Gratitude for High School Alliance supporters

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | May 10, 2011

On Thursday evening, 32 high school juniors and seniors will graduate from the UNMC High School Alliance -- a feat that would not have been possible without the more than 250 faculty, staff and students at UNMC and The Nebraska Medical Center who helped significantly during the last nine months.

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The first class of the UNMC High School Alliance will graduate Thursday thanks in large part to the efforts of hundreds of UNMC staff and faculty who provided support to the program.
"The support for this program has been overwhelming," said Sara Cizek Going, J.D., of UNMC Government Relations. "The volume of volunteers who stepped up and taught classes, provided shadowing experiences, welcomed the students into their labs, served as mentors, on committees or provided other services made this inaugural year a shining success."

Dedication lauded

The wide range of topics covered in the program required hours of preparation to create a curriculum that was not only instructional but provided hands-on learning experiences as well.

"We are so appreciative of everyone who has volunteered to participate in this program, and are grateful for the positive impact they have had on the students," Cizek Going said.

A variety of learning experiences

The students experienced everything from biomedical research to dentistry to the gross anatomy lab. The were able to see the inner workings of the ER, the human body and microscopic bacteria.

"It's been an eye-opening experience for me," said Melissa Laughlin, a senior at Westside High School who is now considering a career in medicine instead of becoming a veterinarian.

Well worth the effort

It would be nearly impossible to replicate the innovative features of the High School Alliance in a high school setting, Cizek Going said.

But the effort has been well worth it, she said, considering the positive comments from the students, parents and participating districts.

"The alliance has shown the parents and their teachers what potential lies ahead and given the students the roadmap to get there," Cizek Going said.

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