Story by Tracey Jackson
“Forging to the Future,” the theme of the 2019 National Pine Forge Academy’s (PFA) Alumni Weekend, welcomed past students to the campus. Class of 1983 alumnus Lafayette Trawick (pictured, below) issued a challenge to “Move that Needle,” in hopes of inspiring others to give back to their alma mater.
At the Alumni Awards ceremony, the Class of 1983 gifted the PFA Science Department with a $5,000 donation. As a result, the Science Department was able to purchase needed lab supplies for students, as well as the financial support to attend the annual SciFest at Andrews University (AU) in Berrien Springs, Mich.
At SciFest, themed “Light,” students from PFA and Potomac Conference’s Takoma Academy (TA) traveled together. They engaged in various STEM activities, toured the campus and participated in the Science Quiz Bowl. There they reconnected with two PFA alumni, now both STEM majors at AU: Marcel Mattox (’19), majoring in Graphic Design, and Patrick Minor, Jr. (’19), majoring in Aviation. To top it off, every PFA student who attended SciFest received a scholarship to attend AU. Students from the PFA and TA Anatomy and Physiology classes later attended the Cadaver Lab at Penn State Berks (Pa.).
Students toured the campus and spoke to professors and current college students about their majors. Staff say it was a great experience to have both schools partner together to help encourage one another toward STEM careers.
In late 2019, the National Pine Forge Academy Alumni Association continued its support for the Academy’s Science Department by launching a campaign, recognized as “Giving Tuesday.” Accordingly, the association raised more than $200,000 in order to complete a total renovation of PFA’s science labs.
“Faculty, staff, students and parents say they are thankful for the dedication and hard work of everyone who donated to the cause,” says Khandi Cooper, chair of the Science Department. “PFA hopes they can continue their partnership with TA and the Alumni Association to inspire more students to become future scientists.”