Phylicia Rae Louie Porter
President & CEO
Optimal Public Health Solutions
Phylicia Porter remembers the hard work it took to become the first in her family to graduate from college. She worked multiple jobs and was active in campus activities as she earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in general biology and the other in molecular biology, biochemistry, and bioinformatics, from Towson University in 2011.
“My experiences have led me to mentor other African American STEM-focused students in Baltimore, helping them navigate their coursework, internships, and an efficient work-life balance,” said Porter, who founded Optimal Public Health Solutions in 2014 as a way to champion STEM, public health and her native city.
Porter, who earned a master of public health degree in 2013 from Morgan State University, mentors young public health professionals, advocates against tobacco use in communities, and participates in voter education and turnout drives. One of her biggest passions is the Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences (MATHS), where she is the board vice-chair of the charter school for grades six to 12. Porter also has helped develop a STEM curriculum for short courses designed for school breaks.
This summer, she also will be coordinating a STEM-enabled drone camp with Global Air Media and Kids Safe Zone. A pilot program was successfully accomplished in West Baltimore this spring and now Porter and partners hope to expand. It is an example of exactly the type of success and advocacy she hopes to achieve.
“All too often communities are left behind,” Porter said. “Therefore, as a product of these communities, it was my duty to enrich the lives of others as my mentors have instilled in me.”