A strategic alliance between Cheyney University and the Urban League of Philadelphia was established in 2019 to provide students with paid internships with various employers throughout the Philadelphia area. The eight-week fellowship program included virtual internships along with several high-profile guest speakers, each discussing one of Cheyney’s five Core Values. The program was made possible through a grant secured by Senator Vincent Hughes.
Lauren Ballard-Coleman, a senior, pre-med major at Cheyney University received a unique internship opportunity this summer with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium (BDCC). The BDCC’s mission is to address the needs of education and advocacy for African Americans to reduce the incidence of disease and death from coronavirus. Lauren interned with BDCC throughout the summer working with Black doctors, nurses, and medical students in Philadelphia offering free mobile testing to neighborhoods most impacted by the coronavirus.
Prior to the internship, Lauren had a different perspective on COVID-19, but things changed when she saw how many people the virus affected. As an intern, she was responsible for overseeing data entry and training medical students to enter LabCorp information.
“I was glad to be part of changing the stigma surrounding COVID-19 and representing Cheyney University in this way. Working with Black medical professionals and students to impact the community and gain medical field experience was a life-changing experience for me,” said Lauren.
As Lauren begins her last year of undergrad, she looks forward to continuing her journey of becoming a doctor. She plans to enroll in the Drexel Pathway to Medical School program in Fall 2021, then continues to medical school and achieve her dream of becoming an Obstetrician/ GYN.