High School Mentorship Program in Healthcare Professions

The High School Mentorship Program in Health Care Professions (HSMP) is a major emphasis area of TCWA. The HSMP began in 2009 as an opportunity to introduce students to the field of nursing and provide exposure to possible career paths in the healthcare profession. Through job shadowing and mentoring, students get their first exposure to this growing and much needed profession. 

Developed by TCWA and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Dreyfus Health Foundation of New York, RHEA Foundation of New York, Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, and The Foundation for the Mid South, the year-round program works with 9th-12th grade students. In addition to the exposure to health care professionals, the students attend workshops to help prepare them for college, which include classes in time management, test-taking skills, stress management and hone their skills in conflict resolution, professionalism, social media etiquette, team building, oral and written communication  and critical thinking.

Students can become certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and are
provided  assistance in preparing for the American College Testing (ACT) exam. During the summer, students participate in an intensive training institute with advanced coursework in math, science, English, computer skills, and critical analysis. During the summer institute, students are also required to attend the annual Healthy, Set, Go, Summer Camp, a two week long health camp that promotes healthy eating and healthy living where the students get to employ the skills they have learned .

Throughout the year, the high school participants also participate in site visits to hospitals and clinics throughout the region and get to meet with various health professionals. The program has an individual mentor component  where student participants are paired with practicing healthcare  professionals. The program consists of 60 hours of job shadowing at a health care facility under a licensed health care professional .  This program is a step program that leads into dual enrollment in the community college's, certified nursing assitant, EKG technician or phlebotomy programs during the students' 12th grade year. The critcal shortage of health  care workers and the vast needs for these types of service providers in this region are a pathway to long term employment and a way to satisfy an unmet need in the Delta.   

 


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