KQED documentary on youth program

A documentary about the experiences of high school students involved in the Stanford Medical Youth Science Program will air at 5 p.m., Oct. 23, on KQED-TV.

"Opportunity of a Lifetime," is a 30-minute film about a diverse group of teenagers who take part in SMYSP, a five-week summer program on the Stanford campus that provides hands-on training in science and medicine. Participants are from low-income backgrounds, and many credit SMYSP with giving them the confidence and skills to apply to college and pursue scientific and health-related careers. Each year SMYSP enrolls 24 students from northern and central California.

The program was established in 1988 by Marilyn Winkleby, PhD, associate professor of medicine, who along with her colleagues has tracked the students' progress. With the exception of 32 students still in high school, every one of SMYSP's 405 alumni has earned a high school diploma, and all but four have attended college. Of those who attend a four-year college, more than 50 percent go on to complete medical or graduate school.

The show was produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Abby Ginzberg, whose subjects often include positive alternatives for at-risk youth.