‘The best day of school I’ve ever had’: How the Youth Summit is inspiring the next generation

April 26, 2023  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership, ,

Approximately a 3-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • The Youth Summit at the Big House, an event promoting health sciences and medical careers to underrepresented students, returns in 2023, welcoming over 400 middle and high school students.
  • Diverse students engage with Michigan Medicine practitioners through hands-on simulations, personal connections, career panels, keynote speakers, and curated resources, providing valuable exposure to medical careers.
  • The Summit has already made a lasting impact on southeastern Michigan youth, inspiring students to pursue careers in medicine and empowering them to dream big, ultimately improving health outcomes in their communities.

The Youth Summit at the Big House returns for 2023! Hosted by the Office for Health Equity and Inclusion (OHEI) and Graduate Medical Education (GME), the event will take place at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, May 20. 

Last year, more than 250 underrepresented middle school students from across southeast Michigan attended, making the event a huge success.

This year, the organization is excited to welcome more than 400 middle and high school students who will have the opportunity to learn about health sciences from 29 Michigan Medicine units, and will get to hear a special message from U-M President Santa J. Ono to conclude this exciting day!

The Youth Summit offers a diverse set of middle and high school students the opportunity to visit campus and engage with Michigan Medicine practitioners through a variety of activities and events including:

  • Hands-on simulations
  • Personal connections
  • Diverse career panels
  • Keynote speakers
  • Curated resources to prepare for medical career paths

The Youth Summit also fosters collaboration between local schools and U-M programs. 

The impact of the event has already been felt after just one year. For instance, a middle school educator who attended the 2022 Youth Summit stated, “I believe that exposure to medicine and STEM subjects is vital to student success. Students who believe they can achieve their dreams will achieve their dreams.” 

To revisit the 2022 Youth Summit, view the 3-minute Sizzle Reel. 

Another success from last year? Following the 2022 Youth Summit, a “Scrub Club” was established at one partner middle school in Ann Arbor, where students interested in medicine and health sciences convened and participated in health science-related activities.

An educator from that middle school shared how the Youth Summit left a significant impression on her students, noting, “The Monday after our 2022 Summit trip, our hallways were filled with excitement and enthusiasm for learning that I hadn’t seen or felt since long before COVID-19. The students greeted each other as ‘Good Morning, Doctor,’ with a response of ‘Doctor.’ They wore their t-shirts and surgical caps to school. Every student carried their water bottle with pride and shared stories of saving the life of a newborn, zapping kidney stones, and attaching metal plates to bones with teachers and fellow students.

Our ‘Scrub Club’ is up and running. We have between eight and 20 regular attendees, depending on the active sports season.”

Many students commented that the Summit event was “The best day of school I’ve ever had.”

The Youth Summit at the Big House has already made a lasting impact on young people throughout southeastern Michigan. 

As one teacher observed about her students, “I think they felt empowered to dream big.”