Pittsburgh Gets Real

Students spend summer learning as part of Allegheny Health Network’s Young Scholars program

PITTSBURGH — School’s out for most Pittsburgh students, but instead of hanging out with friends or at the pool, a group of select eighth graders is spending time this summer inside Allegheny General Hospital, as part of AHN’s Young Scholars program.

The students are getting an education in healthcare, with the ultimate goal of growing our region’s own local doctors, nurses and dentists.

For the 12- and 13-year-olds in the program, it’s a hands-on chance to learn about medicine.

“I want to help people in need, and I don’t like seeing people’s struggles. so, I just want to help them, said student London Bracey.

Today’s lesson? Protecting teeth and preventing cavities. United Concordia’s Chief Dental Officer demonstrated how to apply sealants that coat the molars and smooth the tooth’s surface.

“I shared with them that in the posterior teeth, because of the grooves that are in those teeth, many times children will wind up getting cavities,” said Roosevelt Allen.

The students in the program are from Urban Pathways Charter School in the Cultural District and Manchester Academic Charter School on the North Side. The Young Scholars program is a five-year program, designed to follow students until 12th grade.

“There are so many various careers they can pursue. They pay well. They allow them to travel the world and things of that nature. Providing them that exposure is important, “said Nnenna Ukpaby with the AHN Enterprise Equitable Health Institute

Earlier in the week these students got the chance to watch open heart surgery.

“It was at first a little nasty, but then you looked at it more and it was okay,” said student Alayah Nelson.

“I want to be a surgeon when I grow up,” said London Bracey. The AHN Young Scholars Program is provided at no cost. For more information, email dei@ahn.org.

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