The Center for Scientific Diversity at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with nonprofit First Workings to expose high school students from underrepresented groups to careers in science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM), create networking opportunities, and develop their social capital.
This partnership aims to develop a sustainable and diverse talent pipeline into the biomedical research workforce. First Workings, a nonprofit helping underserved New York City high school students build social capital and develop workplace readiness skills, will connect teens interested in the medical and science fields with mentors and internships at the Center. Through the partnership with Icahn Mount Sinai, students explore opportunities available in life sciences while building a network of supportive and culturally competent mentors.
“Our data suggests students’ interest in the medical field has significantly increased over the last year, presumably inspired by the ongoing pandemic,” said Kevin Davis, founder and executive director of First Workings. “Our students are eager to gain experience, find mentors and build social capital in the industry. This partnership with the Center allows us to connect students with industry experts and open doors to a wide range of avenues in the medical field.”
Founded by Dr. Emma Benn, the Center for Scientific Diversity strives to ensure research success and equitable advancement of underrepresented faculty investigators in academic medical centers nationwide and strengthen the pipeline of underrepresented students into the biomedical research workforce. Through a rigorous, antiracist, and research-driven approach, the center connects students to a multidisciplinary team of experts in biostatistics, epidemiology, behavioral psychology, neuropsychology, basic science, medicine, neuroscience, and health disparities research.
“As an African-American biostatistician, I am keenly aware of the need for early exposure to STEM research careers and diverse mentors and role models who can increase underrepresented students’ sense of belonging and scientific identity,” said Dr. Benn, Associate Professor, Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn Mount Sinai. “This partnership between our Center and First Workings is uniquely suited to recruit, retain, encourage, and advance the next generation of leaders and innovators in biomedical research.”
The Center invites experts in the field to present regular workshops to First Workings program participants, covering topics including clinical and translational research, field opportunities and careers paths in biomedical research, scientific computing, diversity and innovation in academic medicine, tips to avoid burnout, and navigating predominantly white spaces.
First Workings is effectively a bridge between high achieving and highly motivated students, from some of the City’s most underserved communities, with companies and organizations who are seeking diversity. First Workings’ mission is to give students the opportunity to build social capital through paid summer internships, which can lead to professional relationships, mentorships, letters of recommendations, and future job opportunities. For more information on First Workings, please visit https://firstworkings.org/.
Center for Scientific Diversity
The Center for Scientific Diversity is an initiative of the Dean’s Office and Institute for Health Equity Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The Center’s mission is to increase the research success and ensure equitable advancement of underrepresented faculty investigators in academic medical centers nationwide. Additionally, the Center is committed to increasing the representation and retention of underrepresented students in the biomedical research workforce. The Center applies a rigorous, antiracist, research-driven, evidence-based, and culturally competent approach to accomplish these goals.