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Tuesday, November 8, 2011
MGH Summer Alumni Program
Every year for the past two decades Massachusetts General Hospital 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. We know that educational attainment is highly correlated with economic status the largest predictor of health status.
MGH Center for Community Health Improvement provides 420 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. These activities enable exploration and skill development through experiences and relationships related to health and science subjects and careers. The Center also engages families across all programs.
Meet Llanira Ruiz of East Boston, an alumna of East Boston High School and Wheelock College. Llanira participated in MGH Youth Scholars’ Alumni Summer Program. This new program provided alumni/graduates of the MGH High School Program with employment and networking opportunities as part of their continued learning and professional development. Llanira recently graduated from Wheelock with an undergraduate degree in social work. She now is working as a Case Manager at Harbor COV in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
What was your MGH internship this summer?
I was the Program Assistant at the Center for Community Health Improvement at MGH Chelsea. My responsibilities were split between assisting with community initiatives which involved working closely with the Manager of Community Initiatives and community partners who are members of the Health Chelsea Coalition and with providing direct service to patients in the Food for Families program.
How did this experience differ from your MGH High School Program internship?
With this internship I was able to work more independently with patients and was in charge of my own schedule. I felt more productive working individually with patients. I was happiest when I assisted them and/or advocated for them gaining access to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Access Program (SNAP) and critical food dollars.
Why did you study social work?
I chose this field because I love helping others, especially children and families who are in vulnerable and difficult situations.
What are some of the important lessons you will take to your graduate school studies in a few years?
When I go to grad school, I will definitely be able to share this experience in the classroom. Having more knowledge will also enable me to learn even more and be able to understand what is being taught to me since I already experienced it in real life.
What advice would you give to students in the MGH Youth Scholars Program as they consider a health or science course of study in college?
Go for it! Anything is possible in life. You decide what your future will look like and if a health or science career is what you dream of, then you need to act now in order to become what you want to become. Your actions of today will reflect your future.
What wais your favorite part of the internship/and or /Alumni Program and why?
Being able to work one-on-one with patients and being able to advocate for their needs and rights.
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