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Partners in college completion

5/15/2014, 6 a.m.
Marianny Martinez, a sophomore nursing major at Simmons College, participated in the Student Success Jobs Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and receives backing from Partners HealthCare’ community scholarship foundation in pursuing her degree.

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Community scholarship foundation recipient Jesus Martinez was a Massachusetts General Hospital Youth Scholar during high school. He is now a student at Ithaca College pursuing an interest in health care and law.

Marianny Martinez and Jesus Martinez (no relation) are just two of hundreds of Boston students who are making their way through college with help from Partners HealthCare.

The community scholarships foundation, an effort led by Partners and its founding hospitals, Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals, is providing up to 450 Boston area students the chance to graduate from college and pursue their interests in careers in science and health care.

Education is one of the strongest factors to improving health and well-being.

More education can lead to a healthier, longer life. That’s why the community scholarships of $13 million over 10 years are helping to ensure that young people achieve their goals. But financial support alone doesn’t necessarily guarantee a student’s success in college. In anticipation of this, the scholarship foundation also provides additional services for students including mentoring, tutoring, summer jobs at the hospitals, and guidance from staff dedicated to supporting the scholarship recipients throughout their undergraduate years. All of these components together help to create an enriching, positive, and successful educational experience for the students — many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.

The scholarships are available to young people who are participants in the hospital youth achievement programs throughout their high school years.

Brigham and Women’s Scholar Marianny Martinez is a sophomore nursing major at Simmons College. Marianny participated in the Student Success Jobs Program (SSJP) at Brigham and Women’s. Through SSJP, she not only discovered an exciting career path, but she also discovered the community scholarship foundation. It has made pursuing her education and future career goals possible. Working directly with health professionals during her time in SSJP reinforced Marianny’s desire to pursue nursing.

“Without the support of the scholarship, I probably could not afford to come here,” Marianny said. “Being able to graduate with a degree from such a good school can really make a difference.”

Like Marianny, Jesus Martinez participated in a youth achievement program. As an MGH Youth Scholar, Jesus took part in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curricula at Massachusetts General Hospital. The program provided Jesus with academic and college readiness support during high school as well as mentoring and a wide range of opportunities for health careers. This experience also led him to the community scholarship foundation. During the Youth Scholar program, Jesus worked in the MGH in-patient psychiatry unit and helped to stock the Operating Room with appropriate supplies for the surgical teams. Experiencing different options for careers in health care was very helpful while he was at MGH.

“My experience there really taught me a lot about professional development,” said Jesus. Job-shadowing different employees at the hospital helped to open his eyes to the professional possibilities ahead of him. Jesus is currently a student at Ithaca College where he aspires for a career that combines his interest in health care with his passion for law.

“Marianny and Jesus are both terrific examples of the positive impact the hospital programs and the scholarship foundation can have on young people,” said Partners HealthCare Vice President for Community Health Matt Fishman. “Expanding economic and educational opportunities for Boston and area young people is a pillar of our mission. We are excited to watch Marianny and Jesus — and all the other scholarship recipients — thrive in their college years and beyond.”