March 30, 2024

Wayne State University and Ascension Michigan encourage middle school students to pursue careers in health and science

More than 300 middle school students from four Detroit Public Schools will visit the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s campus in Detroit on April 4 to Go Out and Love Science, or #GOALS, in collaboration with the Ascension Foundation for Health Equity and Ascension’s Community Impact team. Students from Henderson, Thirkell, Hamilton and Marcus Garvey schools will attend the one-day event, participating in hands-on activities to inspire a love for science and medicine.

The Ascension Foundation for Health Equity’s #GOALS initiative is a day-long event designed to expose sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to potential future healthcare careers through hands-on activities and small-group interaction with a diverse group of medical students and professionals.

“We’re building a more diverse healthcare workforce by inspiring middle school students to consider who they could become if they study science today,” said Carol Schmidt, FACHE, Ascension senior vice president and chief executive officer of Ascension Michigan. “For #GOALS, we bring middle schools to a medical school for a day with healthcare students who look like them. Students can learn about different careers and hear how healthcare students and practitioners overcame obstacles that are all too familiar to students from low-resourced communities.”

Wayne State University and Ascension know that an early love for science is the pathway to creating the next generation of doctors, scientists and STEM professionals. An early interest in science propels students throughout high school, college and into medical and other health schools. The next generation of doctors is built when they understand just how fascinating and rewarding science can be.

“Creating pathways to higher education of Detroit middle schoolers, particularly in the areas of science and medicine, lies at the core of the mission of Wayne State University,” said WSU President Dr. Kimberly Andrews Espy. “Events such as #GOALS advance prosperity for our community, as we will look to these children to become our next generation of scientists, physicians and innovators. Every young scientist is propelled by those early moments of inspiration and curiosity, and Wayne State is honored to connect with these younger learners in our city.”

“We are proud to be working closely with Wayne State School of Medicine, which is a national leader in medical education,” said Robyn Brenza Kress, senior vice president, Ascension Foundation for Health Equity. “Their dedication to attracting and educating a diverse student body includes innovative pathways such as Med-Direct and the Post Baccalaureate programs as well ongoing outreach to Detroit Public Schools, and we’re inspired by their example.”

“Wayne State University School of Medicine is honored to have the Ascension Foundation for Health Equity as an ongoing collaborator, recognizing our longstanding and passionate commitment to our community and urban clinical excellence,” said School of Medicine Dean Wael Sakr, M.D. “The university has developed responsive and innovative initiatives to help ensure that everyone with a passion for medicine and healthcare can pursue a world-class medical education. This event is an extension of that, as we encourage these, and all young learners, to consider what could be possible in the future if they study science and medicine today.”

Learn more about the Ascension Foundation for Health Equity’s commitment to building a diverse health care pipeline, including #GOALS, at

“Our commitment to this initiative reflects Ascension’s unwavering dedication to advancing healthcare and health equity in Detroit,” said Doug Apple, M.D., M.S., FHM, chief clinical officer of Ascension Michigan. “We believe in fostering community well-being and are proud to support initiatives that make a positive impact.”

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