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Brigham and Women’s Hospital: A pathway of opportunity

Special Advertorial Career and Education Section

By Partners Healthcare
Brigham and Women’s Hospital: A pathway of opportunity
Justyn Owen (right) in grade 3, 2007 BWH Pen Pal Program. (Photo: Photo: Pamela Audeh/CCHHE staff)

Justyn Owens is one extraordinary example of how Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s (BWH) programs have fostered success in Boston’s youth. Owens, now a high school senior, has been involved with BWH’s Center for Community Health and Health Equity (CCHHE) youth programs since the second grade, beginning in the Pen Pal program, which improves literacy skills in elementary school students by exchanging letters with BWH employees.

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Watch Video of BWH youth pathway programs:

CCHHE offers eight programs for youth from preschool to high school and college providing a pathway of opportunity for young people in Boston. Annually, over 520 students participate, with more than 300 BWH staff volunteers. The programs are designed to build upon one another to inspire and excite students about their education and future career options.

The CCHHE youth programs have had a major impact on Owens’ transition through adolescence and, as he notes they “helped him come out of his shell”. He continued on his journey with his involvement through Project TEACH (Teen Education About Careers in Health) and the Student Success Jobs Program where he worked in various positions throughout the hospital, including the Central Transport Department and the Center for Women and Newborns. Justyn claims to “know the innards and outtards” of the hospital, an incredible statement for a high school student, but Justyn has spent eleven years partnered with BWH.

Today, Owens is approaching his high school graduation and attributes much of his success to the mentoring, learning, and wide range of experiences these programs have granted him. Reflecting on his experiences, Owens is unequivocal and shares “If I could, I would definitely go back and do it again. I’ve loved my experience at the Brigham. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was definitely one of the best experiences and choices of my life.”