In an effort to expose more youth to healthcare careers and better prepare them for an increasingly challenging job climate, Children's has nearly doubled its summer internship enrollment this year.
This week, Children's welcomed 86 area high school interns who have been selected by COACH (Community Opportunity Advancement Children's Hospital) and S.C.O.O.P (Student Career Opportunities Outreach Program). This represents the highest number of interns since the programs' inception. The students will work at various departments for the rest of the summer to support the hospital's mission.
In their first week alone, the interns hit the ground running, attending orientations, hospital tours and participating in a special group photo shoot with two Boston City Councilors in Prouty Garden. Boston City Councilors Ayanna Pressley and Felix G. Arroyo were on-hand to personally wish the interns well as they begin their assignments throughout the hospital.
Children's has expanded its internships in the midst of the state's tough economic climate and steep cuts to city youth jobs.
"Opportunities like these are so important to cultivate new skills and to improve diversity in healthcare. We need to inspire youth and inform their aspirations," said Councilor Pressley, who was elected as the first woman of color in the Boston City Council. "These internships will support struggling families in our city, who need financial support more than ever. The fact that Children's stepped up in such a formidable way says so much about the institution's commitment to the community."
COACH prepares Boston public high school students through workforce training and development. Founded in 2007, COACH provides youth from urban areas of Boston the opportunity to explore health care careers while having a safe, meaningful summer. Interns also participate in a wide-range of skills workshops such as communication and motivational skills and goal setting.
"COACH is a great way to build a pipeline of diverse, qualified health professionals for the health field in general," says Michelle Gordon-Seemore, Director of Staffing. "The students broaden their horizon - and familiarize themselves with different types of careers that are offered at Children's.
"It's like an ecosystem - every job is important and everyone plays an essential role in making Children's a workplace of choice."
S.C.O.O.P is an initiative that was seeded and developed by the Department of Nursing to address the nursing shortage crisis. Founded in 2002 as a way to introduce high school juniors and seniors as to nursing career opportunities, S.C.O.O.P exposes students to the experience of the clinical environment in a pediatric hospital, with a special focus on nursing.
"We strongly believe that providing our local youth with the right kind of experience, mentoring and knowledge can build a strong diverse workforce that is ready to provide quality care to our pediatric patients," says Eva Gomez, RN, MSN CPN, staff development specialist in the Nursing Department, and S.C.O.O.P coordinator. "We hope this experience will help them make the right decision as they embark on their first steps towards their future careers."