Two local students and products of the Medical Scholars Pipeline Program (MSPP) at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell have taken another step closer to dream careers in science and health care as they receive $5,000 each in college scholarships from Northwell Health. The awards were presented during the 48th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Memorial Program held at Northwell’s North Shore University Hospital featuring keynote speaker Wes Moore, best-selling author, decorated combat veteran, and CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation.
High school seniors Bairon Reyes Luna, Hempstead High School, and Jada Harris, Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, entered the MSPP at the Zucker School of Medicine their sophomore year with aspirations of meeting like-minded others, embracing new people and places, and learning about medicine through hands-on experience. The scholarship recipients credit the MSPP for providing them with the time, tenacity, and tools for an extraordinary head start.
“My science teacher introduced me to the pipeline program and I instantly connected with it,” said Mr. Luna, an immigrant from Honduras who is planning to study human biology and astrophysics in college. “In particular, the mentoring part of the experience was eye-opening for me. I talked with professionals whose stories are not so different from mine—they were able to succeed despite struggles and circumstances. It has pushed me even more [toward my goals].”
The MSPP experience also shaped the future for fellow student, Miss Harris.
“The program taught so much about what I want to do in my career and provided direction,” said Miss Harris who is interested in bioengineering. “Exposure at a young age to programs like the MSPP opens up so many opportunities and helps in finding your passion.”
Entering its ninth 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, Manhattan, 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 the Zucker School of Medicine as part of its core mission to build a diverse and inclusive learning community. Last year, the MSPP expanded to include Northwell’s Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.
To date, 196 students have participated in the School of Medicine’s MSPP, including 98 students who have completed the three-year curriculum and 100 percent rising first-year college students enrolled at prestigious universities such as Dartmouth, Yale, Hofstra, Morehouse, Columbia, and Harvard. Nine MSPP graduates have enrolled in professional health care schools, one of whom is a medical student at the Zucker School of Medicine.
For more information about the MSPP at the Zucker School of Medicine, please contact Gina Granger, MSEd, program manager, medical science youth programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit online at medicine.hofstra.edu.