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“My Club provided me with the tools I needed to ensure I was ready to take full advantage of an opportunity like this. Career workshops, mock interviews, financial planning, and resume building are just a few of the things the Club provided.”

– Izzy M, Yawkey Club of Roxbury Member 

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Few stories embrace the spirit of this famous quote more than that of Izzy, current Boys & Girls Club member and Ready to Work Fellow, Izzy, who is a current senior in high school, has been accepted into Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences on a full tuition scholarship. He is planning a Health Science major with a minor in public health. He views this as a key step forward in his road to not only becoming a doctor but making a lasting change in the healthcare landscape. 

“There’s limited access to healthcare in general for minorities, and I think that is the main reason I wanted to go in healthcare,” explained Izzy. “For example, only 7% of physicians nationwide are Latino, and that’s a crazy number for the United States where Latinos will have the majority population by 2050.” 

“If we see more of each other in healthcare… We’re going to be more inclined to want to go to the doctor’s office and feel more comfortable there.” Izzy comments as he refers to the lack of minorities, specifically Hispanics, within the Healthcare Industry 

Izzy M, Ready to Work Fellow and Boys and Girls Club Member

It was through Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s (BGCB) Ready to Work program that Izzy landed a summer internship with Dana Farber Cancer Institute and discovered his passion for Neurology.   

“Interning at Dana Farber this past summer really opened my eyes to the different fields within Neurology,” he explained. “Shadowing my mentor and seeing her interact with patients is what helped me recognize that this is what I want to do someday.” 

Pivotal Programs and Mentorship

Izzy has been a Club member at BGCB’s Yawkey Club of Roxbury since the age of five. Although he was initially shy during his early days at the Club, everything changed when he became a Young Leader, a position that represents the first entry point into the Club’s leadership pipeline. Through participating in different workshops and experiential learning opportunities, Izzy started to break out of his shell.

He attributes his success today to Club programs like Young Leaders, along with staff, such as then Teen Director Jen Medina, who helped prepare him for his future. Medina was his first boss in the Young Leaders program and has been there for Izzy since then. He says, “I wouldn’t have performed as well as I did in the readiness program if it wasn’t for Jen’s leadership and guidance,” he recalls.  Today, Jen is BGCB’s Dana W. Smith Director of Workforce Readiness.

Izzy M. pictured with his mentor, Dr. Ugonma Nnenna Chukwueke MD, MPH

Izzy continued his journey through the Club’s leadership pipeline by progressing into his role as a Counselor in Training, and eventually as a Teen Associate. He even worked as an intern tackling strategic projects for BGCB’s Nicholas President and CEO, Robert Lewis Jr.  

“It was opportunities like these that ultimately prepared me for my summer internship at Dana Farber,” he explains. “My Club provided me with the tools I needed to ensure I was ready to take full advantage of an opportunity like this. Career workshops, mock interviews, financial planning, and resume building are just a few of the things the Club provided.” 

An Unforgettable Summer with Dana Farber Cancer Institute

During his internship, Izzy says he benefitted from incredible opportunities, including shadowing Dr. Ugonma Chukwueke MD, MPH, who acted as his mentor. “She would meet with me, one-on-one, to talk about her research and my future career goals.” he remembers. “It’s hard to overstate how valuable of an opportunity this was.” He also participated in workshops to learn more about healthcare and worked closely with his mentor to learn as much as possible.  

Through this internship Izzy realized that he wants to study to obtain a Medical Doctor and Master of Public Health Degree. With these degrees, he aims to work directly with patients and advocate for underrepresented communities.  

Izzy has been invited back to Dana Farber Cancer Institute for another summer internship because of his great work through this past summer. After gaining some foundational skills this past summer, he hopes to do more research this upcoming summer.  

Izzy M. shares his experience as an intern at Dana Farber Cancer Institute

About Ready to Work

Ready to Work University is an initiative of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston focused on teen workforce readiness. Within Ready to Work is the Healthcare Pathway, which is designed for students to get hands-on experience in the industry while they are still in high school.  

As a part of Ready to Work, each of BGCB’s Clubs offers many employment opportunities such as Young Leaders, Counselors in Training (CIT), Teen Associates, and summer internships. These programs help teens begin working towards their future and learn useful skills such as resume building, interview practice, and financial literacy.  

Curious to learn more about BGCB? Learn more and get involved today.