PRESQUE ISLE — Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is pleased to announce that the second year of the Aroostook Career Exploration (ACE) program will be getting underway this fall. High school students are currently being sought to take part.
“We launched this program last year at this time and had a strong start. More than 25 local high school students took part in one of our first two hands-on sessions here at the hospital,” said Daryl Boucher, vice president of operations and one of the creators of the ACE program. “Unfortunately, our next two sessions had to be canceled due to the on-going COVID-19 health crisis. We are looking at new, re-imagined ways to offer the program in the coming year in a way that safeguards both the students and those who work or receive care in our hospital.”
ACE is a unique, multi-session, multi-year program designed to give students in-depth opportunities that grow and expand as the students gets older and closer to college and the job market. It replaced Survivor Aroostook camp, a one-week summer camp that the hospital had offered each June.
ACE is all about career awareness, career exploration, and career development, according to Boucher. “Students will get a real feel for whether or not the careers they are exploring are right for them and get the chance to network with professionals who work in these careers every day. They will see the technology being used, hear about emerging trends, and learn what it takes to get into college in that specific career.”
While the details are still being finalized for a safe way to offer the program in the current COVID-19 environment, the hospital is committed to keeping this valuable resource for students available.
“Healthcare workers are needed now more than ever, and we will continue this and other programs we have initiated to ‘grow our own’ workforce in the future,” Boucher said.
ACE is based on a wide range of healthcare careers. When people consider careers in healthcare, they most often think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, imaging technicians or lab workers, but hospitals also employ accountants, financial counselors, housekeepers, cooks, administrative assistants, engineers, experts in the trades and so much more.
The cost is only $25 for the entire year, and this one-time annual fee allows students to take part in any or all of the sessions as their schedules and interests allow.
“The idea is to keep this program affordable and accessible to all students and to provide as much experience for them as possible as they explore their career interests,” said Boucher.
AR Gould Hospital will provide college scholarships to those who successfully complete the Aroostook Career Exploration program. Scholarships will be funded with donations from the medical staff, the leadership team and other staff, and the Northern Light AR Gould Foundation.
“Due to safety protocols in the local schools, we cannot present to students directly as we have in the past, so we are reaching out to let parents know about this opportunity,” said Boucher. “We are also creating a video that will run on Facebook and share with local schools to help make people aware of this opportunity.”
Those interested in taking part in Aroostook Career Exploration and encouraged to learn more or register online at http://www.northernlighthealth.org/ACE. To ask questions or request information to be sent to you, please call 207-768-4172.