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In addition to the customary measures of medical schools, such as our high rankings in primary care education and medical research, UMMS distinguishes itself as a leader in community engagement, particularly through its support of K-16 educational initiatives to promote careers in the health sciences. UMMS and its partners carry out a myriad of programs to create opportunities for students and increase the number of under-represented and disadvantaged students entering careers in health care and biomedical research. Through mentoring, job shadowing, internships, laboratory opportunities, after-school science programs, visiting-scientist programs and academic support for students, each year hundreds of young people from our community are exposed to the excitement and opportunities that health and science careers bring.
UMMS has donated $700,000 thus far to the One City – One Library initiative, to increase access to appropriate, grade-level reading materials across the City of Worcester by bringing public library branch services into four public elementary schools—one in each quadrant of the city—and expanding mobile library services through the addition of a second mobile library vehicle.
Each year over 500 high school students from around the region take part in the Health Care Career Expo. Together with our clinical partner, UMass Memorial Medical Center, we introduce area high school students to a variety of careers in the health care industry as well as alert them to local resources and opportunities for training and education
UMass Medical School provides 25 youth with an opportunity to work in a six week paid summer employment program - Building Brighter Futures with Youth. BBFWY is a community-based initiative that exposes young people to the business of health care.
Led by UMMS, the Worcester Pipeline Collaborative (WPC) has worked with the Worcester Public Schools since 1996 to prepare, educate and train K-12 students in the school system’s North Quadrant for the region’s health care and science oriented economy, culminating in especially intensive involvement at Worcester East Middle, Worcester Technical High School and North High School. WPC recently reached its 20th Anniversary and was presented with citations from the Massachusetts Senate and House as well as a key to the city from the Mayor of Worcester.
Through the WPC, two students from North High School and two from Worcester Technical High School receive full scholarships each summer from the National Youth Leader Forum of Medicine. The four 2013 scholarship packages, including air travel, totals approximately $12,760.
In addition, the Office of Outreach Programs( the same office that runs the WPC) runs multiple tuition-free, residential summer academic programs for high school and college students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds and/or from ethnic groups underrepresented in biomedical research, biotechnology and health professions, to prepare students for further education and careers in these fields.
The Emerging Professionals Summer Internship Program provides 8 undergraduate college students a ten-week paid internship. This “pipeline” program is designed to provide talented college students from underrepresented backgrounds with the opportunity to explore potential administrative careers in an academic health science center.