GapBuster, Inc. Fall Newsletter
Autumn 2013

Hello and Happy Autumn! As we reflect on the summer and beginning of the school year, let's look at what's to come in the following months, as the holiday season inches closer...


We'd like to thank the dedicated parents, educators and volunteers for a successful start to the 2013-2014 school year and their efforts in bringing students into the GapBuster fold. College application deadlines are approaching, and through activities such as our College Tour and SAT preparation, we hope to see students heading off for university next fall.


In This Issue
GapBuster 2013 College Tour
Enlightenment Bike Shop Re-opens
NSBE, Volunteers and Afterschool Activities
Tutoring & New Faces
Upcoming Community Events
GapBuster students at Winston-Salem University

GapBuster is happy to announce a successful and productive 2013 college tour, with eye-opening experiences and exciting prospects for our students' futures.


Students embarked on a six-day college tour throughout the South, with stops in Virginia, the Carolinas, Atlanta and Miami. The colleges visited by GapBuster included the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Central University, Winston-Salem University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Emory University, Clark Atlanta University, University of Miami and Florida International University.


The southern setting for this year's college tour afforded participants a sampling of institutions, from the University of Richmond, a classic liberal arts college nestled in the Virginian woods, to the University of Miami, where students walked on paths surrounding lakes with crocodile warnings. Each college was a unique experience and through daily reflections, the trip-goers were able to identify what they liked and disliked about schools, and learned their own tastes and preferences.


Several students said they had found their "dream school," calling "see you next year!" to future classmates as the group walked down the sidewalk.


At each information session and tour, students gained a better understanding of what college academics and daily life were like, as well as criteria they would need to meet to be admitted to schools. While some students balked at the challenges of college life, such as the size of dorm rooms, others were energized by the opportunities afforded through studying at a university. Every student felt encouraged by the choices available to them, and by the opportunities that are within their reach.


This year's college tour provided students with a clearer picture of college life, and determination to accomplish their high school and GED studies as they approach the next step in their education. We encourage high school-aged students from all schools to join us next year!

Student Manager Noe Flores

On October 9, GapBuster along with its community partners held a grand reopening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Enlightenment bike shop in the CEP building in Riverdale, MD. GapBuster is happy to forge new ties in the community along with strengthening longstanding partnerships, so we were grateful for the participation of Proteus Bicycles, Community Forklift, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 21006, and the University of Maryland Bike Shop.


Students, Bike Shop Managers and GapBuster staff had been working diligently for weeks leading up to the reopening, cleaning and restoring the shop to working order. The ceremony marked a new chapter in GapBuster's offerings to the community, and further cemented the CEP as a true Center for Partnerships.


We were so happy to have members from each of our partnerships present to speak, as well as Rub� Nicol� P�rez-Howard (Miss Central America Belleza Latina 2013, Youth Leader for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Former Youth Nutrition Educator for University of Maryland Extension, EFNEP), Bike Shop Managers Yostin Huerta and Noe Flores (students at Parkdale High School), and UMD Director of Community Engagement Gloria Aparicio-Blackwell.


GapBuster is always accepting donations of bikes, helmets and related gear, so feel free to call or stop by our offices!


Photos from the event and of students and volunteers cleaning the shop can be found here!


GapBuster has participated in NSBE Jr. activities for years, and 2013 is no exception! We are stationed in Wheaton High School and Sligo Middle School for afterschool activities for teens, though we are revving up students at our Prince George's County center with the Nascar Ten80 challenge, which we hope to bring to competitions.


NSBE Jr. focuses on enhancing the education received by African-American and other minority pre-college students, as well as influencing these students to become tomorrow's corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and leaders. In this spirit, NSBE Jr. is the quintessential recruitment, teaching, and preparation device for the NSBE. 


On Friday, November 8, GapBuster students from Sligo Middle School, Wheaton High School, Parkdale High School and Bladensburg High School will travel to Charlotte, NC for the Region 2 NSBE Convention and tri-mathalon. Students will be competing in the NSBE Jr. NASCAR challenge.


