SMU Reaches Teens at Health Careers Fair
Samuel Merritt University (SMU) co-hosted the second annual Health Careers Fair in Oakland on November 15 to encourage East Bay high school students to pursue higher education and careers in healthcare.
The demand for healthcare providers is expected to increase over the next decade and many teens are not aware of the educational opportunities available in the field.
SMU partnered with Sutter East Bay Regional Recruitment Services and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center's Youth Bridge Career and Internship Program to present the educational fair held at the Valley Center for Performing Arts at Holy Names University.
More than 120 science and health academy students from five Oakland and Berkeley high schools had an opportunity to speak with healthcare and college representatives to explore careers, get inspired and begin planning for the future. ABSMC Diagnostics, Pharmacy, Nursing, East Bay AIDS Center and Fast Response teams presented engaging and educational exhibits. Representatives from SMU and our four pre-nursing partnership schools (Holy Names University, Mills College, Notre Dame de Namur and Saint Mary's College of California) spoke to the students about college admission and financial aid.
John Garten-Shuman, VP of Enrollment & Student Services at SMU, took the stage and spoke candidly to the students. "College is not an option-it is a requirement," he told them. He then asked students what kind of car they would want. One student shared, "Range Rover."
"How much will that Range Rover be worth in seven years when you pay it off?" he asked. "Almost nothing. But, if you put that much money into your education, it will be worth a lot more than you invested."
The students also attended a panel session where three health professionals talked about their backgrounds, career paths, skills development, and how they balance work and personal life. The panelists were Tim Dutra, DPM, CSPM Faculty; Christine Dalva, SMU ELMSN-FNP student; and Ike Mmeje, Administrative Director of ABSMC Clinical and Research Services.
SMU developed and produced instructional materials to help teachers prepare students for the Health Careers Fair and a student workbook with assignments for students to complete during and after the event. The Jonas Family Fund provided financial support to make this an annual experience for local teens.