Almost 400 Baltimore high school students and their families joined leaders from across the Johns Hopkins enterprise on Aug. 11 to celebrate a summer full of one-of-a-kind experiences, both for the students and for their Johns Hopkins mentors.
For the 23rd year, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as The Johns Hopkins University and its Bloomberg School of Public Health and Carey Business School, employed student interns from June to August. The intern program offers students paid work experience alongside researchers, doctors, nurses, administrators and other Johns Hopkins professionals. And at the celebration, it was apparent that many of the mentors value the annual program as much as the students do.
Redonda Miller, hospital president, spoke to Johns Hopkins’ largest-ever class of interns who gathered with proud family members in the Homewood campus’s Hodson Hall. Miller noted that the program has increased in size nearly 1,600 percent since the first cohort of 25 students in 1994.
“That’s a lot of interns over the years,” she told attendees of the celebration. “A lot of imaginations sparked, a lot of career paths boosted and a lot of impact on the futures of the teenagers of this city.”
Johns Hopkins staffers who served as mentors shared stories of how the students left important marks on the departments they served during the summer months.
Lori Paine, director of patient safety at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, mentored one of the summer interns. She said that “having youthful energy and enthusiasm in our office every day has been wonderful.”
Paine told the students that she still calls up memories of her own experience as a high school student summer intern.
“You’re going to carry this experience wherever you go,” she told the group.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh arrived just before the end of the program, offering the students, mentors and Johns Hopkins leadership her gratitude for their contributions to the city.
“You’re leaders, whether or not you’re in positions of leadership,” she told the students. She urged them, as they pursue education and careers, “to inspire and encourage the people around you.”
Daniel Ennis, Johns Hopkins University senior vice president for finance and administration, said the institution is committed to Baltimore’s young people.
“We [host the interns every summer] because we think of you as future employees,” he said. “But more importantly, as future leaders.”
High school senior Zach Abramowitz, winner of an essay contest among the student interns, told the group that he nearly didn’t apply for the summer position. By nature, he explained, he’s cautious and avoids things that are unfamiliar. But during his internship in the Department of Radiology, he said, he learned two important lessons.
“First, make the most of every opportunity,” Abramowitz said. “And second, step out of your comfort zone. Life is for taking risks.”
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