Portland School Notebook: Aug. 15

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UNE welcomes students to explore careers in healthcare

A new school year is right around the corner and, for some students, it will soon be time to decide what direction to take after high school.

The University of New England offered a unique summer camp experience this summer that gave students an opportunity to learn more about potential career paths in the health professions, when the inaugural Health Career’s Exploration Summer Camp took place Aug. 4-6.

The camp hosted 30 students, the majority of whom are new Mainers or students from rural and medically underserved communities.

“We received about 120 applications and accepted 30 students,” said Zoe Hull, program manager for the Maine Area Health Education Center Network.

The students were introduced to the health professions over three interactive and fun days of learning. They worked with faculty and staff from the College of Dental Medicine, the College of Osteopathic Medicine, the College of Pharmacy, the Social Work Program and the Nursing Program.

Since 2010, UNE has offered a Dental Careers Exploration Camp. This year it was expanded to include other health fields, giving students an interprofessional educational experience.

“We’ve had some students in the past express interest in some of the other health professions while they’ve been on campus looking around,” said Hull.

Most of the activities took place on UNE’s Portland campus. The students were housed on UNE’s Biddeford campus, exposing them to life on a college campus.

The long-term goal of the camp is to reduce health disparities for rural and underserved communities.

“The hope is that students from those areas will pursue a health career and go back and practice within their own community,” said Hull.

Fahima Hassan and Hanan Omar were two of 30 high school students who explored careers in medicine at a summer camp hosted by the University of New England.

Boy Scout Ben Corwin, who is a member of Troop No. 1 in Portland, toured the State House as part of the Public Service program at Camp Bomazeen. Scouts had the opportunity to earn several badges, including Citizenship in the World, Public Speaking, and Journalism. The tour was part of a day-long adventure that included visits to the First Amendment Museum in Augusta, a local newspaper, and the biomass facility at Colby College in Waterville.