On March 9th, Rocco Scalzi visited the Honors Biology 2 classes at Great Valley High School, Malvern, PA to share with the students what inspired him to start the Beating the Odds Foundation 32 years ago. He spoke to the students about the importance of dreams and goals and finding their passion for their life career. Since 2017, Honors Biology students at Great Valley High School have been participating in this initiative with the Beating the Odds Foundation and the UPMC Brain Institute.
This year, there are 69 seniors enrolled in the course. The students learn about the history of the Beating the Odds Foundation and the partnership with the UPMC Brain Institute and the activities that previous students participated in. The course focuses on the foundations of neuroscience, motor systems, senses and behavior, and the development and evolution of the brain. The course offers many lab activities, tasks for greater understanding, science articles, videos, projects, book readings, and goal setting activities. Students revisit the goals throughout the year – highlighting the journeys of many who struggle with neurological disorders. Students also revisit their personal goals throughout the year as they complete their own journal.
Kathleen Crisi and Casey Rurode are the teachers who lead this initiative and inspire students every day to pursue their dreams and make a difference in their communities. In 2021, the Beating the Odds Foundation received a charitable donation from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America to support this initiative.