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Mentors and Help Needed for High School Biotech Research

C. S. Prakash prakash at Tusk.Edu
Thu Jul 9 15:49:18 EST 1998

Dear Friends:

I am posting this message on behalf of an extraordinary high school
student, Mark Grishaj <Pregri at aol.com>, who is promoting research in
biotechnology among high school students in the New York area. He has
started RAYS foundation which is seeking help from established scientists
and labs in the form of mentorship, protocols, reagents and used equipment.

I believe this is a worthwhile cause to train the next generation of
scientists and urge you to please consider providing whatever support you
can.  Those of you in the NY-NJ area of US could also assist them by being
mentors.  Please see the following letter (abridged by me) and the website
mentioned for more details.


One of the main objectives of our organization is to get research
mentors.  Of course, it is a bit hard for our students to travel out to you,
but hopefully you can tell us some of your peers in our closer NY or NJ area
who may be willing to help us.  We are also wondering if you have any
protocols or books on biotechnological procedures.  This would help students
who are hoping to do research.  Also, coming from the lab where I did my
research, American Cyanamid (AHP), I know that most laboratories have
materials and equipment which is no longer being used by the lab because it
has been replaced by newer models or for whatever reason.  We would be hoping
to collect such materials so that students might be able to do some of the
experiments within our facilities.  One of the things we are hoping to get for
our facilities is an autoclave.  Even the small things such as micropipetors
will be helpful if possible.  If you can help us out in any of the ways above,
we would be very grateful.  We understand that these are hard requests to
accommodate, yet we hope that you will try as hard as you can to help us out
in our organizations cause.
	Remember that your efforts will be helping college bound students
to become heavily involved in science.  These are students which may not
have become involved in science had it not been for the effort put in by
people like
yourself who are out there and willing to help!  We thank you very much!
	As for my activities...  I hadn't been too heavily involved in
anything too much until last year when I discovered the ability I had to do
Since then, I had won some distinctions and recognition, yet all of my current
day activities are 100% science oriented!  I had been named a finalist in the
Westinghouse Science Talent Search (which took me to Washington, DC).  I have
been named a first place winner in the Junior Science and Humanities
symposium, and a Finalist for the National Junior Science and Humanities
Symposium (which took me to Albuquerque, New Mexico).  I was first place in
the Tri-County Science and Technology fair, and First place in the STANYS
science fair.  I was leader of my schools Science Research Team, and now just
a high school graduate.  I was flown to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to take part
in the American Academy of Achievement's "Banquet of the Golden Plate" at
which I came to meet very extraordinary American Achievers and famed
Scientists.  I have been given a full scholarship to NYU for my science
endeavors (as well as room/board, and a research stipend).  I was given a
full scholarship to SUNY Stony Brook (a science oriented school) and I have
also gotten a presidential scholarship to Manhattanville college.  I was
given the Principals medal at my school (the most coveted high school
award).  I also take courses in advanced levels of study (especially in the
sciences).  Lastly, I am the Founder and President of the RAYS foundation.
The organization is the reason I have been trying to collect all of the
funding and lab equipment.  What I ask all the people to understand is that
I am doing this not for myself, there is nothing I can gain from this
organization as a high school graduate.  I merely seek to help other
students who are eager to learn science in a different way to achieve the
way I did, and experience the wonders I have.  I just want to help out!!
This organization is necessary!!
	Once, again, I thank you beyond words can ever say for your helping
me out with this organization!  Hopefully, this organization will grow into
something bigger than it is now, and be a model for other school districts!
I am a firm believer that the American education system can be improved,
and that we can change the statistics for American education, and the RAYS
foundation is a part of what can change that!  If all goes well with this
organization, we can
move it to other school districts, and really get our schools moving again in
the sciences, and I am thrilled to be a part of helping others see the wonder
of science in the real world!!

Thank you once again, and I hope to hear from you soon!!  Thank you!!

Mark Grishaj
16 Dixwell Road
New City, New York 10956

phone number (914)-638-3064.
fax (914)-638-0751
e-mail Pregri at aol.com

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