PCOM Opportunities Academy Empowers Underrepresented High Schoolers
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'If They Can Make It Here, Why Can't I?' 
Opportunities Academy Empowers Underrepresented High Schoolers

June 26, 2023

PCOM hosted its annual Opportunities Academy from June 19 to June 23. Thirty-eight students representing twenty-two Philadelphia-area high schools participated in the program. Of those participants, 36 identify as African American, Latino or other groups that are traditionally underrepresented in medicine.

“A lot of medical schools don't do this for high school students,” said Zakariya Young, an Opportunities Academy attendee and 12th grader at Bodine High School. “This is the first DO school I've learned about. So it's a really interesting thing to learn about the difference between DOs and MDs, and experience a little bit of both in how they do things.”

Through the program, mentors introduced students to the various opportunities in health care and provided insight as they begin their journey to college readiness.

“Just seeing the younger generation and how excited they are has honestly been a pleasure to watch,” shared Joehannah Dorvilier-Augustin (DO ’26), Opportunities Academy mentor. “What we're opening up their minds to, their eyes to, is one of the things that warms my heart and makes me so excited about this program.”

Providing attendees with the chance to engage with PCOM’s diverse faculty, staff, and student population left a mark on those looking towards a future in medicine.

“It's good to see other people that look like me,” said Young. “Or just go through the similar struggles of actually being in the medical field. It kind of gives me hope and faith that if they can make it here, why can't I?”

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  • About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    For the past 125 years, 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, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education, 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. The college also offers graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, physician assistant studies, and school psychology. 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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