Bontu and Jordy.
Remember Bontu? Three months ago, you received an email outlining her experience with the Teen Health Promotors (THP). Missed that report? You can read about her at this link. Bontu and her friend Jordy, both seniors in high school, sat down with LAYC staff to discuss THP and their summer experience working with the DC Health and Academic Prep Program (DC-HAPP) at George Washington University (GW).
DC-HAPP was an intensive four-week experiential opportunity for rising seniors interested in a career in medicine. Jordy, Bontu, and the other THP students joined other DC youth to work directly with medical professionals to learn about various health career paths, participate in college preparatory activities, receive support with the college application process, and build mentoring relationships for long-term academic and professional success. Throughout the program, the youth had an opportunity to hear lectures from medical professionals and students, visited the Veterans Affairs office and spoke to veterans there, had lunch with the deans of GW’s medical school, and even had a special white-coat ceremony to honor the youth and their work.
Jordy really enjoyed the lectures on projects various doctors were working on, including research on various illnesses and diseases. He remarked, “I liked learning about iron deficiency or anemia because that affects various members of my family. It was cool to learn about it from the medical side.”
Bontu loved the experience of going into GW’s cadaver lab and seeing various dissected cadavers. She mentioned that all of the youth were able to practice medical sutures on pigs’ feet. These two experiences changed her original goal of becoming an anesthesiologist to wanting to become a surgeon.
Both Bontu and Jordy spoke about how their experience with the Teen Health Promoters prepared them for this program. Jordy appreciated the clinical skills they learned in THP like taking blood pressure, CPR training, and knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Jordy mentioned that doctors were so impressed with their knowledge from THP, stating “medical students don’t even know that!” Bontu was assigned to GW’s hospital for her internship with THP, so she felt comfortable in the space and felt ahead of other youth in the program. Bontu said that she credits THP for giving her the confidence to talk to various types of people, and that the program helped them bond with staff.
After the program, Bontu, Jordy, and the other youth participants received a $2,500 stipend as well as continued college application assistance. Both students said they wouldn’t have been eligible for this amazing experience without their training from THP.
As for their families? “My mom never stopped talking about it. Everyone in my family is proud of me and sees me as the future doctor,” Jordy said. Bontu said that her parents are doing the same thing—bragging to everyone. “Now my sister wants to do THP, too!” she said.
Because of you, Bontu and Jordy are closer than ever to achieving their dreams of becoming physicians. Thank you! Every contribution expands the opportunities that these driven youth may access, including hands-on experiences like DC-HAPP, internships, and scholarships. Please consider donating monthly to sustain the Teen Health Promoters program.
Bontu speaking to the DC-HAPP graduation.
Bontu, Jordy, LAYC staff, and other THP youth.
Bontu, her sister, and LAYC staff Andrea Thomas.