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TEENS AT HOPKINS
 





A School Partnership Bears Fruit
Out of a neighborhood high school come the health professionals of the future

Two of the Dunbar-Hopkins partnership’s brightest lights: Samyra Sealy, a medical student, and Theo Ugheghe, a pre-med JHU senior, on the Homewood campus.

Now that the Dunbar-Hopkins Health Partnership is entering its ninth year, it’s plain to see that the program designed to prepare students for careers in health care is having its intended effect. Among its alums are dozens of Johns Hopkins employees, students at prestigious colleges and universities—including several who are pre-med—and one actual medical student.

Samyra Sealy was interested in medicine even in middle school. In fact, it was Dunbar’s connection with Hopkins that drove her to attend the East Baltimore high school adjacent to the medical campus, the city’s first magnet school for the health professions. Internships in community clinics, a genetics lab and a same-day surgery unit opened her eyes to the world of professional medicine and solidified her desire to be a physician. Ironically, she says, “I got more exposure to medicine in high school than I did in college.”

College for the Dunbar valedictorian turned out to be Johns Hopkins, which she attended on a prestigious JHHS/Price Waterhouse Coopers Achievement Scholarship, a full, four-year scholarship awarded to Dunbar students admitted to JHU. Now she is a first-year medical student at Howard University, planning to specialize in either pediatrics or Ob-Gyn.

To be sure, getting to this point has not always been easy. Samyra was not accepted to medical school on her first go-round and spent the year after college substitute teaching. But even then, five years out of high school, she could count on the support of the Dunbar-Hopkins partnership. Project manager Dwight Lassiter accompanied her to the Minority Health Professions Symposium and introduced her to mentors who could advise her on her applications.

Hopkins’ partnership with Paul Laurence Dunbar High School began formally in 1985. Then known as the Hopkins-Dunbar Health Professions Program, it was open only to select students. In 1996, the “New” Dunbar-Hopkins Health Partnership was launched. Overseen by Edgar Roulhac, JHU vice provost for academic services, David Nichols, vice dean for education at the School of Medicine, and Deborah Knight-Kerr, JHH director of HR Community and Education Projects, it is open to all. Today, nearly every student at the school, which has an enrollment of about 650, spends some time at Hopkins.

Internships (paid and nonpaid), job shadowing, lectures, projects, tours of facilities take place not just at Hopkins Hospital, but also within the University’s schools of Medicine, Nursing, Arts & Sciences and Public Health. As sophomores, some students are paired with mentors, professionals who work in research, teaching, patient care or administration. Seniors can do internships at one of Johns Hopkins’ institutions.

Like Samyra, Theophilus Ugheghe and Lord Robinson went to JHU on Price Waterhouse Coopers scholarships. Theo, now a senior, is preparing for medical school; Lord is a junior. Tierra Strange, now a JHU freshman, is among the first group of 22 Baltimore Scholars. The program provides full-tuition scholarships to graduates of Baltimore City public high schools accepted to the University. Andrew Wright spent a year at the Naval Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., after graduating from Dunbar in 2004 and is now a midshipman at the Naval Academy.

Among the partnership’s alums recently hired by Johns Hopkins are Stanley Patterson, an intern in Information Technology, and Krin Cameron, who is working in a lab and preparing for medical school. Brandon Lockett and Eric Brown work in Information Systems. Percy Jones is a supervisor in Physical Medicine and Rehab; Dante Trusty, a tissue bank coordinator in Pathology.

“I would estimate that in the past eight years, between 800 and 1,000 students have been involved at Hopkins in training interventions,” says Hopkins Hospital’s Lassiter. “As we enter year nine, we’re starting to see a real increase in the numbers of students who have become professionals in health care.”

—Anne Bennett Swingle

 

 

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