The Summer Youth Mentoring and Promotion of Literacy (SYMPL) program was founded in 1997 with the goal of encouraging low income teens to pursue their dreams of working in healthcare careers, while at the same time promoting literacy for younger children, both in the clinic and in their neighborhoods.
This three-consecutive-summer paid internship provides high school students with the opportunity to work closely with a physician at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Hospital of Chicago’s Uptown clinic, who acts as a mentor, teaching them about the medical profession, taking them on rounds with patients, and exposing them to different departments in the hospital. Also, the students are engaged in various pre-college activities such as college visits and receive help with applications, interviews, writing samples and resumes.
In turn, the students act as mentors to patients in the waiting room by reading to them and promoting literacy amongst parents and their children. Students are encouraged to be creative and to become involved in the clinic’s other community initiatives.