MGH Youth Scholars

Research shows that educational attainment is highly correlated with economic status, and is the largest predictor of health status. Every year for the past two decades Mass General has inspired hundreds of Boston youth who are interested in health and science careers with activities and employment opportunities. MGH is committed to expanding the horizons of these young people as a health improvement strategy as well as a workforce development strategy.

The MGH Center for Community Health Improvement provides more than 650 youth (grades 3 through college) with academic, life, and career skills that expand and enhance their educational and career options through activities related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These activities enable exploration and skill development through experiences and relationships related to STEM subjects and careers, life sciences and health and wellness.

STEM programming for the MGH Youth Scholars in high school is intensive and comprehensive. With our partners East Boston High School, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, Revere High School, Chelsea High School, and the Charlestown community, the weekly curriculum on the MGH campus provides foundational learning for grades 9 through high school graduation and beyond. The goal is to spark college aspirations and understand the connection between a health or science career, and what it takes to get there. Summer enrichment in STEM curriculum takes place for students in STEM Camp through Wheelock College.

Grade 9 - Students are exposed to science and health careers through MGH 101, an introduction to MGH with two-week, hands-on modules in various departments such as the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Sports Medicine and Tissue Engineering. Academic tutoring runs from 9th grade to college. We also introduce the students to the college preparation process and stress and relaxation for overall wellness. Financial literacy through our partner uAspire is part of the curriculum from high school to college.

Grade 10 - As high school sophomores, a full academic year of programming provides students with more in-depth exposure to MGH departments with multi-week visits. Students follow a case study patient through diagnosis and treatment with Radiation Oncology.  With the Neurology department, students experience the sequence of a stroke patient's diagnosis, care, therapy and prevention. Other department workshops with an inquiry-based approach to learning include Anesthesia and Pathology, and three job shadow afternoons provide more individualized experiences.  Instruction continues in stress and relaxation techniques to improve overall well being. Students continue to prepare for college by identifying potential colleges and honing skills to succeed in their summer jobs, internships, and college. 

Grade 11- As high school juniors, students engage in a curriculum that includes a professional development module, sessions with Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, and hands-on science through respiratory, pulmonary and digestive systems through the Knight Simulation Program Lab at MGH. College readiness continues with tutoring support, SAT prep, college essay writing workshops, and college visits. In addition, students are placed in paid after-school and summer internships throughout the hospital in areas of career interest, and the students present a culminating project to their peers and the MGH community.

Grade 12- This pivotal year focuses on college preparation and readiness with tutoring, college essay support, financial aid workshops, and intense college coaching with Accelerated College Experiences. College visits and meetings with college enrollment officers help to sharpen student decisions on college election and field of study. In addition to providing annual $5,000 college scholarships, the students receive ongoing academic and career development coaching, tutoring, and mentoring during their college career.

For outcomes, please see MGH Youth Programs.

MGH Summer Jobs Program – Named America’s best hospital by U.S. News & World Report, MGH provides meaningful summer employment opportunities to 150 Boston youth each year, a commitment since 1991. MGH has employed students from many Boston schools and organizations including East Boston High School, James P. Timilty Middle School, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, and Science Club for Girls. The MGH departments and health centers that employ Summer Jobs students range from Anesthesia, the Center for Regenerative Medicine, the Charlestown, Chelsea and Revere HealthCare Centers and the Tissue Engineering Lab. As part of their summer at MGH, students learn about jobs in the health and science fields through weekly professional development and skills workshops 

MGH Youth Scholar Alumni- This program takes 36 Alumni of the MGH Youth Scholars Program through continued learning and professional development at MGH. This accomplished Alumni cohort uses their high school zeal for STEM subjects in health and science to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees in these fields.


For media coverage of the MGH Youth Scholars, click here

Doctors, students become 'pen pals' with MGH mentoring program

The one-on-one mentoring program matched 25 10th-graders from Edward M. Kennedy Academy, East Boston High School, English High, and Fenway High with researchers and physicians from MGH.

Neurology Session for MGH Youth Scholars Inspires Poem

Reflections of two MGH Youth Scholars after their four-week session learning about strokes from the MGH Neurology Department.

STEM camp inspires growth

Seventeen young aspiring scientists and health care professionals recently participated in the MGH Youth Scholars five-day Science Technology Engineering and Math Camp.

For media coverage of the MGH Youth Scholars, click here

Margo McGovern

Phone: (617) 724-3210