By: Gary Gottlieb, MD, Partners HealthCare President and CEO

Tags: creating jobs

MLK Scholars

A summer job can be life-changing for a teen. It can address some of the social factors that ultimately determine the health of our young people and set them on a path to educational success and economic independence. For instance, research tells us that students who work in summer jobs are significantly more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college than those who don’t have a summer job.

Like Mayor Walsh, we believe that the young people in our communities should have summer job opportunities. That’s why each year we help to ensure that 450 teenagers have summer jobs at our hospitals. And we continue to invest in John Hancock’s MLK Summer Scholars program, which provides summer jobs to nearly 650 teenagers. The program also offers teens learning workshops where they are able to hone their communication and life skills.

For Partners HealthCare, it has been a privilege to participate in this program for the past seven years. Each year, we reap the benefit of having young people enrich our mission as they weave their talents and enthusiasm into the fabric of our hospitals.  At the same time, we are helping young people thrive in preparation for their leadership roles in our community.

For example, Annie Duong, a former MLK Scholar, is now a full time employee at John Hancock. She shared how the program has impacted her life.

“Being a Scholar has helped me to grow so much both personally and professionally. The MLK Summer Scholars has been a foot in the door towards building my career,” said Annie. After Annie first worked as an MLK Scholar at John Hancock, she continued as an intern during the school year, and then was hired fulltime.

“I was fortunate enough to have a supportive manager who encouraged my growth at every opportunity. I gained much-needed self-confidence that has helped me to fulfill my academic and professional goals, and the workshops gave me the chance to develop marketable skills and make connections.” Annie’s experience with the MLK Scholars Program has also helped to define a vision for her future – she plans to pursue a degree in public administration.

We congratulate Annie and all the MLK Summer Scholars – past and present!

See photos from the MLK Summer Scholars kick off event.