Romona's Kids: Teens look to the future through positive program - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Romona's Kids: Teens look to the future through positive program

Romona with Kaylah Deal, Stefan Lacy, Nichola McDowell, Henry Griffin & Janisha Cockrell (Source: WOIO) Romona with Kaylah Deal, Stefan Lacy, Nichola McDowell, Henry Griffin & Janisha Cockrell (Source: WOIO)
NSBE National Conference in California (Source: WOIO) NSBE National Conference in California (Source: WOIO)
NSBE National Conference in California (Source: WOIO) NSBE National Conference in California (Source: WOIO)
Students with the National Society of Black Engineers (Source: WOIO) Students with the National Society of Black Engineers (Source: WOIO)

Some local teens are already thinking about career goals and life after college, thanks to a group that gives them a taste of working in science, technology, engineering and math. We found these Romona's Kids in Cleveland.

Kaylah Deal, Stefan Lacy, Nichola McDowell, Henry Griffin and Janisha Cockrell are well on their way to amazing careers. They're all part of a program sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers.

NSBE's motto is "to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community."

Every Saturday, the teens head to Case Western Reserve University for hands-on activities that teach engineering concepts.

"We see engineering in a real-life setting and work with students and our advisers to get those communication skills necessary to be successful in the future," said Nichola McDowell. She was just awarded an eight-year scholarship to CWRU for both undergraduate and medical school. She plans to be a primary care physician.

Students can join the NSBE program even if they don't plan to be an engineer.

"I want to go to school to be a veterinarian," said Deal.

"I want to be a cardiologist and major in biochemistry at the University of Hawaii," said Lacy.

"I want to be a homicide detective," said Cockrell.

However, many of these students do want a career in the field.

"I figured I wanted to become an electrical engineer because I joined robotics when I was in ninth grade and we've been doing a lot of electrical engineering over there and I've been having fun with it," said Griffin.

The students give back to the community through a food drive. They also learn etiquette and networking.

"It's good to have contacts for the future, if you need any help in college or if you need advice," said Lacy.

The advisers say many of the students took the bus to CWRU every Saturday, even in snowstorms.

"Seeing those students trekking across the parking lot all smiles, I just admired them for coming through the weather," said adviser Ramona Lowery, MBA/MPA, Manager of Operation & Maintenance at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

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