Graduation Held for PCOM Summer AcademyJuly 25, 2017
The PCOM Science and Math Summer Academy allows rising 10th graders the opportunity
to augment and accelerate their STEM+M skills, learn about the college and medical
school admissions process, explore career possibilities and learn interactively in
PCOM’s clinical simulation and anatomy labs and on field trips.
The PCOM Science and Math Summer Academy recently concluded with a graduation ceremony
for the rising 10th grade students from Olney Charter High School who attended the intensive, two-week
During the ceremony, the students heard from Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and CEO of PCOM, and David Addley, DO ’96, a cardiologist at Mercy Fitzgerald
and Mercy Philadelphia Hospitals, who shared with the students his own non-traditional
path to medical school.
“How do you get here from there?” Dr. Addley asked the group. “Find those resources
and surround yourself with those who have expertise in these areas. Your family here
at PCOM has infinite number of resources to help you.”
The students also thanked their parents and PCOM student mentors during the ceremony,
before receiving certificates of completion and their very own white coats, signifying
their commitment to pursue studies and careers in the STEM+M fields (science, tech,
engineering, math and medicine).
Inya Wyche, a Summer Academy student, said that she applied to the program because
she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others, and has a specific interest
in science and medicine. “Science is what got us to the moon, and medicine can help
others. I want to try and discover something that can help treat diseases.”
Vanessa Valdivia (DO ’21) led a session during the Summer Academy on cardiovascular
health, and said she volunteered for the program because she benefitted from a similar
program when she was younger. “A number of people gave me opportunities throughout
my lifetime to achieve a career in medicine and to reach my lifetime goals, and I
think it’s incredibly important to give that back,” she said.
African-Americans and Latinos remain underrepresented in STEM+M. According to a report
by the Pew Research Center, African Americans occupy just 6 percent of STEM jobs,
despite making up 11 percent of the total workforce. For Hispanics, those numbers
were 7 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
The Summer Academy is designed to raise awareness of, and interest in, STEM+M careers
among this population. It offers high school students the opportunity to augment and
accelerate their STEM+M skills, learn about the college and medical school admissions
process, explore career possibilities, and learn interactively in PCOM’s clinical
simulation and anatomy labs and on field trips.
The PCOM Science and Math Summer Academy serves as the cornerstone of a year-round
academic partnership between PCOM, ASPIRA, Inc. of Pennsylvania (which oversees Olney
Charter High School) and Esperanza College. Funding for the Summer Academy was provided
by the 3M Foundation, AstraZeneca, CSL Behring, Teva Pharmaceuticals and the VWR Foundation.
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About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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