Twenty-six Worcester high school juniors and seniors will be heading back to school this fall with a little money in their pockets and some valuable experience under their belts. Thanks to Building Brighter Futures with Youth (BBFWY) program, they had part-time summer jobs at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Launched by the United Way of Central Massachusetts in partnership with UMass Memorial Medical Center in 2002, the program is a broad-based strategic initiative to help youth transition successfully to adulthood, earn extra spending money and gain real-world exposure to career options. Essential to its success is the partnership between Worcester Public Schools and various city agencies and employers who create meaningful job opportunities for city teens. This is the fifth year that UMMS has joined other area employers, including clinical partner UMass Memorial.
This summer a broad range of departments responded to the call from the Office of Community and Government Relations and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to offer employment to the local high school students. The teens found jobs on the main campus and the South Street location, in a variety of departments and offices, including Financial Services, Student Affairs, Development, Animal Medicine, Commonwealth Medicine’s Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, the Registrar’s Office, Environmental Health & Safety and iCELS.
While students performed primarily entry-level tasks, supervisors and mentors also made sure they were exposed to a variety of learning opportunities. With many of the students interested in careers in health care, they appreciated the opportunity to observe and experience different aspects of a dynamic and diverse academic health sciences center.
The six-week experience was capped off with a luncheon on Aug. 11 in partnership with UMass Memorial at which program participants had the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and hear from leaders of both institutions, including remarks from Chancellor Michael F. Collins and UMass Memorial Medical Center President Patrick Muldoon.