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ACC to Deliver ‘Virtual’ Medical Bridge Camp to Young Males

Ty Mathis, a middle school math and science teacher, hands out microscope slides during the Medical Bridge Summer Camp at Alamance Community College in Summer 2019

Ty Mathis, a middle school math and science teacher, hands out microscope slides during the 2019 Medical Bridge Summer Camp at Alamance Community College aimed at encouraging minority boys, especially young black students, to enter medical professions. The program based in Graham, North Carolina, is one of the first of its kind in the nation and came out of community college President Dr. Algie Gatewood’s realization that black men are vastly under-represented in medical fields.
CREDIT MADELINE GRAY / FOR WUNC

Alamance Community College will continue the popular Medical Bridge: Minority Males in Medicine camp, now in its fourth year, as a virtual experience for eight weeks this summer.

The goal of Alamance Community College’s Medical Bridge: Minority Males in Medicine program is to get more Alamance County minority boys on track to medical careers as dentists, doctors, or other health professionals. In the past, Medical Bridge sponsored a three-week summer camp on the ACC campus consisting of hands-on science activities, writing, mentoring, and field trips to regional medical centers, universities, and laboratories such as Duke University and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The program also provides year-round professional and science enrichment workshops.

One of the key events is the Personal Pathways to Professions. Medical Bridge addresses the misleading “belief gap”—that minority boys who look like them cannot be medical professionals. Personal Pathways events show how men of color became successful professionals. 

Although the Personal Pathways to Professions segment is targeted at minority males, it is open to all male middle and high school students in Alamance County.  (Register now by clicking here.)

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the College redesigned all Medical Bridge activities. ACC now has a virtual camp with online activities, including experiments, subject instruction, and personal development. Prior to the beginning of camp on July 20, participants will receive science kits to use in conjunction with the online instruction.

Medical Bridge is a partnership with Alamance Burlington School System and UNC-Chapel Hill Medical School.  In 2019, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund awarded a $168,000 grant for three years to support the program. The program began in 2017 with 40 boys from 6th through 8th grades and expanded to 84 boys from 6th to 12th grades in 2020.

Dr. Damon Tweedy of Duke University, author of “Black Men in White Coats.”

Dr. Damon Tweedy of Duke University, author of “Black Men in White Coats.”

The College has worked with Alamance-Burlington Schools to provide web access to campers whose internet resources are limited or non-existent.

Details of Summer 2020 Personal Pathways

  • Every Monday at 7:00 pm for eight weeks beginning July 20, a male medical professional of color will describe his pathway to success via Zoom.
  • The talks will be open to all boys in Alamance County, but especially targeted at minority males in middle and/or high school. Parents can also watch the presentation.
  • The maximum Zoom online attendance is 300.
  • The talks last one hour: a 45-minute presentation, followed by 15 minutes of questions through chat.
  • ACC will distribute essential books, articles, or suggest movies from speakers.
  • Guest speakers include Dr. Damon Tweedy of Duke University, author of “Black Men in White Coats.” Youth campers will each receive a copy of the book. Dr. Tweedy is scheduled to speak in August.

Register here!

For more information, contact Scott Doron at scott.doron@alamancecc.edu.

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