Ochsner Expands STEM Pathfinder Program for High School Students; Applications Now Open
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Ochsner Health is continuing to invest in the next generation of healthcare professionals by expanding its tuition-free education outreach programs for local high school students across Louisiana. Applications are now open for Ochsner’s second annual STEM Pathfinder Program – a healthcare career exploratory program for high school students featuring hands-on clinical skills training sessions, science labs, virtual hospital tours and professional development. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2022.
In 2021, Ochsner celebrated the inaugural STEM Pathfinder Program for New Orleans East students, marking an addition to the health system’s robust summer offerings, including Ochsner’s legacy STAR Summer Scholars Program. This year, the STEM Pathfinder Program will expand into East Baton Rouge and Caddo parishes, providing even more young people the opportunity to explore healthcare and science careers.
The one-week program is free for attendees. Applicants must be at least 14 years old by the start of the program and should be current 8th-, 9th- or 10th-grade students. This year four sessions will be offered:
STEM Pathfinders Program – New Orleans at Ochsner Baptist – Open to students who live or attend school in New Orleans East zip codes 70129, 70128, 70127 and 70126.
Session A: June 20-24, 2022
Session B: July 11-15, 2022
STEM Pathfinders Program – Baton Rouge – Open to students who attend a school within the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.
Dates: July 18-22, 2022
STEM Pathfinders Program – North Louisiana – Open to students who attend a school within the Caddo Parish School System.
Dates: July 11-15, 2022
Hosted by the Ochsner Education Outreach and Ochsner Health teams, the STEM Pathfinder Program was designed to expose more high school students to science, technology, engineering and math. Through the program, healthcare professionals from across multiple disciplines provide mentorship to students, preparing them to make intentional career decisions. The program is free, and Ochsner provides all the supplies necessary for participation.
In addition to inquiry-based science labs and clinical training, students access expertise from leaders in a variety of disciplines including areas such as women’s services, DNA research and medicine, public health programs, radiology, pharmacology and emergency medicine. Activities from last year’s program included hands-on science experiments, virtual nursing simulations, therapeutic demonstrations, surgical practice and tours with ambulance and flight care teams.
“Our high school summer programs give local students real access to science, in a way that makes it fun and relatable, while also exposing them to a variety of career paths available in the health sciences realm. The hope is to inspire our next generation of healthcare career professionals by providing dynamic, hands-on experiences,” said Allison Sharai, Assistant Vice President of Education & Community Affairs. “Investing in these educational opportunities is a key part of the plan to transform Louisiana into a healthier state by 2030.”
After attending the 2021 STEM Pathfinder Program, an Ochsner Health survey found:
- 92% of students felt more confident in their ability to become a healthcare professional.
- 96% of students were more interested in pursuing a healthcare career.
- 96% of students felt empowered to find more information about becoming a healthcare professional.
How To Apply:
STEM Pathfinder Program applications should be completed online and are due by 11:59 p.m., Thursday, March 31, 2022. Applicants must provide:
A) General Student Information: demographic information, school details, parent/guardian information
B) Short Answer – Students are asked to respond to the following in 3-5 sentences.
- What do you do in your spare time?
- Tell us about a time you served your community.
- Who would you consider to be a role model, and why?
C) Most Recent School Transcript or Report Card (to be attached)
D) One (1) Letter of Recommendation - A request will automatically be sent to the recommender after the applicant completes the "Recommender Request" section. Students must provide the recommender's name and email address. Students should follow up to ensure the recommenders have received submission links.
E) Video Diary Submission – Students are asked to develop a two- to five-minute video to support applications. The video should include an introduction and answer to any of the following:
- Describe a time you did a good job and were proud of your work.
- What is your favorite book? Explain why it is your favorite and how it has impacted you.
- Describe a time you had a positive impact on someone.
- Why do you want to participate in this program?
About Ochsner Health
Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Ochsner Health is a not-for-profit committed to giving back to the communities it serves through preventative screenings, health and wellness resources and partnerships with innovative organizations that share our vision. Ochsner Health healed more than 900,000 people from across the globe in 2021, providing the latest medical breakthroughs and therapies, including digital medicine for chronic conditions and telehealth specialty services. Ochsner Health is a national leader, named both the top hospital and the top children’s hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report. As Louisiana’s leading healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. Ochsner Health is innovating healthcare by investing in new technologies and research to make world-class care more accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner's team of more than 32,000 employees and 4,500 providers are working to reinvent the future of health and wellness in the region. To learn more about Ochsner Health, please visit www.ochsner.org. To transform your health, please visit www.ochsner.org/healthyyou