Recent Press

Aspirnaut at Vanderbilt University

Dear KIPP Delta Team and Family,

Courtney Beckwood is a rising senior at KIPP Delta Collegiate High School.  This past fall, he was the first person in his family to score college ready on the ACT.  Courtney hopes to become a biomedical engineer.  Martha Darnall is a graduating senior at KIPP Delta Collegiate High School.  She will be the first in her family to go to a four-year college.  Martha hopes to become a pharmacist and return to the Arkansas Delta after graduating.  Courtney and Martha believe they will be able to accomplish their career aspirations thanks in part to their participation in Aspirnaut at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.  Working among the very best scientists, doctors, and researchers, Martha and Courtney will make scientific discoveries this summer that will be used to treat kidney disease and broaden their scientific knowledge.

These are the stories of just two of the four students who have been accepted to the Vanderbilt Aspirnaut program this year.   For the last five years, KIPP Delta students have participated in the Aspirnaut program.  For eight weeks, our students have done breakthrough medical research using the most sophisticated lab equipment available and completed their own independent work.  As a result of Aspirnaut, our students have become confident in their academic ability, have earned the highest ACT scores in their class, and have been accepted to top universities.  No other program provides us with the same consistent results.  Unfortunately, due to budget cuts in the federal government and limited grant funding, our students’ chances of attending are in danger. 

The cost to send one student to Aspirnaut is $5,000, but the opportunity is priceless.  It opens up new prospects to scholarships, colleges, and opportunities in science.  We have secured $11,000 in funding so far and need only to raise an additional $9,000 to send all four students to this program.  We ask you to consider making a gift to ensure that money is not an impediment to our students’ dreams.   One hundred percent of your donation will be used to fund this program for four aspiring students.

Thank you for being the change in these children’s lives. 


Scott Shirey
Executive Director

PDF icon Aspirnaut Funding Letter 2013.pdf

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Carissa Godwin
Chief of External Affairs