Registration is now open for the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s annual Reach Out to Youth event, scheduled for Nov. 20.
The School of Medicine’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association hosts the event, now in its 31st year, introducing children in underrepresented populations to the possibility of careers in science and medicine. The event provides children a look into the world of medicine and an understanding that they can develop careers in that world.
This year’s Reach Out to Youth, with the theme “Bacteria is Mean: Keep it Clean with Healthy Hygiene,” will take place virtually from 9 a.m. to noon.
The free program is open to children ages 7 to 11.
Parents can register their children for the program here.
Created three decades ago by School of Medicine graduates Carolyn King, M.D. '93, and Donald Tynes, M.D. '95, Reach Out to Youth has expanded to other medical schools.
"Dr. Carolyn King and I planned the program on Wayne State University main campus the year before starting medical school," said Dr. Tynes, chief medical officer for the Benton Harbor Health Center and the Benton Harbor Mental Health Center, in 2019. "We saw the shortage of African-Americans in the field of medicine, low self-esteem and lack of role models. We just thought of starting the program and getting it into the public schools. We were young and never thought further than that. We were just doing it!"
"It's important to create more Reach Out To Youth programs because of unintentional implicit bias in the human heart and because data show individuals from impoverished communities go back to those areas and make a significant impact,” added Dr. Tynes, who also serves as pastor of Keep It Real Ministry Church. "We need doctors from all the underserved communities in the world.
"What I wanted to accomplish was first to correct the low self-esteem of African-Americans kids growing up in America, who are often portrayed in a negative light," he added. "I also wanted to include the breakthrough in history that was more inclusive of the African contribution to the field of medicine. I wanted this program to be a pipeline for African-Americans to enter the field of medicine and science. Many attempts have failed to increase the presence of African-Americans in medicine, but Wayne State University School of Medicine was a world leader back then, so we thought we could make a major impact. Programs like this are greatly needed to increase the number of African-American youth and other minorities going into the field of medicine and to increase diversity."