Carlos Moreno, C.E.O. of Big Picture Learning, highlights the importance and impact of internship experiences through the story of a student who interned in a hospital.
[MUSIC PLAYING] Our schools are really grounded in ensuring that all young people have authentic real world learning experiences. So I had this amazing young lady named, Odyssey. Odyssey had had in her first year and she had had an inconsistent internship experience. And I knew that for her it was important that she had a powerful mentor that was also committed to her. That breakthrough moment wasn’t just about me delivering content, it was about me recognizing that she needed something beyond that. In this context, it was another woman of color that shared a similar passion and had had similar life experiences.
So Odyssey interned with a friend of mine who was a medical student at Brown University. Her name was Shayla. And Shayla was all about sharing her knowledge and experience and wisdom with others and really embraced Odyssey in really deep meaningful ways. Odyssey was doing extensive research on hypertension, something that was important to her because her grandmother suffered from hypertension. Because of that research, then she started doing a lot of demographic work around the impacts of hypertension in the African-American community. That led her to want to survey kind of like what are the different food sources in the global community. That led her to wanting to test and gauge the BMI’s the body mass index for all the students at our schools to see where they were and how that led to obesity and higher risk factors. That led her to making recommendations to the school on what were the lunch options that were being provided to the young people and why they should have healthier choices.
And I use Odyssey because it wasn’t linear, it wasn’t something that was like pre-sculpted or not thought through. It was something that just continue to iterate and build. And these were all things that, at the end culminated in Odyssey presenting at the Student National Medical Association Conference in New Orleans alongside her mentor to researchers, doctors, nurse practitioners, and folks in the field, you know, her findings, her research as a high school student.