OLEAN — High school students wanting to learn more about healthcare careers are encouraged to apply for the next Step into Healthcare Career Academy.

The program will run from Nov. 1-Dec. 18 from Nov. 1-Dec. 18, 3-4:30 p.m. There will be an orientation meeting for accepted students on Oct. 30th at the Jamestown Community College Cattaraugus County Campus from 3:30-5 p.m. Spots are limited, and applications are available at www.sthcs.org/news/careeracademy.

The Step into Healthcare Career Academy, supported by Southern Tier Health Care System, the Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board and the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Area Development Program, continues to bridge the gap between education and career readiness. The achievements of the first cohort underscore the significance of investing in our region’s youth and preparing them for the workforce of tomorrow.

The Step into Healthcare Career Academy, designed to foster youth career development and cultivate a skilled healthcare workforce, saw tremendous accomplishments in its first cohort. This unique program, dedicated to preparing youth for future careers in healthcare, offered participating students the chance to network with industry leaders and potential employers, setting them on the path to success.

Such a cultivation was seen in the first round of the program, officials said, recognizing Portville sophomore Sofia Glover as a standout in the program. She took on an internship program with Dr. Kelly Burch at her Cuba-based Burch Family Dental practice. Burch had been a guest speaker at the academy, and inspired by Dr. Burch’s presentation, Sofia reached out to express her interest in further exploring the dental profession.

“I emailed her and asked if I could come into her office for a day. I went and learned so much that I’ve gone every week since then,” Glover said. “One particularly memorable experience was when I saw my first extraction. I wasn’t sure how I would react to it, but it is definitely my favorite procedure I have watched so far.”

“Being part of the Healthcare Career Academy and sharing my experiences with these aspiring young minds has been incredibly rewarding,” said Burch. “I’m thrilled to see the enthusiasm and dedication of students like Sofia. This program is not only shaping the future of healthcare but also fostering a passion for healthcare careers in our local youth. I look forward to continuing to inspire and support the next generation of healthcare professionals.”

Sofia’s internship success mirrors the program’s primary goal of providing local youth with hands-on exposure to healthcare careers, arming them with valuable skills and insights for future employment or training opportunities.

“Sofia’s experience embodies the essence of our program – forging connections and nurturing a passion for healthcare careers,” said Donna Kahm, President and CEO at Southern Tier Health Care System. “Through the Academy, Sofia was introduced to the world of dentistry, and her dedication and enthusiasm have been truly inspiring.”


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