Dallas Can Academy Volunteers Offer Dose of Careers Available in Medicine
April 17, 2017
Students are selected for internship program offered by renowned surgeon
Eight promising students from Dallas Can Academy’s Ross Avenue campus were recently selected by the school’s principal, Fernando Vadillo, to participate in an inaugural medical careers internship with The W.B. Carrell Clinic of Dallas. Renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Kurt Kitziger, is volunteering his time and resources to craft a meaningful and rigorous introduction to medical careers for eight students who have demonstrated a strong interest in pursuing employment in medicine or healthcare upon graduation from high school.
Dr. Kitziger and his wife, Leslie Leeds Kitziger, toured a Dallas Can Academy campus several months ago and were inspired to provide a mentoring experience for interested students. Their objective, to expose students to a variety of careers related to medicine and health care, would introduce youth to the variety of health care careers with promising job growth, and thus incentivize them to complete their high school curriculum. Along with giving the teenagers valuable work experience, the internships also offer the students exposure to various career paths so that they might find one they want to pursue.
Originally from New Orleans, Dr. and Mrs. Kitziger moved to Dallas in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Mrs. Kitziger developed a close association with Dallas Can Academy’s Ross Avenue campus where she volunteers three days per week. With a Masters of Social Work, Mrs. Kitziger knows firsthand the advantages cultivated by exposing students to real-life examples of attainable future careers. With her husband’s support, she initiated a student field trip to The Carrell Clinic with 40 students from Dallas Can Academy’s Ross Avenue campus. The students toured the facility, which includes a 20-bed hospital, and listened to personnel from different areas of the medical campus describe what their particular job entails.
“Our interest in pursuing a student internship resulted from the enthusiasm engendered by that first field trip,” recalls Mrs. Kitziger, “The kids were excited, impressed and so inquisitive about all the different healthcare jobs available. It was heartwarming to watch the possibilities for their future blossom in front of our eyes as they listened to the different speakers explain their careers.”
The Kitzigers’ vision and long-range goals include assisting in establishing a medical careers certification program through El Centro College for Dallas Can Academy students. The program would serve as an incentive to motivated high school students interested in a career in healthcare. The Kitzigers have also established a scholarship fund to support students that want to continue their education in the medical field.