Upward & Onward: Education and Encouragement at Franklin Memorial

4 mins read

The healthcare field is facing a challenge with fewer of today’s younger generation taking an interest in pursuing it as more and more of the older generation is beginning to need healthcare.This healthcare crisis is becoming increasingly imminent as more baby boomers retire and the senior population continues to increase. This imbalance was one of the many points that was emphasized to the students of the UMF Upward Bound program during the career fair held recently.

The event began with a short but powerful speech given by Gerald Cayer, vice president and chief operating officer at Franklin Memorial Hospital, who said he grew up in a family where neither of his parents had a college education. He wanted to go to college but he found barriers made it was much harder for him because of his family’s situation. A major barrier to going to college is cost -classes cost money, books cost money, food costs money, enrollment costs money.  With very little expendable income, a person has to work hard to make up the difference, whether it be through applying for many scholarships or getting an entry-level job. Mr. Cayer’s mention of this particular barrier struck a chord with us as we have all come from a similar background. His success proved to us that no matter what disadvantages life has given you anything is possible.

Upward Bound students arrive to attend a heath care career fair held at Franklin Memorial Hospital recently.

 We all know that in today’s world a college education is practically required to pursue any type of career, but our eyes were opened to new ideas available in healthcare education and careers.Many of the jobs could be achieved through one- or two-year programs and not necessarily a four year bachelor’s degree.Success simply comes to those who work for it.One no longer has to settle for what their parents had, be that good or bad, today’s generation is able to reach for the stars and to attain the unimaginable. Both Upward Bound and, now, the Franklin Memorial Hospital are helping us to do so.

To become an Upward Bound student you have to be the first in your family to receive a college education and come from a low income family. The program gives students the support and strength to take these disadvantages and turn them around to give them an advantage.Though he wasn’t a part of the program, Mr. Cayer did these things for himself. He spoke about his advancements in life from a low-income student to a hospital administrator.He briefly described his roles at the hospital saying that his job was to oversee all of the different departments and make sure that patient services are running smoothly. He then handed it off to his peers to show us the ins and outs of what really happens in a hospital and what career options are available.

Mylana Shaw and her friend

 Many of the jobs that were presented to us after we broke of into smaller groups were not those that people would typically think of when thinking about a hospital.Not only are there doctors and nurses, there are educators, architects, environmental services, accountants, couriers, and ambulance personnel.

More than just these career ideas, a new sense of encouragement was presented to us. For that, a debt of gratitude is owed to the staff of Franklin Memorial, for they have provided Upward Bound students not only with this career fair, but the tools for success.

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