Passion for STEM leads Temple High School senior to publish book, launch two organizations

Folakemi Fregene has already published a book and started two organizations: all before the age of 18.
Published: Jul. 16, 2023 at 6:25 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - A Temple teen just got back from presenting her research on genomic databases at Yale University.

Folakemi Fregene’s, 16, research explores the lack of diversity in genomic databases and how social sciences can intersect with genomics and the healthcare industry.

But this isn’t Fregene’s first big STEM project. It all began at the age of 11 when Fregene started an organization called “Teens Study STEM.”

“Originally it was just meant to be a small community of a couple friends,” she said.

The blog is all about educating teens on various healthcare topics like the rise of ADHD misdiagnosis and the intersection of fashion and STEM.

”There are so many interesting subjects in our everyday lives that we don’t realize are correlated to interesting scientific phenomena,” Fregene said.

Then four years later in the summer of 2022 she launched another organization called the Nigerian Cancer Relief Project where she builds care packages for kids with cancer.

”Basically our goal is to help provide health products to hospitals across Nigeria, but specifically Lagos University Teaching Hospital,” Fregene said.

That same year she published a children’s book called “DNA Makes You You!”

”I noticed that the scientific literature area was just not there,” Fregene said.

She wrote and drew each page herself. The book explains the concept of DNA in a way that even a five-year-old can understand.

”A lot of the work behind it was contacting children I know, some of my friends’ younger siblings and trying to see what’s the range of knowledge they can interpret,” Fregene said.

Now a Temple High School senior, Fregene is working on trying to get into her dream school: John Hopkins University. She wants others to know that it’s never too early to start eyeing up ways to make change.

”There’s no better time to start than now,” she said.

This Friday Fregene will have a special book signing event at the Temple Public Library at 2 in the afternoon.