The Ten80 Student Racing Challenge: NASCAR STEM Initiative™ is a league in which middle and high school students practice the art of being professionals. Young men and women, supported by a community of mentors and educators, collaborate and compete in ways that mirror business & marketing executives, engineers, technicians, green transportation designers and professional motorsports teams.


Middle and High School Students in grades 9-12 will compete using electric radio controlled (RC) cars to create products and work together in ways that parallel the arduous preparation of NASCAR teams in the weeks, months and years leading up to each race. Student teams showcase their work and compete over the internet, locally and nationally in categories including project management, race engineering, aerodynamic design, alternative energy, creative engineering and graphic design.


The purpose of the NSBE NASCAR Ten80 competition is to increase Black students' capabilities when preparing for advanced and college prep classes for high school. It will allow them to get a jump start on college academics and critical thinking to aid in his or her development as a future engineer.


We are still accepting students into our NSBE Jr. chapters and onto our NASCAR teams. Volunteers are also welcome. Please call our office at 301-779-4252 if interested.




When one blue drop is placed into clear water, there is very little visible change. Only when multiple blue drops are placed in the water will you begin to see change.


Students from the Blue Drop Initiative at the University of Maryland have visited GapBuster's CEP center for several months for mentorship and group activities. Blue Drop guides at-risk middle school and high school youth by providing peer-led mentoring on positive relationships and helpful everyday skills. From the first day's icebreaking activities to frank discussions about life, Blue Drop is a popular activity for our students and a relationship with the UMD community that we are pleased to foster.


Our blue drops represent positivity in the world. We are the blue drops.




Starting January 11th, 2014, GapBuster will host our annual Peer Health Educator program. This program, which began in 2004, is geared towards addressing the need for comprehensive health education and HIV prevention in the Metro DC area. 


Between 2004 and 2012, GapBuster partners trained Peer Educators who facilitated workshops for safe sex and abstinence throughout the Metro area. At the same time, GapBuster Inc., working in conjunction with the United States Embassy in Pretoria, traveled to South Africa over half a dozen times. These trips focused on training local educators at NGO's and universities in South Africa. 


The World Health Organization has called this decade the time to defeat HIV. It is more important than ever that GapBuster refocuses some of its energy around an issue that has been so important to us in the past. The first session of the newly-designed Health Educator Program will be at 10am on Saturday, January 11th at the Riverdale office. Please stay tuned for more exciting new about this program. 


If you are in between the ages 13-19 and interested in changing the effects of HIV on your community as a Peer Educator, please contact us at either 301-367-4030 or our office phone at 301-779-4252. 


A thank-you from our students to the people and organizations who donated school and office supplies to GapBuster


GapBuster offers tutoring in multiple subjects for students, and in the month of October we welcomed Johlize McNeil to our offices for math and science tutoring.


Johlize McNeil is a senior Computer Engineering Student in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. She grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attended Georgetown Visitation Preparatory High School in Washington, DC. She has experience tutoring middle and high school students and is currently completing a semester-long internship at LMI, a government consulting firm in McLean, VA. Along with working with our students several days a week on their math and science studies, Johlize will be leading a team of students in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.


We are excited to have Johlize here with us. Our students have already benefitted from her experience and generous service!


GapBuster is always looking for tutors of various subjects, especially related to STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)!!! Interest in SAT tutoring is also of interest to us! Please call or visit our office if you are interested in tutoring opportunities.


Also, please welcome Cristina M. Lemos to the GapBuster, Inc. staff as our new Administrative Assistant. Ms. Lemos joins GapBuster with a can-do attitude; in her words, "If I can, I will". She brings great energy and enthusiasm wherever she goes, and we are glad to have her join the team.



Yvette Butler, MD
GapBuster Learning Center

Edited by Rebecca Seel, Marketing and Technology Director 
Please check out our revamped social media accounts with the links below!

Follow us on TwitterLike us on FacebookView our profile on LinkedIn 


Riverdale "Be Thankful for Your Health" Festival!
Health information and fun activities for the whole family! Plus free health screenings!
Saturday, November 16
St John's Lutheran Church
5820 Riverdale Rd.  

"Living with HIV/AIDS" 

A community discussion

Open to all! 


Wednesday, December 4 


Silver Spring Civic Center

Veterans Plaza, 
Silver Spring, MD
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