Trivia games, heart-pumping activities and academic encouragement were all a part of the virtual SPARK program with PCOM South Georgia students and Mitchell County Middle School sixth graders.
Students Progressing in Academics from Readiness and Knowledge (SPARK) is a pathway program that introduces students to the possibilities of careers in science and medicine.
During the virtual program, Mitchell County students heard from PCOM South Georgia professors Jennifer Shaw, PhD, and Jason Walker, PhD. They gave the students a crash course in physiology and the workings of the heart.
In addition, student ambassadors from PCOM South Georgia’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences programs spoke to the sixth graders about the opportunities in healthcare academics and careers. Ogechukwu Ariwodo (DO ‘24), Peace Ineza (DO ‘24), Derek George (DO '24) and Destiny Sciuva (MS ‘22) spoke to the students and told their personal journeys of getting to PCOM South Georgia.
Sciuva said, “I think it's important to plant these ideas of possibility into the minds of younger students because it gives them something to aspire to and a goal they can work toward. I want students to know that they aren't limited in opportunities; there's a wealth of knowledge and potential in the field of science and medicine, and they're invited!
She added, “I hope these students had fun learning about the heart and playing some PCOM trivia, but ultimately I hoped it sparked their interest in science and medicine. Hopefully in a few years we'll be hearing from them as high school students asking about their next steps!”
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) extended its commitment to the Southeast by establishing PCOM South Georgia, an additional teaching location in Moultrie, Georgia. PCOM South Georgia offers both a full, four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree and a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit institution which trains professionals in the health and behavioral sciences fields. Joining PCOM Georgia in Suwanee in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state, PCOM South Georgia focuses on educating physicians for the South Georgia region. The medical campus, which welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in August 2019, has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit pcom.edu/southgeorgia or call 229-668-3110.
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