“It’s really opened my eyes to the medical field and different opportunities that are available,” says high school junior Sanam Dean, she’s one of the students that participated in the CU Pre-Health Scholars Program (CUPS) this summer. The program is designed to motivate high school students to pursue a college education and enroll in a professional health career or graduate school program.
“I’m actually interested in pharmacy. I took pharmacy last year too, in the two week program, and I really liked it. I chose to take pharmacy this year as well because I’m interested in the field, and I like the idea of personally helping other people,” Dean says. She adds that she first got the idea of pharmacy as a potential career from her uncle, who graduated from the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, “He kind of opened my eyes to how interesting and intricate the field was.” She’s also gotten her 13 year old sister interested in pursuing a health career, “I’ve just told her how much I love this program. She actually wants to be a pediatrician.”
Students in the program receive mentoring and participate in focused lessons and field trips, introducing them to all the opportunities available in health care, and on the Anschutz Medical Campus. In the pharmacy class students learned about different diseases, how to identify diseases and the types of antibiotics and medications that help, “We teach basically an introduction to infectious disease class and we do some basic compounding and other pharmacy related activities, it’s been really fun to engage with high school students,” says Miranda Bell, a student ambassador with the CU School of Pharmacy that was an instructor for the class this summer.
“I really enjoyed the Chapstick that was a lot of fun, and making the hand sanitizer too. I think I really like the hands on activities, because it really showed me what pharmacists do,” adds high school junior Thresa Nguyen, “It opened up my mind about pharmacy.”
While it may be hard getting used to the idea of going to school for five weeks in the summer, the students say the experience is worth it, “I enjoyed just about like everything in the program, I think it was hard but it was a lot of fun. I think the stress will prepare me for college, and I met a lot of great new people that I think I’ll have connections with like forever,” said Nguyen.