The goal of the expanding high school internship program is to educate students from around the Cleveland area about the various opportunities offered to them through healthcare in the hopes that they will find their niche and eventually enter the field, possibly back at Cleveland Clinic. Several interns have already answered this call and are in the process of completing their education to become healthcare professionals. Others who are part of the 2009 program have determined through their experiences during the summer that they want to go into healthcare and return to Cleveland Clinic. In doing so, these current interns are helping the Office of Civic Education Initiatives to reach its goal - they are leaving the internship with a plan for the future.
"As interns, we are not only experiencing new, unforgettable things. Instead we have a special knowledge acquired from experience, a knowledge that tells us the world needs us now more than ever. We can spend the summer here and learn as much as possible about ourselves and our interests, so that when the careers of doctors and nurses are completed and left behind, we will be readily prepared to pick those jobs up, right where they left off."
"You don't have to be in a clinical area to be making a difference medically."
When she was asked where she wanted to be stationed for her internship, a laboratory wasn't on Science Intern Adaeze Okafor's list of preferences. However, being placed in a lab with her mentor Sanjay Pimplikar, PhD, made for a great learning experience. "Being in a lab really opened up my mind," she says. "You don't have to be in a clinical area to be making a difference medically." She was involved in a very technical research project, and this increased her interest in a career in research. "I didn't think I would learn as much as I did," she says. "I was able to see a lot and do a lot. For me, the internship was a huge success."