Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thurgood Marshall Academy hosted our 5th Annual Scholarship Day

Thurgood Marshall Academy hosted our 5th Annual Scholarship Day for seniors on Saturday, January 26th.  About 35 seniors attended and worked one-on-one with volunteers on scholarship applications.  About 35 volunteers also attended, many of whom are TMA mentors in the Mentor Program, TMA teachers, or tutors with the Law Firm Tutoring Program.

Seniors are required to complete five scholarship applications as part of their Senior Seminar course, and many of them were able to complete some if not all their applications during Scholarship Day. Hopefully all their hard work will pay off and they will receive money for college!

Students Plan Their Summers at the Summer Programs Fair

Thurgood Marshall Academy held our first annual Summer Programs Fair today after school on the half day. 

Students interested in applying for summer jobs, internships, and other programs came to the library to learn more about which programs were available.

Fifteen students from all grade levels attended the fair, including seniors Daymoni Guyton and Imani Scriber, who picked up applications for summer internships through Urban Alliance, the National Institutes of Health, and Smithsonian’s Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) program.

Did you miss the Summer Programs Fair? You can find out about all of our programs online at or by picking up a Summer Programs Manual in the Programs Office (Room 210). 

January Law Day

On Friday, January 25th, students attended their third Law Day program, in which 9th grade students travel to local law firms and learn about legal concepts from practicing attorneys! Half of the 9th grade class went to Hogan Lovells and the remaining students were split between Latham & Watkins and Foley & Lardner.

Students left TMA for their respective law firms at 12:30. Once they arrived at the law firms, students split into smaller groups and participated in a discussion on individual rights led by a few attorneys. The students learned how to discuss the basic individual rights protected by our legal system and understood that individual rights can come into conflict. For example, students were tasked with narrowing down the many rights afforded Americans and protected by the Constitution to the three rights that they believe are the most fundamental. Many groups agreed that the right not to be made a slave, the freedom of speech, and freedom of religion are some of our most important individual rights. Students also engaged in a role playing exercise, based off of an actually Supreme Court case, about protests at military funerals. Our students left this exercise with a strong knowledge of how the right to privacy, freedom of religion, right to peaceably assemble, and freedom of speech can sometimes come in conflict with one another.

Despite the cold and snow, the third law day was a great success. A special thanks to the chaperones and volunteers at the firms of Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins and Foley & Lardner!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The RoboWarriors Finish Strong in First Round of Competition!

The Thurgood Marshall Academy Robotics Team, the RoboWarriors, have completed their first round of qualifying matches.


Last Saturday, the team embarked on a journey that began with a 5:30am meeting in room 103. The few, the proud, and the brave (Demetria House, Kaneshia House, Stewart Gray, and Keneon Williams) walked in the dense morning fog to make it to TMA before heading to the US Naval Academy for robot inspection, panel presentations, robot re-inspection, and qualifying matches, accompanied by Vee Nguyen and LaRita Williams, team advisers.  

(The following students were not on the competition team but have worked to create the robot.

1. Jordan Morrison
2. Darren Moore
3. Eric Izzard
4. Carlos McKnight
5. Chris Ridout
6. Jasmin Thomas)
Please congratulate our Robotics team for winning 3 of 6 qualifying matches.  The final rank for the day was 10 out of 27, where those teams ahead of us were previous champions, including last year's world champions.  Our competition team remained strong even in the face of a 14 hour day (including traveling).  We walked in with a deficit as we were not prepared to have our robot run autonomously, but the team worked together between matches to make changes and improve the robot.  The students were in awe of the beauty of Annapolis and took some amazing pictures. 

Thanks to all who've supported our team this year!

Please congratulate our RoboWarriors for a job well done and stay tuned for details of the next competition on February 9, 2013.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

TMA Students Earn Summer Program Scholarships

This past semester, over 30 Thurgood Marshall Academy 10th and 11th grade students applied for OSSE Scholars, a free summer program sponsored by the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education. OSSE Scholars helps high-achieving high school sophomores and juniors to attend summer academic enrichment programs at some of the top-tier colleges in the country, including Boston University, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania.

TMA had over 2/3 of our eligible sophomores and juniors apply to OSSE Scholars this fall. Students submitted online applications, including a list of their classes, resume, and current transcripts, and interviewed with OSSE.

This year, Thurgood Marshall Academy had the highest number of applicants to OSSE Scholars out of all DC Public and Public Charter High Schools, and we were tied for the most acceptances (seven) out of any school. All seven TMA OSSE Scholars will receive free application help from OSSE, fee waivers for their summer programs, and have their program travel and housing covered through the program.

TMA’s OSSE Scholars are hard at work completing their final applications for these summer programs, which include writing personal statements, gathering recommendations from faculty, and choosing the courses they’ll take this summer! We wish them all the best as they get ready for their summers! 

Our 2013 OSSE Scholars are:

Lucas Dabney, 11th grade, who will be attending Syracuse University’s Summer College

Antione Fenwick, 11th grade, attending Cornell’s Summer College for High School Students

Stewart Gray, 11th grade, Stanford’s Summer at Stanford High School Summer College

Tanazia Matthews, 11th grade, attending Boston University’s Summer Challenge Program

Rushawna May, 10th grade, attending University of Pennsylvania’s Summer Academy

Sakina Musa, 10th grade, Northwestern University’s College Prep IN FOCUS Seminars

Cer'cia Wallace, 10th grade, attending Barnard College’s Summer in the City

December Mentor Day Recap

Our December Mentor Day was spent serving the community and reflecting on the things in our lives that we are most grateful for. To prepare for this mentor day, the students at Thurgood Marshall Academy participated in a school wide competition where students were encouraged to bring in donations of toiletries, socks, underwear, hats, scarves and similar items. In just two short weeks, the students at Thurgood Marshall Academy showed their spirit of giving by donating over 800 items to the Shoebox Gift Drive to be donated to the organization S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat). Of course we have to give special congratulations to the Senior Class for bringing in the most items for the drive!

The following Saturday, the Mentors and Mentees showed up with EVEN MORE items for the drive and prepared to get to work! Each team worked together to wrap, label and decorate shoeboxes, filled with essentials for a man, woman, or child. Teams also worked together to create Peppermint Christmas Tree centerpieces and snowflake wreaths to bring some holiday cheer to the Homeless Shelter at S.O.M.E.  Mentor teams posed for the camera at our Holiday Photo Booth and they also created picture frames using old school Popsicle sticks and Elmer’s Glue. The day was truly filled with holiday cheer, hard work and gratitude for all that we have and are able to do.

In total, we donated 77 Holiday Shoe Boxes, 23 Peppermint Christmas Tree Centerpieces and 20 Snowflake wreathes. We also donated 4 large bags of clothes, several bags of extra toiletries and supplies, but most of all, we delivered the message that people care about the Homeless in our city.  Thurgood Marshall Academy and the Mentor Program definitely made a tremendous impact this holiday season!