P.S. Jones High School alumni needed for follow up study

Published 7:39 pm Monday, October 29, 2018

From 1960-1963, students at P.S. Jones High School were among 400,000 students in 1,353 schools nationwide selected to participate in a study called Project Talent. This year, the project is returning to Washington, seeking to reconnect with those who participated in the original study.

Collecting a huge amount of student data, Project Talent not only examined competence in subjects such as math, science and reading, but also compiled valuable information on students’ family backgrounds, personal and educational experiences, aspirations and interests in various occupations and fields of study. The study was designed to follow students from adolescence to retirement.

“If you attended P.S. Jones High School from 1960-1963, you almost certainly took this test,” said Sabine Horner, Project Talent consultant. “We have had some difficulty in reaching those students through our outreach efforts.”

In 2018, the study seeks to examine a different set of data — health disparities that exist between minority and non-minority groups and possible long-term effects of attending racially segregated schools as opposed to integrated schools. The follow-up study has a special focus on memory and cognitive health, largely in response to the growing number of Alzheimer’s cases in America.

“These findings will be important in informing current health policy,” said Project Talent Director Susan Lapham. “Segregation in schools has been increasing in recent years, but we know little about the potential long-term impact on health in later life.”

In the decades since the study first passed across student desks, Project Talent participants have provided a wealth of information on a variety of topics, from changing attitudes on marriage to the impact of the Vietnam War on baby boomers.

The result has been a comprehensive picture of a generation over the course of a lifetime, with follow-up studies collecting information on occupations, family demographics, education and health.

According to a release from Project Talent, the 1960 study was remarkable for the diversity of its participants, who represented every facet of American life, and researchers have designed the new Project Talent study to be just as diverse.

P.S. Jones alumni who graduated from 1960-1963 can contact Project Talent at 1-866-770-6077 or send an email to projecttalentstudy@air.org. For more information, visit www.projecttalent.org.