by Ethan Paquet
If you are in high school and would benefit from speaking with a student currently in university, apply to be a PowerUp mentee!
If you are a university student currently in a life or health sciences program, apply to be a mentor!
The PowerUp program helps connect high school students considering a career in life and health sciences with experienced and passionate university mentors.
The program is the result of a partnership between STEM Fellowship and Prospective Medical Professionals (PuMP). The mentoring service helps high school students in areas such as understanding the post-secondary application and admissions processes and learning about campus life.
Lucy Zhao, Founder of PuMP, saw the need for a resource to help students interested in pursuing life and health sciences when she was in Grade 10.
“I was originally at a private school in downtown Toronto. I hated the commute, so I switched back to my local school.”
That switch was eye-opening for Lucy, as she found the resources offered by the private school exceeded those in the public school system.
“There were not a lot of organizations focusing on youth opportunities in health, so I thought it would be great to have an organization dedicated to helping students in that field.”
Lucy met with other students who were passionate about this idea, and they began doing their own research to find statistics about students and the life and health science areas of study.
“We posted surveys across our social media pages and reached over 100 students, which helped us gather the data.”
Results of the survey
- four out of five teenagers have considered a career in medicine
- 76.3 percent of these teens are looking for learning opportunities
- 62 percent of youth cite difficulties in finding these opportunities.
“Seeing those numbers made us want to move forward, since we knew we could help youth considering this field.”
STEM Fellowship’s programs help hundreds of high school students across Canada by offering a variety of courses such as scholarly writing, Big Data, neuroscience, chemistry, and more.
“We offer a plethora of different types of activities,” says Laura Jarycki, an outreach coordinator for STEM Fellowship’s STEMPowerment program and the Director of Outreach for PowerUp.
“STEM Fellowship is focused on bringing scientific literacy and knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to traditionally underrepresented groups such as Indigenous-identifying, rural, or low-income.”
To learn more about STEM Fellowships, visit www.stemfellowship.org/stem-skills-development-and-mentorship
To learn more about PowerUp or to apply to be a mentor or mentee, visit www.stemfellowship.org/powerup
PuMP is a registered charity dedicated to connecting aspiring students to health sciences opportunities. Visit www.pumprofessionals.org