Donors to minority students: Put that in your Pipeline

The next generation: Hofstra Northwell's Medical Scholars Pipeline Program welcomed nearly 60 high-achieving minority students this summer.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

High-achieving high schoolers will enjoy another season of study at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, thanks to multiple donors.

A legion of charitable groups has pumped some $85,000 into the school’s Medical Scholars Pipeline Program, which sows the seeds of future collegiate careers by exposing disadvantaged minority students to healthcare professions.

Now in its eighth year, the MSPP has welcomed roughly 60 high school students into its 2017 class, hailing from Hempstead, Uniondale and schools in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Beginning with a June 30 opening ceremony at Hempstead’s School of Medicine, the students have engaged a four-week course, part of a multi-year program.

Welcoming young scholars from underserved areas satisfies a core medical school mission to “nurture a diverse and inclusive learning community,” the school said in a statement. Gina Granger, Hofstra Northwell’s special programs director, noted the MSPP was “excited to embark on another year of programming.”

“And so grateful for the interest, time and tremendous opportunity that these charitable, forward-thinking organizations have brought forth to our initiative and its deserving students,” Granger said in a statement.

Support for the 2017 class was led by The Pinkerton Foundation, a circa-1966 grantmaking organization serving disadvantaged New York City youth. The foundation renewed a $50,000 grant for the fourth consecutive year.

Gina Granger: Well-deserved.

The pipes were further cleared by a $20,000 donation from the Shippy Foundation, a NYC-based registered 501(c)3 organization, and a $13,000 contribution from the Boulé Foundation, a 25-year-old arm of the national Sigma Pi Phi fraternity dedicated to mentoring youngsters and advancing African American communities.

The support, including a number of smaller donations, exposes the 11th and 12th graders to SAT preparation courses, cardiopulmonary resuscitation/automated external defibrillator training and a host of other educational activities.

The Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine collaborates on the annual summer program with the City College of New York’s Gateway Institute for Pre-College Education, which helps more than 3,000 minority students – spread across 12 schools covering all five boroughs – gain entry to competitive universities to pursue medical, technological and scientific studies.

Including this summer’s class, 148 students have participated in the MSPP, according to the School of Medicine. To date, 75 have completed the three-year curriculum and gone on to enroll in top universities including Dartmouth, Yale and Harvard, as well as Georgia-based Morehouse College, one of two historically African American colleges in the country to produce Rhodes Scholars and the alma mater of Martin Luther King Jr. and other African American community and civic leaders.

Nine MSPP graduates have enrolled in professional healthcare schools, including one at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine.

Latanya Coke, a 2015 MSPP alum working toward her MD/PHD at Connecticut’s Trinity College and a student intern at Northwell’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, credited her burgeoning medical career to the Hofstra Northwell summer school.

“Through the Medical Scholars Pipeline Program, I gained firsthand experience by volunteering in various hospitals and labs across the Northwell Health system,” noted Coke, who also advises high schoolers on future medical careers.

“I was placed in the same rooms as healthcare providers, medical professors and researchers, who served as teachers and mentors,” Coke added. “The MSPP was the foundation from which I built my dream to become a doctor.”