Meisa Salaita, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Science ATL
“As one of the executive directors of Science ATL, I have the lucky task of getting to attend lots of Atlanta Science Festival events. A few years ago, I walked into a lab space at GSU Perimeter College campus in Clarkston to find a bunch of families doing colorful chemical reactions. When I left, happy that our attendees were enjoying science, I stumbled into a line of kids waiting for their turn to enter the event, all students from The Fugees Academy in Clarkston, a school for refugees. I started talking to one of the children — a 15 year old boy named Abdullah who came here from Syria the year prior without knowing any English. I asked him if he liked science, and he told me that he didn’t have science in his grade at school.
I can’t describe what I felt in that moment knowing that our event was opening a door to this child who had faced so much hardship. We were helping him see the magic of science. His enthusiasm was palpable — he was so, so excited. Although it was just an hour or two in Abdullah’s life, to me, it was a potential beginning for him – an entry into the inspirational world of science. My heart feels full everytime I think about Abdullah and the fact that he is just one of tens of thousands of kids we see every year.”