How CEPI Youth Spent their Summer Vacation, Part 2: The Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program

The 2016 cohort of the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship program pose with Teva employees and hold certificates of completion for completing their summer internship

As the summer winds down to a close, it’s back to school season here in Philadelphia as students make their way back into the classrooms. For the students in CEPI’s youth programs, summer was a busy time full of networking, career building, and learning outside the classroom. Yesterday, we focused on the Karabots Junior Fellows Program. Today we feature the highlights of the students in the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program.

In July CEPI welcomed the newest cohort of Teva interns with an intensive four-day-a-week, four-week summer program. During the entire month, they took part in activities related to issues connected to violence, forensics, and healthcare. CEPI also welcomed Matilda David and Miriam Iken, two students participating in the University of Pennsylvania’s Bridging the Gaps Program, who helped us carry out our programming.

During Week 1, we introduced our new Teva interns to the College of Physicians of Philadelphia as well as each other. Highlights from their first week included tours of the Mütter Museum and the Historical Medical Library; meeting with a Teva alum who shared her experiences in the program; and a series of games, team-building exercises, and CEPI’s home-grown room escape activity: “Dr. Mütter’s Secret Specimen.”

Week 2 brought a focus at the historical, social, and cultural factors that lead to violence. Michael Nairn, a professor of Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania led the interns through a history of race relations in Philadelphia and the evolution of the city’s neighborhoods. Barb Fox discussed the upcoming June 5th Memorial (memorializing the victims of a fatal building collapse at 22nd and Market on June 5, 2013). Jon Goff, who currently serves as the College of Physicians of Philadelphia’s Advancement Information Manager, shared his experience serving in the Peace Corps. Other topics and activities included a discussion of intimate partner violence and a trip to the Karabots Pediatric Care Center of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to meet with a panel of medical professionals.

During Week 3, the focus shifted toward forensic science. The fellows met with forensic experts and took place in a series of hands-on activities to strengthen their deductive and investigative powers. Crime scene expert Gladys “GG” Siebert walked them through a real-life (simulated) crime scene in the Benjamin Rush Medicinal Plant Garden; they took part in blood spatter analysis with Drexel Biology professor Susan Gurney.  Forensic expert Kimberlee Moran taught them how to take and examine fingerprints, and Mütter Museum Director (and formerly an F.B.I.-trained police investigator) Robert Hicks addressed the challenges of analyzing eyewitness testimony. Dr. Hicks literally threw himself into the role and was the victim of a simulated attack (similar to one he did with the Karabots Junior Fellows this past spring) and had the students attempt to recreate the event and identify the assailant. They also traveled to Drexel University’s Center City Physical Therapy Lab to learn about the physical impact of violence and how injury victims recover. They also studied topics related to family therapy and violence prevention.

Students in the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship program practice taking vitals on a medical dummy at the Drexel University Physical Therapy Labs

The fourth and final week focused on coping and community action, and the interns explored ways to face violence in their communities. They met with Tieshka Smith, creator of #RacismisaSickness, a multi-medium exhibit addressing the impact of police violence. They journeyed to Eastern State Penitentiary to discuss the impact of prisons in America (and see the site’s new exhibit on the subject: Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration) They also expanded their cultural horizons as they met with Teva alums Binta and Adunia who shared their experiences living and growing up in Africa. Finally, they made preparations for their future by meeting with STEM-related professionals from internship benefactor Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. They also helped develop a toolkit for coping with and combating violence in their communities (the toolkit is scheduled to debut as part of the second annual Pennsylvania Teen Health Week, January 9-13, 2017).

We have a wide array of activities lined up for both of our youth programs, so be sure to check back here to see what the upcoming school year has in store for the healthcare professionals and community leaders of the future!

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