LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas Pathways Academy for Medical Sciences is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas in a mentorship initiative for program students that will benefit participants in Hot Springs, according to a press release.
As part of this partnership, BBBSCA is offering sessions where Pathways students will learn the meaning of mentorship and how to identify mentors in their own lives. Sessions will run throughout the 2022-23 academic year.
“We are very excited to start with this mentorship service and see it helping to change the lives of our scholars,” Shanea Nelson, executive director of Pathways Academy, said in the statement.
The partnership will benefit Pathways participants in Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Hot Springs. One of the goals of the initiative is to pair each student with a mentor.
“We are truly excited about this partnership,” Brian Gittens, UAMS Divisional Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, said in the statement. “Mentorship, along with academic preparation, are key ingredients to the success of our young people. The BBBSCA is a natural partner in providing effective mentorship to our Pathways Scholars.”
“BBBSCA is proud to bring our small group mentoring services to the UAMS Pathways Academy,” Raymond Long, chief executive of the nonprofit organization, said in the statement.
“We are excited to play a role in diversifying the healthcare workforce in Arkansas. This partnership aligns with my vision to show Central Arkansas that mentorship should be a fundamental aspect of any youth development program.We look forward to connecting Pathways Scholars with group mentoring sessions to build the critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills they will gain while participating in this innovative program. “
Pathways Academy is an educational and community engagement program focused on preparing underrepresented and low-income K-12 students for opportunities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health sciences. It aims to increase the number of students from these groups who pursue medical, health or scientific careers.
“This is such a natural partnership – BBBSCA’s expertise in mentorship training coupled with UAMS’ expertise in program delivery, all for the benefit of building a diverse healthcare workforce,” said Wendy Ward, UAMS Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Board of Trustees. president of BBBSCA, said in the statement.