An extension of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program, Destination Future recently teamed up with the Orange County Biotech Education Partnership to host the first-ever Biotech day at Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The event raised awareness about the emerging field of biotechnology and the variety of career paths it offers young students. OC Biotech is comprised of staff from five local community colleges who collaborate on Tiered Biotechnology Certificate Programs. Danielle Alarid, OC Biotech internship coordinator, kicked off the session by informing matches about countless internship and job opportunities. In addition, there is an overwhelming need for qualified applicants to fill positions in Southern California.
Matches were given a hands-on lesson on how to utilize lab techniques such as pipetting, DNA extraction and gel electrophoresis.
“The organizers and volunteers were outstanding in making the teens feel competent, capable and interested in each activity,” said Big Sister Bridget.
After matches learned to isolate DNA from a strawberry, they analyzed it with loading gel to view unique patterns. This process is commonly used to identify paternity, disease affliction and crime scene evidence. Big Sister Tania said her Little Sister Gabriela left the open house with a newfound perspective on her future. She plans on helping Gabriela apply for OC Biotech’s annual CSI camp next summer.