August 31, 2017

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: D.C.’s TGR Learning Lab turns passion into purpose

TGR DC student Kyree Sampson learns video game design

Since the 6th grade, high school senior Kyree Sampson has been a fixture at the Parkside TGR Learning Lab in his hometown of Washington, D.C. For him, the learning lab has been a place where he’s been able to fuel his academic passions and pursue his love of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Over the years, Kyree’s taken courses in video game design, graphic design and engineering. He played a big role on the robotics team while he was in middle school and later went on to mentor the team when he began high school.

Kyree even took part in the foundation’s Summer Academy program, flying out twice to Anaheim, California, once while he was in middle school and once during high school. During those times, he had the opportunity to immerse himself in all things STEM. And now, with just a year left before he begins college, Kyree looks back at how the TGR Learning Lab shaped him.

DC student Kyree Sampson works on engineering project

The TGR Learning Lab is a great program. From learning how to build robots to small engineering projects, I never experienced a boring day. I always knew I liked math. I just didn’t see how it would get me somewhere. And that’s what the programs offered by the TGR Learning Lab did for me—they helped me see the big picture.

Kyree Sampson in middle school at the after-school program

During my middle school years, I participated in a variety of their after-school classes, each one more exciting than the next. It was through the learning lab that I also found my role model and mentor during that time.

Kyree Sampson work on robotics at the TGR Learning Lab in DC

Furthermore, the learning lab help me find my dream career. And just a few weeks ago, they helped me understand college admissions, through the College Bound Academy course. We talked about college types, how to obtain financial aid and scholarships, how to not get sucked into debt and what a good college student looks like.

Kyree learning S.T.E.M. curricula at the TGR Learning Lab

I learned so much being part of the TGR Learning Lab program and I’m so glad it has been part of my academic life over the years.

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