LAUNCH Augusta creates hands-on opportunities for future medical students

36 students enrolled in the program this year; it’s the highest number for the program since its launch in 2020.
Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 11:31 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - LAUNCH Augusta is a non-profit organization giving elementary, middle and high school students a chance to learn about career paths in the healthcare job field with various programming.

The American Association of Medical Colleges predicts a shortage of as many as 122,000 physicians by 2032. LAUNCH stands for Leaders and Adolescents Uniting to Navigate Careers in Healthcare and is looking to find a cure as demand continues to outpace the supply of physicians.

A new cohort of LAUNCH Academy students entered the program on Saturday and were introduced to a new education inside and out the classroom.

36 students enrolled in the academy; it’s the highest number for the program since its launch in 2020.

“I haven’t really explored any other options yet,” said Siya Lal. “That’s why I decided to launch.”

The classroom resembles a launch pad.

“This will actually give me hands-on experience in the medical field,” said Ria Tamrakar.

The future doctors in class are ready for take off.

“If you don’t have the exposure, you really don’t know what’s available to you, as well as if you don’t have the education you don’t know the steps to take to be successful in it,” said Dr. Kendra Broussard, LAUNCH Augusta founder.

With a growing increase in need for health care workers, the goal now is to find a solution.

“If they know these opportunities are available in our community, it’s more likely that they’ll stay in our local area,” said Dr. Broussard.

The idea on Saturday was all about getting real life exposure.

“I’m a hands-on learner,” said Ariana Byrant. “So, I’m really excited about touching things, working things, trying to see how things work, and just learning.”

We’ve all heard real learning takes place outside the classroom and in this program it’s not different.

“It will definitely prepare you for what you want to do like in college or when once you graduate, you want to go back into medical school,” said Kayla Quick.

It’s all about inspiring the next generation of professionals.

“I care for people and I love people,” said Quick. “So I actually want to try to be the best I can be in this profession.”

Enrollment for the program goes beyond a student’s GPA; other factors include volunteer work, interviews and letters of recommendations.

LAUNCH Augusta partners with Doctors Hospital to make the hands-on experiences possible.

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