In what has become an annual outing, students at two Baltimore City schools were able to glimpse what might lie in their futures if they go into health or law careers.
The students are all participants in Club UMD, an after-school enrichment program in Baltimore that is made possible by the University of Maryland President's Outreach Council.
Students from George Washington Elementary School spent nearly five hours at the schools of nursing and law on April 4. Middle school students from Southwest Baltimore Charter School engaged in activities at the schools on April 6.
"This gives kids exposure to different fields of study. A lot aren't sure at this point," said Njeri Mitchell, guidance counselor at Southwest Baltimore Charter School, who welcomed the opportunities for the fifth- through eighth-graders who surrounded her.
As she spoke in the midst of activities in the School of Nursing (SON) Clinical Simulation Lab, youngsters from Southwest Baltimore Charter School tried their hands at patient care to help them envision future careers in nursing.
They gathered around a pediatric mannequin, assessing the boy's vital signs. Nicole Spicer, an eighth-grader, used the stethoscope as sixth-grader Lakera Clark placed her hand on the chest of the mannequin to feel the patient breathing.
Working under the supervision of a volunteer from the SON, they compared the rate of breaths with the infant mannequin some had tended moments before. Learning by observing, the concluded that the boy was breathing more slowly than the infant.
"Is that normal?" one asked. "Yes," replied Jennifer Nordling, MS, RN. "The younger you are, the faster you breathe," said Nordling, who will become an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner and is a Master of Science candidate in the Class of 2011. She and sixth-grader Stachal Harris, foreground, are shown in the photo.
The eager young Club UMD members also performed CPR on a simulated patient and learned to identify environmental hazards in a simulated home environment. While at the SON, their activities were videotaped for broadcast on Channel 77, which is the Baltimore City Schools' Public Access Cable channel.
Others assisting during the two field trips were Stephanie Gillis, MSN, RN, a Master of Science candidate in the Class of 2011; and three BSN candidates - Gary Dupart, Heather Hoff, and Victoria Castleman.
At the School of Law (SOL), the visitors took in the Moot Courtroom and historic Westminster Hall. The elementary and middle school students also engaged in debate on current issues with SOL faculty and students.
Volunteers and presenters included Teresa Schmiedeler, JD, director, pro bono and public service initiatives, and law students from the Asper Fellowship Program and Maryland Public Interest Law Project. They are Alex Carlson, Adam Farra, Alexandra Millard, Alan Dunklow, Lizette Burton, Jonathan Levitas, Lindsey Briggs, Jason Usher, Pauline Pelletier, and Andrew Montagna.
With community service support through class gifts from the Class of 2009 and the Class of 2008, the visitors were treated to pizza and T-shirts with a law school motif.
Interactive discussions included professional opportunities in law, advocacy, and anti-bullying initiatives.
Staff members from the law school community who volunteered and assisted in the interactive presentations and campus visit included Terri Goode, recruitment coordinator; LaShea Blake, data and resources coordinator; Erik Fulwider, director, Alumni Relations and Annual Fund; Bruce Wilcox and Arnold Matthews, event services support; Joanne Macenko, coordinator, event services; Rita Jones, career development associate; Kathleen Snow, job search coordinator; and Will Siegel, John Stylc, and Arthur Cook, who are all instructional media specialists.
Club UMD is a mentoring project that is overseen by Brian Sturdivant, MSW, director of community affairs, who is shown in the adjacent photo, third from left, gesturing as he directs the campus visit. "We as an institution have so much to offer in terms of career development for local youth, specifically careers in health, law, and human services," he said. "The council and its initiatives are the perfect vehicle to promote these careers to students in our surrounding communities, and I envision these young students attending the University of Maryland to study for these professions in the coming years."
Overseeing the outreach are interns in the Office of Government and Community Affairs, who also served as chaperones during the campus tour events. They are School of Social Work students Reginald Reaves and Jamie Franke.
Activities of Club UMD are supported by the council and by an auction of artwork created by students of the partner schools. The most recent auction raised $1,400 that was allocated among Club UMD and the schools. For more information or to volunteer for Club UMD, go here.