The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust

Building 21 Allentown Students Complete Summer Work Experience at LVHN

On Friday, July 31st, Building 21 Allentown students gathered virtually to celebrate the completion of Lehigh Valley Health Network’s (LVHN) Summer Work Experience, a specialized program offered through the Department of Education with financial support from The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust. Opening the program, Andrea Wilson, Youth Program Coordinator, noted the persistence and courage of six high school students who rose to the challenge of the program and showed their capacity to excel in the midst of crisis.

Wilson organizes the annual program that offers Building 21 Allentown students real-world work experience and career exploration by matching students with professional mentors and work assignments. This year, all projects were designed in departments at LVHN, with training, learning opportunities, and professional development handled in an on-line format. Mentors and other administrators from LVHN and Building 21 Allentown attended the closing program to congratulate and encourage the students.

Keynote Speaker Edward Meehan, Executive Director, The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust, addressed the students with words of encouragement for the future by quoting Nelson Mandela’s statement, “Education is the most powerful thing you can use to change the world.” Meehan said he hoped the experience allowed the students to consider their future educations or even a career in the medical field.

During the program, each of the six students presented a project they completed in connection with a department at LVHN and answered questions from guests. Dr. Robert Murphy, Chief Integration Officer, LVHN, who also serves on the Building 21 Allentown Advisory Council, paid close attention to each students’ remarks and offered a specific question and observation in response. When Karimah McKnight played a video she prepared that introduces a variety of careers in the medical field that are outside of nurse and physician roles, Dr. Murphy acknowledged that medicine is a team sport and was pleased to see a unique way to encourage young people to consider all medical career paths. Murphy applauded the students for their outstanding work this summer.

Jose Rosado, Jr., School Leader, Building 21 Allentown, thanked LVHN and The Pool Trust for support and said he looks forward to the program every summer. “It’s exciting to see the relationships that are built,” he said. “To our mentors, thank you for your time and maintaining high standards for our student experience.”

All of the students felt inspired by the program and confirmed they are now more open to careers in the medical area. They agreed they learned that many different roles are available – from patient service to communications and data management – that contribute to the success of a health system. The LVHN Summer Work Experience is just one of the programs that provides career-connected learning to Building 21 Allentown students. Congratulations to this year’s participants:

  • Elise Wilson:  LVPG Vascular Surgery
  • Fabian Hernandez: LVHN Interpreter Services
  • Karimah McKnight: Health Network Labs
  • Messiah Crawl: Department of Education
  • Perla Dominguez: Emergency Center
  • William Gorecki: Emergency Management

View sample projects here: