2014 Archives

SMU STEMPREP student helps deliver niece at highway rest stop

Excerpt

The following is from the Sept. 30, 2014, edition of The (Wilmington) News Journal. Kennedy Smith has spent the last two summers at SMU as one of 100 seventh and eighth grade students participating in the STEMPREP program.

Kennedy Smith
Kennedy Smith with her new niece.

From SMU News:

Kennedy Smith says she has always been known as the calm one in her family.  Her reputation is secure after Sunday morning, when the 14-year-old delivered her sister's baby in the car alongside I-95 in Delaware. The baby, Karter Zoe Marcus, and mom, Kelsey Marcus, are fine. And Kennedy is on track for a career in medicine.

Smith, of Middleton, Deleware, has spent the last two summers at SMU as one of 100 seventh and eighth grade students participating in the STEMPREP program, which mentors minority students interested in science careers.  

STEMPREP recruits bright, science-minded minority middle school students throughout the United States for the two-summer classroom phase of the STEMPREP project, then provides high school students with summer opportunities at research labs.

“Being in this program empowers students,” says Charles Knibb, STEMPREP director of academic affairs, an SMU research professor and a former surgeon.

The program, based at SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, boasts an impressive success rate. One hundred percent of STEMPREP project students who finish the program attend college and 83 percent go on to graduate school to become physicians, pharmacists, dentists, researchers or engineers.

After two summers at SMU, students in grades 9 through 12 are ready to work as summer research interns at laboratories at universities, the National Institutes of Health and private industry, with careful mentoring all along the way. Last summer, STEMPREP high school and college students completed internships in research laboratories in Bethesda, Philadelphia, Vancouver and Dallas.

"I've always loved science and math," Smith said. "But seeing that I can remain calm under pressure, I think I could make a living as a doctor."

To apply to the program, click here.

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October 7, 2014

By Terri Sanginiti
The News Journal

WILMINGTON, Del. — Little Karter Zoe Marcus couldn't wait to get to the hospital.

The baby girl made her dramatic entrance to the world in the front seat of her grandmother's Lexus about 7:30 a.m. Sunday as her grandmother, Kellie Ann Smith, was barreling up I-95 near Newark toward Christiana Hospital with mother-to-be Kelsey Marcus.

The baby, weighing in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce, was far from impatient. She was actually due on Sept. 20, but wasn't ready to come out, Smith said.

"We were scheduled to bring her into the hospital at 9 p.m. to be induced," she said.

But Marcus, 21, woke up early Sunday in a lot of pain. Then her water broke.

"We were able to get her in the car and got her down 896 when Kelsey said she felt the baby's head coming out," Smith said. "We weren't sure if it was the baby, or if she was just scared."

As Smith entered northbound I-95 from Del. 896, Kelsey told her that she was trying not to push, "'but I have to,'" Smith said.

Marcus was in the frontseat and her younger sister Kennedy was in the backseat coaching Marcus and calming Smith as she drove.

"Everyone was going crazy, so someone had to stay calm and keep everything together," Kennedy said. "Ten minutes after my sister's water broke, the baby came."

Kellie Smith said Kennedy called 911 and they pulled over into the Delaware Welcome Center on I-95. By that time, the baby was fully delivered.

"Once the head came out, Kelsey pulled the rest of the baby out," Smith said.

Dispatchers at the 911 center walked Kennedy through the next process of tying off the baby's umbilical cord and wiping the baby's mouth.

Fortunately, Kelsey had brought her hospital bag and her sister grabbed the necessary items.

Kennedy used her own shoelace and did as she was told by dispatchers to go 6 inches down and tie it off, Smith said. In the event she wasn't wearing shoes with laces, Kennedy said she was prepared to use the string from her hooded sweatshirt.

After the hectic childbirth, the two sisters talked to the new arrival and cuddled her.

County paramedics then arrived, assessed the infant and mother, and took them to Christiana Hospital, agency spokesman Sgt. Michael McColley said.

"We don't know what we would have done if Kennedy wasn't in the car keeping us calm," Smith said. "It was scary."

Kennedy Smith, 14, who attends Appoquinimink High School, was nominated for homecoming queen the night before, then slept on the floor in Marcus's room after her sister said she wasn't feeling well.

"It's all just settling in," Smith said of her younger daughter. "She's a little exhausted ... she did a lot of work."

Kennedy, an honor student, has plans to enter the medical field. This summer, she studied at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is scheduled to study next summer at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I'm very protective of my niece," Kennedy said. "The baby has the cutest chubby cheeks and a full head of hair."

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