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Vital Signs:
Color Me Beautiful

Vermont is the whitest state in the U.S., so even school districts that would like to prepare youngsters for a more diverse society than exists in the Green Mountain State have a hard time doing so. Enter Dartmouth Medical School.


For the past three years, DMS students from various racial backgrounds have helped nearby Sharon, Vt., Elementary School celebrate "Diversity Day." One of this year's visitors was first-year student Sade Ajayi (pictured at left). An African-American who grew up in Michigan and Florida, she donned an African robe for the occasion. "Coming in contact with real people who represent other cultures helps demystify those cultures," explains Sharon principal Sheila Moran.

Shawn O'Leary in DMS's Office of Multicultural Affairs says another goal of the visits is to expose the youngsters to the possibility of studying medicine. And, he adds, this year "another benefit emerged. The few students of color at the elementary school had a special sense of connection" with the DMS visitors and "hung around after the performance to talk with our students."


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