Thurman Roberts gets scholarship to youth summit
Thurman Roberts, a senior at Douglas High School, earned a scholarship to attend the Ryan White AIDS Foundation National Youth Summit in February and presented what he learned at the summit at a Tobacco-Free Community Potluck and Raffle at the community firehouse in Alpine County last month.
Roberts was also selected to attend the 23rd annual California Indian Education and Youth Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., April 13-15, but was unable to attend because he was in a track meet the same weekend.
Roberts has been accepted at Cal Poly, where he will major in engineering; however, he said he would like to continue on to Humboldt State University and go into the teaching program. He would like to be a teacher and counselor and also coach track. He has been a member of the DHS track team since he was a freshman.
Thurman was nominated for the Ryan White AIDS Foundation scholarship by Kate McCartney, director of the Woodfords Indian Education Center and Toni Hall, the HIV/AIDS community outreach worker for the Alpine County Health Department.
According to McCartney, Roberts has demonstrated leadership since he was a small boy. He was middle school student of the year at Diamond Valley School and recently team leader for the Statewide Youth Indian Leadership Project, where he and his team developed, organized and presented their own health education curriculum to Native American 7th and 8th graders at DVS.
According to Hall, who interviewed Roberts after his return from the Ryan White conference, the DHS senior is eager to impart knowledge he learned in St. Louis, saying that AIDS is increasing in incidence among young adults and youths of color.
Prevention to control the spread of the virus was one of the major topics discussed at the conference.
“We need young people with communications skills and a devotion to their communities to continued to spread the word about this disease,” she said.
She said Roberts hopes to educate people and help them realize that though Alpine County is small, HIV can affect people in the area as easily as it does in bigger communities.