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Youth education program receives national grant

by Alex Jackson
Public Relations
The Mid-Carolina AHEC Center, part of the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC), received one of four national Youth Health Service Corps (YHSC) grants awarded this year to recruit and educate students, particularly those from underrepresented minority groups, about opportunities in the health-care field. The grant was provided by the Northwestern Connecticut AHEC and the Learn and Serve America Corporation and will help support the Health Careers Academy, a program for high school students coordinated by the South Carolina AHEC.
While the Mid-Carolina AHEC Center based in Lancaster received the grant, the program will be implemented in the Lowcountry, Pee Dee, Upstate, and Mid-Carolina regions of the state, said David Garr, M.D., South Carolina AHEC executive director.
“This grant will promote academic achievement and community involvement for students across South Carolina,” Garr said.
The YHSC program is designed to provide opportunities to 11th and 12th grade students to assume leadership positions in their communities. “Motivation is the key to success,” Garr said. “Once these young people learn more about their career options and experience the satisfaction of working on health-related projects in their communities, we anticipate they will be eager to pursue careers in the health-care field. South Carolina AHEC is the only organization in South Carolina that works with elementary, middle and high school students with the goal of encouraging them to consider careers in health care.”
Specifically, the AHEC Health Careers Academy students learn about careers in health care and the importance of academic skill development during 9th and 10th grade. Student-led projects and health-related community service and internships will be made available to the Health Careers Academy students participating in the YHSC during their junior and senior years. The YHSC curriculum will provide the students with step-by-step guidance that will help them develop leadership skills that will be of service to their community.
There are AHEC programs in 47 of the 50 states. South Carolina AHEC was among the first 11 established in 1972. The overall goal of the nation’s AHEC programs is to connect students to health careers, health professionals to communities, and communities to better health. Visit


Friday, June 13, 2008
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