For the second summer in a row, high school interns joined the Children's Hospital Boston team as part of the COACH (Career Opportunity Advancement Children's Hospital) program, overseen by Florence Chan and Caitlin Toomey in Human Resources. This year, 54 interns worked full-time for seven weeks in various departments, each guided by a Children's mentor.
Carlotta Hayes, of the Clinical Nutrition Department, mentored 16-year-old—and worked with him to set up his goals and weekly objectives. "When I saw someone who had so much promise, I wanted to do everything I could to make sure he got to take full advantage of this opportunity," she says.
The program was designed to give youth from urban areas of Boston the opportunity to explore health care careers while having a safe, meaningful summer. "I didn't know there were opportunities to work in a hospital at my age," says Howard. This year, the program partnered with the Colleges of the Fenway for campus tours. Tatiana Cortes, who interned in the Office of Child Advocacy, hadn't considered applying to Simmons before the tour, but now plans to. "At the financial aid workshop, I learned how to apply for scholarships," she says.
John Riordan, director of Community Partnerships in the Office of Child Advocacy, sees the long-term benefits of COACH. "The interns get work experience and build lessons that will make them well-rounded workers and help them in their ongoing educational pursuits," he says. This holds true for Sally Mei, a returning COACH intern in Volunteer Services. "The program taught me to believe in myself," she says. "I didn't have a lot of confidence my first year, but this year, I know I can do it."