of healthy choices,” said Donodeo.   > > > >   Read More