Fort Hill sophomores learn about health careers at medical center

Fort Hill High School sophomore Trynetta Washington learns about respiratory therapy from technician Krista Stevens at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.

CUMBERLAND — The 18 sophomores at Fort Hill High School who participate in the Next Generation Scholars program toured Western Maryland Health System recently for career inspiration.

The students visited the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center to learn about various careers in information technology, radiology, respiratory therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, laboratory work and  pharmacy.

This is the second year the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education coordinated a daylong field trip for sophomores to enhance education and career awareness as well as promote college completion for high school students.

MBRT designed the career tours to connect students with community businesses and provide opportunities to learn about career choices they may not have previously considered. The connections can help pave the way for future job shadowing and summer internship opportunities. Throughout the day, students toured facilities and learned about education requirements and what occurs during a typical workday. They also spoke directly with professionals about their industry and career path.

Students toured the various departments within the hospital and learned about the essential skills, daily responsibilities and necessary education required for each job type. Employees shared with students why they enjoy their jobs and underscored the dedication required to work in an environment that is open 24/7. Students also learned that possessing excellent soft skills such as communication and people skills are just as important as knowing hard skills such as operating high-tech machines and increasing a patient’s mobility.

“We were excited to again offer this popular learning experience for our Next Generation Scholars because it is such a valuable opportunity for our students to explore real careers in the community and talk to professionals working in a specific field,” said Brian Dulay, executive director of Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. “Our goal is that students will begin to formulate future plans and strategies about how to get where they want to go and be successful in college, career and life.”

For more than 25 years, MBRT has been connecting the business community with local schools through its Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau and STEM Specialists in the Classroom programs. In 2017, MBRT added the Next Generation Scholars program, which provides funding through the Howard P. Rawlings Maryland Guaranteed Access Grant administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission to enhance education and career awareness as well as college completion for high school students with a demonstrated financial need. The Guaranteed Access Grant provides an award that will help cover the cost of full-time study at a Maryland college or university for low-income families.

MBRT serves nearly 2,000 students in six high schools across five counties. Learn more about MBRT’s Next Generation Scholars program at www.mbrt.org/nextgen.

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