Adolescent Health

Get to Know Stephanie Buggs

April 5, 2024

Growing up in Oakland, California, Stephanie Buggs witnessed and experienced disparities in education from a very young age, instilling in her a mission to make quality education more accessible. Later, while serving as a Teach for America educator, Buggs experienced challenges including such as large class sizes and lack of resources. She spent her free time organizing field trips, collaborating with universities for laboratory experiences, and developing STEM career days.

In 2019, while working for Baltimore City Schools, Buggs decided to pursue her MPH degree through the Bloomberg American Health Fellowship program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Buggs was a unique candidate for the Bloomberg Fellowship, bringing with her a deep knowledge of the impact school system preparedness and resource availability has on students' overall development. 

As a Bloomberg Fellow, Buggs had the opportunity to share her knowledge and expand her network. The opportunities to engage with other Fellows, share insights, and explore her interests through her capstone project, which focused on addressing a crucial gap in students' access to internships and career development opportunities, allowed for an immensely impactful graduate school experience. 

“What I enjoy most about being a Bloomberg Fellow is the sense of being part of a community of intentional lifelong learners committed to making a positive impact,” says Buggs. “This fellowship provides not only support but also invaluable resources and opportunities for collaboration that enrich my journey as a professional.”

Now Buggs serves as the STEM Education Program Manager at The Tech Interactive where she supports the expansion of The Tech Challenge regionally in California and in Kenya. The Tech Challenge is an engineering design challenge in which teams of students in Grades 4-12 develop solutions to a real-world problem. Teams, made up of students that have been historically under-represented in STEM fields, document every step of their process including testing, brainstorming, and most importantly what they learn through experimentation and failure.

Looking to the future, Buggs hopes to continue to expand the Tech Challenge program, increase equity in the STEM field, and expand access to STEM opportunities for all students through developing partnerships in communities in her region.

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