“We have a lot of people [in this country] that unfortunately die needlessly…similar to watching a car wreck right in front of you when you could do something to prevent it,” explained Rahul Gupta, MD, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) during his virtual lecture on STEM and Drug Control Policy delivered to delegates from around the world at the National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp). 

More than 107,000 Americans died of a drug overdose last year, primarily driven by illicit fentanyl. Under the leadership of Dr. Gupta, ONDCP leads and coordinates the nation’s drug policy to improve the health and lives of Americans.

Dr. Gupta’s presentation covered current issues in drug policy, as well as his professional journey to create lasting change. While, as he explained, the world often forgets impactful events in history, he believes young minds like the delegates of the NYSCamp are the future of creating lasting scientific and cultural impact.

“The NYSCamp’s work to bring together delegates from across the country and world is not only vital for STEM awareness, but it is important as a place for future leaders to discuss the art of science as they cultivate lifelong friendships. It brings about the future of STEM in a way that does not happen often. It is invaluable,” said Dr. Gupta.

About the National Youth Science Camp: Hosted in Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia since 1963, the National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp) is a residential science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program designed to honor and challenge some of the nation’s rising leaders and provide them with opportunities to engage with STEM professionals and participate in exciting outdoor activities. Typically, two delegates are selected to attend camp from each state and the District of Columbia. In partnership with the U.S. State Department, we also host international delegates. Past countries represented include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago. Housing, meals, transportation, and supplies are provided to participants at no cost. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, now for the 3rd consecutive year, the 2022 National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp) is an entirely virtual experience.