WCU, MAHEC sponsor health careers camp for middle school students

Western Carolina University and the Mountain Area Health Education Center will sponsor a weeklong residential camp with a focus on careers in health care for rising seventh- and eighth-graders Sunday through Saturday, June 19-25, on the WCU campus.

The deadline for camp applications, available at healthcamp.wcu.edu, is 5 p.m. Friday, March 11, with selection notifications sent in April.

A goal of the Health Careers Summer Camp is to introduce participants to the variety of educational and career opportunities available in today’s health care field. A longer-range goal is a diverse and culturally competent health professions work force; with this in mind, organizers encourage attendance by minority and economically disadvantaged students.

The camp curriculum, designed to foster optimism about the value, rewards and accessibility of careers in health care, will include classes and other interactions with health care professionals. It also will feature activities related to topics including health and nutrition, diversity, health information management, physical therapy, peer influence, nursing, and emergency medical services. To emphasize team-building and group dynamics, students will go whitewater rafting and attend a ropes course.

Attendance requirements include an overall grade point average of C-plus or higher; recommendation from a principal, counselor or teacher; and commitment from a parent or guardian to attend a June 20 orientation and June 26 closing activities on the WCU campus.

The camp is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration and administered through the N.C. Area Health Education Centers Program. Cost to attend the camp is $100 plus a $10 application fee, refundable if the student is not selected to attend. Students qualifying for free or reduced lunches through the public school system may be eligible for a reduced attendance fee or a scholarship.

Mail applications to Program Director, MAHEC/WCU Health Careers Summer Camp, 501 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28801. For more information, visit healthcamp.wcu.edu or contact WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach by phone at 828-227-7397 or 800-928-4968 or by e-mail at healthcareers@mahec.net.