Two local high school students who are products of the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine Medical Scholars Pipeline Program (MSPP) each received $2,500 college scholarships during the 47th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Memorial Program at Northwell Health‘s North Shore University Hospital. The event was held on Friday, January 13, 2017.
Scholarship recipients Edgar Rodriguez, a senior at Benjamin Cardozo High School, and Sashane John (photo below, left), a senior at Uniondale High School, entered the MSPP at Hofstra Northwell in their sophomore year with the goal of meeting like-minded others, embracing new people and places, and learning about science/medicine through hands-on experience. Three years later, these high-achievers are proudly weighing numerous college offers and look forward to starting their journey to careers in healthcare. Both credit the MSPP for providing them with the time, tenacity, and tools for an extraordinary head start.
“In the pipeline program, we are exposed to every aspect of medicine from caregiving to practice management, and we’re encouraged to understand the patient’s point of view,” said Mr. Rodriguez, recalling his time spent talking with cancer patients in chemotherapy at Northwell’s Monter Cancer Center. “There are so many ways to make an impact in healthcare–my goal is to become a physician assistant and also work in hospital administration.”
Miss John shared similar aspirations.
“I knew that I wanted to enter healthcare as a profession when I started the pipeline program, and now I have no doubt,” said Miss John who performed a heartfelt piano solo at the MLK event in front of a packed auditorium. “I see myself as a surgeon one day—I want to give back, be a mentor, and be an inspiration to others just as I experienced in this program.”
Entering its eighth year, the MSPP at the School of Medicine is a four-year, four-week summer program that exposes high-achieving minority students from Brooklyn, Queens, Hempstead and Uniondale high schools to careers in healthcare with the goal of diversifying the future healthcare workforce. The program was created upon the founding of Hofstra Northwell as part of its core mission to build a diverse and inclusive learning community.
Working with faculty, medical students and mentors, MSPP students follow a structured curriculum that exposes them to the clinical, social and political issues facing the health care industry. Session topics range from the ethics of medical research to the politics of health-care reform. The program features a mini-medical school that incorporates problem- and case-based learning scenarios facilitated by second-year School of Medicine students. MSPP participants also receive SAT prep, CPR training, and take part in exercises to develop leadership, team-building skills, and self-confidence.
What’s more, in an effort to maintain the MSPP momentum into the collegiate years, the School of Medicine partnered with the The Northeast Regional Alliance (NERA) MedPrep, a free summer enrichment program for under-represented and/or economically disadvantaged college students interested in the medical field. NERA works to expand health careers preparation with the goal of increasing competitiveness for medical school. Thirteen Hofstra Northwell MSPP alums participated in the program last year.
“The scholarship winners and all the students who take part in the MSPP embody our ongoing commitment to boosting the inner spirit, success, and future of youth in underserved communities,” said Gina Granger, MA, associate director for special programs and alumni relations and lead organizer of the MSPP (photo above left, pictured with Mr. Rodriguez and Lawrence G. Smith, MD, MACP, dean, School of Medicine). “It’s truly a proud moment for all of us at the School of Medicine—we’re making a difference one student at a time.”
For more information about the MSPP and other outreach initiatives at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, call 516-463-7550 or visit Office of Special Programs.