summer Children’s Hospital Boston hosts some 30 high school
students from the surrounding communities, providing them the unique
opportunity to learn, firsthand, what it’s like to work in
the hospital environment. From conducting lab experiments to answering
the phones, these kids get their first taste of hospital culture
at CHB, and often go on to pursue permanent careers in healthcare.
“We help students gain valuable work experience and rub shoulders
with different hospital employees—clinical and non-clinical,”
says Diana Mar, senior employment representative
in Human Resources. “But more often than not, we end up gaining
far more from the students then they learn from us.”
Francesca Morency is one student who has given back as much as
she has received at CHB, working at the hospital for the past two
summers. She applied for and was accepted to Harvard
Medical School’s (HMS) Project Success in 2003, during
her sophomore year at Boston
Latin School. Project Success targets Boston and Cambridge minority
high school students, who participate in mentored, summer research
internships. HMS placed two full-time, paid students at CHB for
eight weeks this summer.
Francesca worked in the lab of Jordan
Kreidberg, MD, PhD, looking at two different types
of cells to determine their affect on cyst formation as it relates
“Francesca has done a nice piece of work, which will ultimately
expand our understanding of kidney disease in the future,”
says Nibedita Chattopadhyay, PhD, Francesca’s
“Before I started working in Dr. Kreidberg’s lab, I
didn’t really know anything about the research environment
or how to use lab equipment,” says Francesca. “I think
what I’ve learned will be very useful when I go to college
and have labs with my science classes.”
Francesca will graduate from high school this spring and hopes
to attend Harvard University for her undergraduate degree. “My
real dream is to go to Harvard Medical School someday,” she
says, adding that she hopes to pursue neonatology.
Javale Jean-Pierre has also worked at CHB for the past two summers.
She began working in Child Life Services in July 2003, the summer
before her senior year at the Health
Careers Academy (HCA), a Horace Mann Charter School that is
a small, academically rigorous learning community for students who
express an interest in the health professions. Each summer, the
Private Industry Council Summer Jobs Program places students
in jobs, connecting classroom work to workplace learning. CHB hosts
20 full-time, paid HCA students for eight weeks each summer.
Javale enjoyed her work so much and was such an asset to the Child
Life team that she stayed on part-time through the school year and
has worked full-time again this summer. Javale said her final goodbye
in August, when she headed to the University of Massachusetts at
During her time at CHB, Javale tackled a number of administrative
tasks, answering the phones, drafting thank you letters to donors
and working on a number of computer-based projects. She particularly
enjoyed the Christmas season, which she describes as “busy,
but good busy. I had the chance to help wrap gifts that were donated
to the hospital for the patients,” she recalls.
According to Myra Fox, Javale’s supervisor
and director of Child Life Services, the hardest thing about Javale’s
time at CHB was saying goodbye to her. “Javale has a wonderful
spirit. She is highly competent, dependable and flexible, and is
always willing to help, no matter what the task,” she says.
“If Javale is an example of what this program can bring to
Children’s, then I would definitely say this is an extraordinary
opportunity for any department. We will all miss her dearly.”
Unlike Francesca and Javale, 2004 was India Peele’s first
summer at CHB. India, who is entering her senior year at Another
Course to College in Brighton, connected with the hospital through
Hill/Fenway ABCD Neighborhood Service Center’s SummerWorks
Program. For the past two summers, the program has placed five
full-time students at CHB for six- week internships.
India spent her summer working in the Child Care Center’s
pre-school. She assisted the teachers, helped out with snacks and
played with the kids. She also led the printing project portion
of this year’s center-wide art show.
“India really connected with the kids from day one,”
says Carrie Campagna, India’s supervisor.
“She’s very focused and attentive with the children,
making sure they’re safe. It’s been essential to have
her with us.”
Hoping to become a pediatric oncologist in the future, India definitely
enjoyed her first experience working with children in a healthcare
setting. “I would definitely tell other students to work at
Children’s in the summer.”
CHB participates in a number of additional summer student programs.
For more information, contact Diana Mar at ext. 5-5970.