When the White House asked students from across the country to submit short films about the power of technology in schools, La Jolla teen Lilly Grossman eagerly answered the call.
Lilly, 16, who attends La Jolla High School, is a participant in a Scripps Translational Science Institute study that uses full-genome sequencing to search for causes and treatments of mystery diseases.
After mapping Lilly’s DNA, scientists discovered two rare genetic mutations that appeared related to her condition, which causes extreme muscle weakness, poor coordination and balance problems that make it difficult to walk, talk and even sleep.
In her two and a half minute long video, Lilly shows how her school life is immersed in technology. She uses a laptop computer to take notes and exams, an iPad to connect with classes when she’s home sick, a van equipped with a ramp to get to and from school, a power chair to navigate the campus, publishing software to edit articles for the school newspaper, and an iPhone to stay connected with classmates.
Aided by two friends, Lilly entered the video in the first-ever White House Student Film Festival, which is open to kids in kindergarten through 12th grade. Finalists will get a chance to have their videos screened at the White House or featured on the White House website, YouTube channel and social media pages.