This summer, approximately 60 high school students from Detroit Public Schools worked alongside clinical and research faculty from the Wayne State University School of Medicine to explore clinical, health policy or basic science research as part of the Biomedical Career Advancement Program.
BCAP, a six-week paid internship, is a collaborative program between the Wayne State University School of Medicine, the Michigan Area Health Education Center, the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority and the Detroit Public Schools Community District. The DWMHA provided $185,000 to expand BCAP for DPSCD students and will also provide training to the students.
The program was established in 2014 by Jennell White, Ph.D., a graduate of the School of Medicine. Dr. White, a newly appointed assistant professor of WSU Pharmacology, is dedicated to exposing youth to careers in health science.
BCAP students engage in research Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Fridays, students participate in laboratory training and informational sessions with a focus on the college admission process, careers in health science and opportunities to build professional networks with peers and Wayne State University faculty and staff.
"Minority Americans are severely underrepresented in scientific and health fields at every level, from the professional workforce -- physicians, dentists, research scientists -- through all levels of the educational system," Dr. White said. "I developed the BCAP curriculum to combat this underrepresentation by improving science education of minority youths at the early stages of the educational process and by increasing available opportunities to ignite their passion for the sciences."
Students will showcase their research findings during BCAP's closing ceremony Aug. 3 at the School of Medicine. The oral research presentation allows students to communicate the importance of their research, learn how to clearly analyze and state their findings, and prompt others to ask questions and give valuable feedback.