Brothers Lovonte and Jordon Adams of Raleigh, North Carolina, aren’t your typical teenagers.
While learning may end for many students once class is over, the Adams brothers, ages 17 and 15, are educating their community about COVID-19. The brothers also work at COVID-19 testing sites and labs.
“It’s helped me find new experiences [and] opened up doors for me,” Lovonte told “Good Morning America.” “You’re helping the community, you’re helping people.”
At the Vero Diagnostics COVID-19 testing lab in Wake County, Lovonte and Jordon help provide free COVID tests to the Raleigh community, one of the most at risk and hardest hit Black communities in North Carolina.
STEM Student CO-OiP- Community Outreach, Opportunities and Innovation Project was started by Dr. Anita Jackson, who said she wanted to provide minority students an opportunity in science, technology, engineering and math while also allowing those students to go into their communities to help educate about COVID-19. As a doctor on the front lines, she saw the need for engaging communities of color with STEM and Public Health Solutions to save lives in the pandemic.
The STEM Student CO-OiP was formed with the help of Diana Powell and her foundation, Justice Served NC, a nonprofit organization for underserved teens, and Vero Diagnostics. It has put young faces out into their communities to help conquer the disease.
“I trained them about how to do COVID testing safely ... how they didn’t need to be afraid of the virus but how COVID testing helps to protect you,” Jackson told “Good Morning America.”
“It’s awesome to have them on the front lines and say, trust science. COVID is real, don’t take it lightly,” added Powell.
Now, Lovonte and Jordon hope their work helps others understand the seriousness of the virus and erase the stigma of testing and skepticism surrounding the efficacy of vaccines.
“I’m hoping that people will realize that because of what we are doing in the community that they should come out and take it more serious,” said Jordon.
While Lovonte and Jordon have thrived in their research and the work they’ve done with the Student STEM CO-OiP, life hasn’t been easy for the two brothers. Because of the pandemic, their parents were furloughed from their jobs, and without a permanent home, the family of seven has been living in a hotel.
“They’ve had some struggles,” said Diana Powell. “Homelessness and sleeping in the car, sleeping in the van.”
Now, in the middle of the pandemic, the Adams family may soon be facing homelessness again. Lovonte and Jordon told Powell they have to move out of the hotel by the end of January.
“They didn’t know where they are going to go,” said Powell. “They deserve more. They deserve better.”
Still, even in their struggle, the boys have remained positive and say it’s their family that motivates them to be their best each day.
“Our mom has been through so much, our dad too. Our mom handles it so well,” they said. “She’s my inspiration.”
Jackson, Powell and Vero Diagnostics came together after hearing about the family’s situation and surprised them with a townhome -- their first home in nearly four years.
“It’s just amazing. They want to be able to still give back and serve their community. I think that’s a beautiful thing,” said Powell.
The brothers joined "GMA" alongside their friends and family on Friday for a special surprise from Vero Diagnostics who came together with the community to provide a fully furnished, all expenses paid home for an entire year.
"I don't even know what to say, this is great," Lovonte said. "It's very overwhelming," Jordon added.
Their mom Amber Adams chimed in on the work her sons have been doing and what this moment means to their family.
"I'm really fortunate to have children like them. And I'm very thankful and grateful to everyone," she said. "I was a bit jaded about humanity so this is very good timing -- they’re so resilient and I appreciate their strength they're really good boys."
Both boys said that their experience at the testing site has spurred an interest in the medical and science field for the future.
Jordon said he has learned how to explain the importance of science to people in his community and hopes to one day "shoot for being a doctor."
Lovonte, who has been interested in science since sixth grade, added "I can see myself being some sort of scientist down the line."