August 10, 2006 – Sixty-five high school and college students were honored Thursday for completing the 2006 Summer Youth Employment Program at Schneider Regional Medical Center. Each student received a certificate and a backpack for his or her participation in the 10-week program.
The summer program was sponsored by the Department of Labor, West Indian Company Ltd., the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce, V.I. Superior Court, and Senators Celestino White and Liston Davis.
The program placed local students in various agencies for the summer, but of all the agencies participating, the hospital placed the largest number of students.
One of those students was Antoinette Nibbs, a 2002 graduate of Antilles School, who graduated from Harvard University with a degree in chemistry.
"I learned a lot from working here at the hospital lab," said Nibbs. "I did blood work, HIV tests, pregnancy tests, and worked with different electrolytes and compounds." She said she hopes to use her experience in pursuit of a career working to develop new pharmaceuticals to treat disease.
Dedicacion Cortijo, the hospital's coordinator of the summer program, said this year's summer students were all "mature, intelligent and good matches" for the areas and departments they were assigned. She mentioned one summer student, Jeannette Smith, who did so well in the human resources department that the hospital is looking at her as a potential hospital employee.
"She has a great attitude and her interaction with people is excellent," Cortijo said. "I never heard a 'I can't' do something from her or an unwillingness to take on a specific task. She was an excellent summer student."
Rodney E. Miller Sr., Schneider president and CEO, said the summer program is another effort by the organization to encourage young people to pursue careers in health care.
"In addition to our Medical Explorers program and our student nurse extern program, the Summer Youth Employment Program exposes our youth to the many different career options in health care. We thank our sponsors, all our departments that participated, and most importantly our summer students for making this year's program so successful," Miller said.
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