Heights Graduation Celebration Honored 500+ Students 

Heights Philadelphia & Esperanza Health Center Celebrate Students Graduating from its First Ever Health Equity Program

Eleventh and twelfth grade students enrolled in the 15-week class completed the course exploring breadth and depth of career opportunities in healthcare

Heights Philadelphia (“Heights”) and Esperanza Health Center (“Esperanza”) celebrated its inaugural cohort of students on May 8, 2024 graduating from its first-ever Health Equity Program course. Nine high school students completed the 15-week course, exploring the breadth and depth of career opportunities in healthcare to further the students’ interest in the field. Students from 11th and 12th grade were recruited from 19 schools throughout the School District of Philadelphia to create student pathways to college and career success in one of Philadelphia’s largest industries. Students graduating from the program included:

  • Gabriella Fernandez, 12th Grade, Cheltenham High School
  • Jamaica Ferguson, 11th Grade, Commonwealth Charter Academy
  • Shaina Garcia Jimenez, 11th Grade, Esperanza Charter High School
  • Yeycy Torres, 11th Grade, Esperanza Charter High School
  • Mame-Diarra Mbengue, 12th Grade, Olney High School
  • Emely Reyes, 11th Grade, Central High School
  • Thuong (Beryl) Nguyen, 11th Grade, International Christian High School
  • Ashley Ho, 11th Grade, International Christian High School
  • Victoria Alamo-Rosas, 11th Grade, Masterman High School

Photos can be found linked here. 

“The Health Equity Program is our first formal pathway created to introduce students to the robust healthcare industry in Philadelphia,” said Sean E. Vereen, Ed.D., co-president, Heights Philadelphia. “We are so proud of this partnership with Esperanza to help students see themselves working in much needed careers in our city. We hope this partnership creates even more access to the growing healthcare industry in Philadelphia so all students of our community can achieve economic mobility through college and workforce success.”

“It was great to work with many partners both locally from EHC and throughout the City to expose the students to a wide range of careers in healthcare,” said Maryann Salib, Associate Medical Director of Community Health and Wellness, Population Health, and Clinical Quality Assurance. “It appeared that we were successful at our mission when, during the graduation dinner, students remarked that they learned that there were many careers in healthcare beyond a nurse or physician and that they also learned that healthcare requires teamwork.”

Heights and Esperanza’s Health Equity program began in January 2024 offering students an opportunity each week to explore a different career path in healthcare. They met with students and professionals in the industry including those from Esperanza Health, Esperanza, Inc., Penn Medicine and Temple Health. The students learned about careers in nutrition, mental health, dental, OBGYN and maternity care, as well as careers in social services and the administration. The students worked hands-on with medical professionals and also shadowed these professionals to experience their day-to-day roles. 

To learn more about Heights’ pathways to college and career success, please visit: heights.org