Centro SOL Programa de Verano para Jovenes

Summer program for Spanish/English bilingual high school students in Baltimore City. The program’s goal is to expose bilingual high school students to the medical field by offering meaningful opportunities to work with JHU School of Medicine faculty in clinical settings that serve Latino patients with limited-English proficiency. Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) frequently have difficulties navigating the healthcare system, explaining their illness, understanding their providers’ recommendations, and participating fully in the development of a treatment plan.

In this project, we want to capitalize on the strength of bilingual youth in our community. Students who are fluent in both Spanish and English will be invited to apply to the program. Following orientation, students will be placed in various clinical settings, where they can utilize their Spanish language skills to assist Latino patients with limited-English proficiency in various scenarios, such as registering for care, guiding them to various places in the hospital, greeting them and providing information at the entrance or information desks throughout Bayview Hospital. In addition, students will shadow Johns Hopkins Hospital Spanish language interpreters for a day a week.

This experience will allow them to appreciate the importance of professional medical interpretation during clinical encounters and give them an opportunity to pursue further training in this area if they are interested. Students will meet weekly with faculty preceptors to reflect on their experiences and provide feedback to our program. We see bilingual youth as a unique resource with enormous potential to succeed in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers under the right guidance. Through this pilot program, we will expose motivated Baltimore youth to careers in medicine, mentor them at a leading medical institution, and empower them to pursue further training that capitalizes on their Spanish language skills, while improving services to our Latino patients.