Underserved, Minority Teens Get a Week to See Health Careers Up Close

07/12/04    Portland, Ore.


Teyah Reynolds-Lockwood has wanted to be an obstetrician, a forensic scientist, a geriatric health care practitioner, a lawyer, a beautician, a mortician and a pastor of her own church.

Right now Teyah, 14, from North Portland, is a first-and third-base softball player, a certified babysitter working 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. watching three children and was an award-winning eighth grader at Portsmouth Middle School for her academic achievement, community service and leadership skills. She will be a freshman at De LaSalle North Catholic High School.

"I've stayed with wanting to be an obstetrician the longest. I watched the birth of my cousin Cierra Marcel three years ago. Then and there I decided I wanted to be a trained and skilled obstetrician. But then again I'm in a period of my life where I'm changing so much," she said.

This week Teyah and 20 other students will be part of the OHSU Center for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Yo Science (Your Opportunity in Science), a summer camp on the Marquam Hill Campus for underrepresented minority and disadvantaged middle school students interested in pursuing careers in the health and science professions.

The goal of this program, planned for July 12 to July 16, is to provide students opportunities to explore various health care professions by participating in applied life science classes, career development seminars and field trips. Yo Science offers students a cost-free opportunity to job-shadow professionals in emergency medicine, nursing, orthotics and prosthetics, public health, and radiation therapy at OHSU. Students receive hands-on training on bandaging and splinting, vital signs, biomedical research, and in the dental lab. Students will also attend classes in math, science, computer science and group communication from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

"OHSU is concerned in meeting the diverse needs of our community. We also are aware of the need to increase representation of minorities and of bilingual and bicultural health care providers. Our program helps students enhance their knowledge and skills while exploring the many career opportunities available to them," said Leslie Garcia, acting director of the OHSU Center for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

For Teyah, it will be her third Yo Science camp. "It's an opportunity for me to learn things and Yo Science helps prepare me for my future," Teyah said.