Today we're featuring Greg (L) and Tara (R). Both are scoopers at our Madrona shop, and spend their free time doing some pretty cool stuff. These two are working hard to make the world better one scoop at a time – through social work and science!
Q&A with Greg - scooper in Madrona
mm's: So we hear you're interning with Amara, a great organization that facilitates adoption for local families. What made you want to go into social work?
Greg: I am a freshman at Seattle University and I so far I've taken an intro class in social work. I was inspired to go into social work by my mom, who in her youth worked as a school social worker in inner city Chicago. Her stories about gang members and the changes that occurred in their lives made me feels as if I could effect some sort of change through social work.
mm's: What has your internship with Amara been like? What have you been doing?
Greg: I have worked at Amara Parenting since April and it has been a great experience. I do a variety of tasks such as drafting letters to people who want to know more about their birth families or drafting post placement of adoptive children that the social workers then review.
mm's: What are your hopes/dreams for the future?
Greg: In the future I hope to do social work in the field of adoptive services or drug counseling.
Q&A with Tara - scooper in Madrona
mm's: So, we hear you are doing some really cool stuff in the field of tissue reconstruction. What’s that all about?
Tara: It's definitely pretty complicated, and there are times when I need to have some of the concepts explained to me over and over again, but basically it’s a protein supplement (like whey protein) that doesn't cause fat gain and can target certain proteins. Basically, the proteins that our bodies produce are based on amino acid ratios. So, what this protein supplement attempts to do is add amino acids to a base supplement like whey that can allow for optimum production of certain proteins. It hasn't been approved as a patent yet, but if it does, I'm hoping that my research is correct in assuming that we could target proteins that could help with surgery recovery or skin proteins in burn patients.
mm's: So are you in school? How did you end up working on this project?
Tara: I'm graduating from Garfield High School in two weeks and I'm going to the Kilachand Honors College at Boston University next year! I just turned 18! Both my mom and my stepdad are scientists so I always hear them talking about their work and last year I took AP Biology, so I finally started to understand what they were saying. When we were working on our protein unit, I started asking my stepdad about protein supplements and how they work and then we looked into whether or not any protein supplement had been supplemented with more amino acids and they hadn't been and it just went from there. So, I spent last summer working on spreadsheets and calculating the ratios of amino acids and how much fat/protein/etc that they produce!
mm's: And this is the second patent you’ve worked on, right? Two patents is pretty darn awesome! What was your first patent for?
Tara: My other patent is a design patent and it’s for a font that I designed in middle school. It's a geometric font. I got really interested in handwriting in middle school after attending an exhibit on it and just started doodling different fonts.
mm's: So what made you want to go into medical research? Or is there something else you want to do?
Tara: Since my parents are both scientists, I've been surrounded by it for the majority of my life. While I love biology, I don't think I'm going to pursue it - at least not from the typical angle. I'm going into Boston U as a political science major and at this point I think I'd like to go to law school. I'm thinking of incorporating my love of biology in there somehow though - maybe by minoring in it and becoming an intellectual property attorney. I definitely think researching was a rewarding experience, but my favorite part of it was actually working with the patent attorneys and seeing everything that goes into filing for a patent.
mm's: Thanks Greg & Tara! You guys are awesome!