Penn Medicine’s Pipeline Program is not easy. Its rigorous agenda requires participants to successfully complete their junior- and senior-year high school courses while taking college courses and learning about health-care careers through on-site experiences. But they’re up to the challenge. Francis Graham, associate director of HR Workforce Development, told this year’s graduates, “We expect a lot and you meet our expectations … and then 10-fold.”
The program, which initially started as a summer internship, was later extended into a two-year, year-round program. It exposes students to the health-care field while providing job readiness training and professional development. The students all work with mentors in departments and areas throughout the Health System who are positive role models and provide on-site job training. So far, more than 100 students from three West Philadelphia high schools have participated in the program.