Health Occupations and Professions Exploration (HOPE) Program
The HOPE Program is a one-day seminar that is designed to offer under-represented groups of high school students the opportunity to learn about a list of more than 40 specific careers in health care with the guidance of a college mentor.
Currently, the HOPE staff and volunteers offer sessions for students from AVID/TOPS (Boys and Girls Club of Dane County) and students from PEOPLE (supported by UW-Madison). Students work with a college mentor for the duration of a day-long Saturday seminar.
The requirements for serving as a volunteer mentor for HOPE are current enrollment at a college or university, undergraduate or graduate, with any declared major, and willingness to have a background check completed and attend the entirety of one HOPE session. If you are a current college or university student and would like to apply to be a mentor, please fill out this form: HOPE Mentor Application (pdf)
During the sessions, students and their mentors hear from and have a chance to network with speakers from UW Health who are working in health care careers. Students and mentors also take part in hands-on and curricular activities to aid them in becoming familiar with the specific careers available in the health care setting. The HOPE session concludes with the students completing a "road map" into the career in which they are most interested. The "road map" includes mapping out a current academic plan as well as a plan for post-secondary education and training.
After completing a HOPE session, students are eligible to sign up for a free CPR certification course, apply for job shadowing opportunities at UW Health and apply (through their respective community organizations) for summer internships at UW Health.
HOPE faculty and volunteers also provide information and activities for UW Health's annual Take Our Children to Work Day each spring, the annual Wisconsin Science Festival in October and special career day or speaking engagements on by-request basis from other schools and community organizations throughout Wisconsin.
If you would like to request a HOPE session, career activity or speaker for a school or community organization, please fill out the HOPE Request Form (pdf).
If you would like to support the efforts of the HOPE program financially, you can make a donation to the HOPE program through the University of Wisconsin Foundation. All donations are fully tax-deductable. Checks should be made out to: UW Foundation (HOPE Program) and mailed to:
Attn: Danielle Kamps
1848 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53726
Donations to HOPE aid in purchasing t-shirts, food, transportation and printed materials for the high school students, all of whom demonstrate socio-economic need. Donations to HOPE also make offering HOPE sessions possible for other community organizations who serve under-represented groups.
Summer internships allow under-represented high school students who complete a session of HOPE to work in clinical or non-clinical areas and alongside UW Health staff working in careers in which they are interested. Summer internships provide an essential experiential learning experience for students hoping to pursue careers in health care. Summer internships also aid UW Health in building a more diverse workforce and organizational cultural competency.
All summer interns will have completed a session of HOPE prior to the start of their internship. For summer interns who do not have the opportunity to complete a session of HOPE during the school year, a special session is offered just prior to the start of the internship. Interns will then be matched with a UW Health department in which employees work in the careers in which the intern expressed interest during their HOPE session.
The placement of summer interns in UW Health facilities will also be subject to the age requirements outlined in the UW Health Non-Physician Observer Policy. Internship hours and duration vary, depending on the organization with which the internship is affiliated. Interns will complete the UW Health onboarding process, including a health assessment, compliance training and attend a new employee orientation session designed for summer interns. Interns are then assigned learning objectives and job duties specific to their internship site. Interns check in regularly with the UW Health Career Pathways and Internship Coordinator, who oversees the internship experience and aids in communicating with both the student and the hosting department manager or director.
UW Health currently works with the following organizations to offer summer internship opportunities to students:
- Boys and Girls Club of Dane County
- Urban League of Greater Madison
- PEOPLE Program
- Centro Hispano of Dane County
- Middle College Program
Other community organizations that are interested in requesting summer internship placement for students need to fill out both a request for a HOPE session and complete the Application for Summer Internship Placement (pdf). Students who wish to be considered for a summer internship must apply through their community organization; individual applications will not be considered.
Career Coaching and Inspire Wisconsin
UW Health provides career coaches in more than 40 specific health care careers via a partnership with Inspire Wisconsin. Inspire Wisconsin provides Career Cruising software, which is available to most middle- and high school-aged children attending public schools throughout Wisconsin.
The software allows students to map their way in to various careers in any industry. Career coaches correspond via email with middle and high school students who have questions about the career in which the coach works. Career coaches answer questions about their education and work experience as well as daily duties and schedules in their career. Career coaches are all UW Health employees who have worked for the organization for at least one year and have met other internal organizational requirements. To find out if your student's school has access to the Career Cruising software, please contact the school directly.
Job Shadowing/Observing at UW Health
UW Health allows students of all ages opportunities to observe work at various locations. In order to apply for observation within any areas providing patient care, a student must be a minimum of 16 years old. Students younger than 16 may only observe in areas not providing patient care. In order to apply to observe, students must meet the requirements outlined in the UW Health Non-Physician Observer Policy and fill out an Observer Application. Supplemental documentation of immunizations, TB skin testing and compliance training also is required. For more information about job shadowing/observing, contact Veronica Cox at (608) 890-5607.
Volunteering at UW Health
UW Health has a large volunteer pool. Volunteers work in many locations throughout the organizations and in many capacities. To find out more about volunteering for UW Health, please visit Volunteer Services.