Delta High sophomore Alexandria Pereira’s documentary about the first Black woman doctor to receive a patent for a medical purpose will get a national and virtual stage thanks to the National History Day program and Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Alexandria’s project, Dr. Patricia Bath: Breaking Racial, Gender, Medical, and Economic Barriers, is one of 35 projects being included in the showcase, which was scheduled for screening in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater but was moved to an online format due to the COVID-19. Alexandria’s project and all the others may be found through the Smithsonian Learning Lab until June 24: s.si.edu/NHDShowcase2020
Her documentary is the only one in the showcase from a Washington state student and one of only eight entries from west of the Rocky Mountains.
“As I researched her, I fell in love with her ever increasing array of accomplishments and her dedication for helping others. She has become a true inspiration for me,” Alexandria says.
The project was Alexandria’s entry in this year’s National History Day competition, which strives to inspire students to conduct original research on historical topics of interest aligned with a given theme. This year’s theme was Breaking Barriers In History. The competition is one of the specific activities offered at Delta High, which is a science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, high school jointly operated by the Richland, Kennewick and Pasco school districts.
Alexandria, who is a Richland School District student, says she is honored her documentary was selected for the showcase and helping bring more awareness to Dr. Bath’s legacy as an ophthalmologist, humanitarian, advocate and champion for the rights of African Americans and women.
“I hope that it inspires you just as much as she inspired me,” Alexandria says.