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This week’s installment of Moments That Matter comes from North Carolina Schweitzer Fellow Tammy Pham — a familiar face on this blog. This Wake Forest School of Medicine student partnered with the Center for Excellence in Research, Teaching, and Learning (CERTL) to create “Project Spark,” an innovative program aimed at encouraging students at Kimmel Farm Elementary to pursue careers in science and medicine.

Pham says:

One of the moments that stands out the most from my entire project revolves around one student from CERTL camp. When I first met him at camp, he just seemed like an athletic young boy who was a little reserved. Over the next two weeks he and I would discuss his different interests while talking about various science fields.

At the end of the week, his mother came up to me and said, “He used to want to be a NBA star and now he wants to be an electrical engineer!”

This moment was so rewarding to me because it showed that even for just a moment, I had made a difference in at least one student’s life. My goal was not to make all students ultimately choose science careers, but to provide the students with the knowledge to know what options are available in order to make an informed decision.

About Moments That Matter

Each year, approximately 200 Schweitzer Fellows across the U.S. commit themselves to creating and carrying out an intense yearlong service project that addresses unmet health needs — all on top of their typical graduate school responsibilities.

It’s an awe-inspiring commitment — and one that may at times seem thankless.

But for each Schweitzer Fellow, there are those sustaining moments — the moments when things “click,” and you have instant, inspiring proof that your Schweitzer project is making a difference that’s rippling outward. These, like the Moment above, are the Moments That Matter — and here at Beyond Boulders we are spotlighting them every Tuesday.