The intensive science and math program, hosted by PCOM for local high school students, recently concluded its third year.
The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) Science and Math Summer Academy recently concluded its third year with a graduation ceremony for students from Olney High School and Esperanza College who took part in the intensive, two-week program.
The event’s keynote speaker was Monique Gary, DO ’09, an oncologist specializing in minimally-invasive breast surgery. She developed the Cancer Genetic and Risk Assessment Program at Grand View Health in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, and is the founder of “Angels Against Breast Cancer,” a service and empowerment organization that fundraises and links patients to breast cancer resources in the Delaware valley.
During the ceremony, Academy students received their “diploma”— a certificate of completion signifying their commitment to pursue studies and careers in the STEM+M fields (science, tech, engineering, math and medicine). PCOM students—who served as mentors to the Academy students—also shared thoughts, praise and congratulations with their mentees.
“I wish I had this opportunity when I was considering medical school, so I’m proud of you all for taking advantage of this program,” Aloysius Ibe (DO ’22) told the Academy students.
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 through field trips to local scientific institutions.
“We’re incredibly proud of all of our participants in the Summer Academy,” said Marcine Pickron-Davis, PhD, chief diversity and community relations officer. “They’ve shown a dedicated interest in the STEM+M fields, and our hope is that interest will follow them throughout their studies, and that we will one day see them back here at PCOM as one of our students.”
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.
“Having a diverse workforce of physicians, health practitioners and researchers means better outcomes for everyone,” said Denah Appelt, PhD, professor, neuroscience, physiology and pharmacology and program coordinator for the Summer Academy. “Programs like this allow students to become empowered and follow their dreams.”
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, Hologic, Teva Pharmaceuticals and the VWR Foundation.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 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 offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. Our 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 in inner city and rural locations. For more information, visit pcom.edu.
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