Camden Students Represent School In Delaware Valley Science Fair

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – When you walk down the streets of Camden, it’s easy to see why the city is in need of a transformation.

Blighted homes line many streets and struggling families are quick to tell their stories about living in a city with one of the worst crime rates in the country.

“You see people selling drugs around, it’s not a good view,” said 14-year-old Nikawri Silverio.

That view, that has stunted the growth of some, has pushed others to go beyond expectations. Silverio and classmate Tatiana Padilla aren’t letting their environment determine how far they will go in life. Both girls are on the honor roll. As freshmen, they’re already taking physics at Leap Academy University Charter High School in Camden.

Recently, they won first and second places in a local science fair and went on to represent their school, for the first time, in the Delaware Valley Science Fair. Padilla took home an honorable mention award for her project on Blood vs. Velocity.

“I work hard for that,” said Padilla. “I never quit.”

Quitting is not an option for Silverio either. She got choked up as she explained that her mother, who was recently in a car accident and couldn’t make the science fair, is her biggest supporter.

Watch the video…

“She said I got to be strong,” said Silverio. “She’s always there for me and telling me, you got to keep going. Don’t let them hurt you. Don’t let them be an influence for you.”

Another person who has been there to help and to inspire both students is physics teacher Dr. Sreeya Sreevatsa.

“The bar is set really high now that we know we can win,” said Dr. Sreevatsa. “We want to go a step further.”

“A lot of people look down on you,” said Padilla. “It’s like, oh, you’re from Camden and they got a lot of gangs and you’re not going to go anywhere. I use that as support and encouragement.”

Reported by Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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One Comment

  1. paul moore says:


    Paul “Earthquake” Moore’s
    12th Annual Weekend of Peace
    Motorcycle Ride and Roller Skating Party

    Peace will be the major focus for one special weekend next month when area motorcyclists, roller skaters and special guests once again join Paul “Earthquake” Moore at his 12th annual Weekend of Peace, from May 20-22, 2011.

    All residents are invited to attend the events – a motorcycle ride, roller skating party and church service -Moore said he designed to bring peace to Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and raise money for bullet proof vests for members of the 12th Police District Chaplains Program.

    The opening activities are from 5-7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20, 2011, at the Elmwood Skating Rink, 71st Street and Grays Avenue, where youth and those young at heart are invited to skate for peace. The following morning at 11 a.m., members of the State Burners Motorcycle Club joined by Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen Johnson and other special guests will line up at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue for a symbolic trek up North Broad Street to Cheltenham Avenue. The idea, Moore said, is to cover Philadelphia from one end to the other, in a quest for peace.

    Once the bikers reach Cheltenham Avenue, the group will turn around and motorcade back to the stadium area. A reception will follow the ride at the State Burners’ Motorcycle Club House, in the 5200 block of Woodland Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. Bikers from throughout the Greater Philadelphia area are expected to participate.

    The Weekend of Peace will close on Sunday with an 11 a.m. worship service and silent vigil at New Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. Moore is an associate pastor at New Fellowship, which holds its services at the Elmwood Skating Rink while their new church is being constructed. The service is for Philadelphia Police officers killed in the line of duty and to their families.

    “The deaths of those men and women in blue, and of other Philadelphia citizens, are grim reminders to all that gun violence must end,” said Moore.

    In addition, a wreath will be on display at the skating rink along with the urn of an anonymous person killed in a senseless act of violence. Moore said he hoped that these bold reminders will make children and young adults see what can happen by choosing to behave violently.

    A donation will be collected when entering the Elmwood Skating Rink on Friday, however there is no fee for less fortunate kids.

    Donations are encouraged to help buy the vests or support Weekend of Peace activities. For information please contact Paul “Earthquake” Moore at P.O. Box 5323, Phila., PA 19142, call him at (215) 385-2696 or reach him by email at

  2. Anonymous says:

    LEAP Academy is a dog and pony show. Demand to see their most recent student test scores, see WHICH colleges that “100% of their graduates attend”, and keep an eye on how many teachers go in & out of their revolving door. Top heavy on administration and a fattening tick on Rutgers-Camden. If you could only get a video of what really goes on inside that place, the illusion of charter schools would implode! LOL

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