Motivated high schoolers learn about health care careers and how to achieve them

High School Health Careers program prepares teens to succeed in college and beyond

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

July 27, 2017
  High School Health Careers Class of 2017 members Emmanuel Appiah Kubi and Alicia Wilson

High School Health Careers class of 2017 members Emmanuel Appiah Kubi and Alicia Wilson

During their summer vacation, 18 teens from Worcester and other Massachusetts high schools spent the last four weeks doing intensive SAT preparation, learning about contemporary issues in health care and participating in hands-on clinical internships. They said they were thrilled to have the opportunity to work so hard and learn so much as participants in UMass Medical School’s High School Health Careers program.

“This is a great opportunity. They do so much for us,” said class member Alicia Wilson, a rising senior at Doherty Memorial High School. “The program has helped me think about my goal of medical school more seriously and realistically.” Originally interested in biomedical engineering, Wilson realized she is most interested in providing hands-on patient care. She especially appreciated hearing from medical students about their experiences, and learning about financial aid.

Now in its fourth decade, the UMMS High School Health Careers program offers a month-long, tuition-free educational immersion for Massachusetts high school students who are minorities underrepresented in health care, or who are economically or educationally disadvantaged. Participants learn about a broad range of health care and science professions through rigorous academics that are complemented with enrichment activities, field trips and seminars in cultural and contemporary health issues.

Aspiring to become a physician assistant, North High School senior Emmanuel Appiah Kubi most enjoyed his internship experience in the radiology clinic of UMass Memorial Medical Center. “I learned about many different careers in the field, and how the team makes a patient’s life better by working together,” said Appiah Kubi.

Excelling academically and engaged in numerous volunteer and extracurricular activities, Appiah Kubi and Wilson exemplify the caliber and motivation of High School Health Careers students. Noting that African American women make up only about 2 percent of American doctors, Wilson wrote in her application, “As a young African American woman myself, I want to see this number rise, and I believe participating in the High School Health Careers Program will be an important first step in achieving that.”

The program culminates in student research presentations in the presence of proud instructors and family members at the closing ceremonies on Friday, July 28. Students will leave UMass Medical School with certificates of completion; special recognition awards; exposure to careers in medicine, biomedical sciences and biotechnology at an early stage in their academic development; inspiration and encouragement to set high academic goals; and concrete strategies with which to achieve them.

High School Health Careers program class of 2017
Danielle Ampofo, Leicester High School
Richael Aniekwenagbu, KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate
Emmanuel Appiah Kubi, North High School
Aaron Balboa, Burncoat High School
Oswald Boampong, Worcester Technical High School
Ian Carpentier, Burncoat High School
Erica Frazier, Leominster High School
Michelle Haigbea, Worcester Technical High School
Lorenzo Hernandez, Worcester Technical High School
Gia Han Le, South High Community School
Kingsly Mante Angua, Leicester High School
Agnes Nantambi, Doherty Memorial High School
Beshair Nurhussein, Worcester Technical High School
Rudalys Ruiz, KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate
Diego Saavedra, East Longmeadow High School
Michaela Wakefield, Fitchburg High School
Alicia Wilson, Doherty Memorial High School
Allison Wood, Doherty Memorial High School

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