Home Pharmacy practice Teens explore careers at SIUE Healthcare Diversity Summer Camp

Teens explore careers at SIUE Healthcare Diversity Summer Camp

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EDWARDSVILLE – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville once again welcomed high school students to explore its facilities and connect with faculty experts to boost their interest in health-related fields during the annual Care Diversity Summer Camp. health.

Approximately 20 students participated in the June Camp, a collaborative effort organized by SIUE Schools of Pharmacy (SOP), Nursing, UES School of Dentistry, and the School of Nutrition Program. education, health and human behavior. It focuses on experience and enrichment as students gain an understanding of the many opportunities that exist in each area of ​​health, through lessons and interactive activities.


“The goal of the camp is to expose high school students who are underrepresented in healthcare fields to careers in pharmacy, nursing, dentistry and others,” said camp coordinator Lakesha Butler. , PharmD, Clinical Professor in the SOP Department of Pharmacy Practice and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “It is recognized that diverse representation of healthcare students translates to diverse representation in healthcare, which is essential to meet the growing needs of our local community, our region, our country and the world.

The camp experience rekindles campers’ interest in pursuing and graduating in health-related fields. One example is SIUE alumnus Christian Watts, PharmD, who began his pharmacy journey by attending camp nine years ago.

“The beginning of my exposure to pharmacy happened when I attended SIUE’s Healthcare Diversity Camp,” said the former president of the SIUE chapter of the National Association of Pharmaceutical Students. “The camp informed me of several careers available in the field of pharmacy.”

ChibuIke Azogini’s mother, a native of Collierville, Tennessee, enrolled him in the program because of his growing interest in the health field.

“Being in labs synthesizing molecules that can be useful in helping the world today is interesting,” Azogini said. “I learned that pharmacists do more than just dispense medication. There are hundreds of jobs in the field.

Paulina Gutierrez, a senior from Collinsville, heard about this opportunity through the Upward Bound program at SIUE East St. Louis Center. She attended to help him narrow down his choice of a college program. The camp helped her discover the vast nature of the healthcare field.

“The faculty offered us tips and advice on what we should do to prepare for the course we chose,” she shared. “My camp experience has helped me navigate what I plan to study.”

Maya Tolentino of Chatham discovered the program because of her interest in the health field.

“The faculty was engaging and interactive,” Tolentino said. “An interesting moment was when we were in the lab at the School of Nursing and they showed us a simulation of labor and delivery.”

The Healthcare Diversity Camp expands the reach of SIUE throughout Illinois. . Importantly, Butler noted, “Not only does camp provide opportunity and exposure, but it also provides a network of peers with similar interests who can serve as mutually beneficial motivators and friends.”