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Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson addresses BIDMC's Summer Youth Employees

Students head back to school

BOSTON - With the end of summer drawing near, 40 Boston area students gathered to bid farewell to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the staff who guided them in their summer work. The students were part of BIDMC's paid summer jobs program. They worked 32 hours each week July through August.

Tito Jackson, Boston City Councilor for District 7, serving all of Roxbury and parts of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, the South End and the Fenway celebrated the students in his keynote address. "What you've done this summer is added something real to your resume, so take pride in that," he said, "because if you don't believe it, then you won't achieve it."

Jackson, who has made it a personal mission to motivate students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), also praised BIDMC for continually funding its summer intern program, especially this year when cuts in federal spending have devastated other youth programs. "What I call this," said Jackson "is an investment in our future."

The summer students were placed in virtually every department throughout BIDMC, ranging from medical areas such as obstetrics and gynecology to patient transportation, human resources and information systems.

"These experiences are more than mere summer jobs. They have the ability to change our future for the better, the power to keep us off the streets and allow us to explore the many kinds of professions we can join when we grow up," said Misgana Alemu, a rising junior at the John D. O'Bryant School of Math and Science in Boston. Alemu interned with supervisors Ed Incerto and Tanyah Gray of BIDMC's Facilities Department helping ensure that the medical center is compliant with all aspects of the American Disabilities Act.

"Each year it is an honor to introduce students to the world of work and health care," said Program Administrator Galia Wise of Workforce Development. "We hope that one day, the students will consider becoming a part of this very special community of dedicated and compassionate individuals."

For more than a decade, BIDMC has hired both high school and college students into the summer jobs program. Students are referred by community organizations, including the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC); Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD); Bowdoin Street Health Center; Brookline Public School's Work Connections for Youth Program, and the Gateway program at the John D. O'Bryant High School.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and currently ranks third in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit www.bidmc.org.