Eleven local high school students completed a four-week summer enrichment program at MUSC-Orangeburg.

The program allows high school students to volunteer at the hospital and learn more about the medical field.

The students graduated from the program on July 28.

“This is the first junior program this facility has had since 2017 and I could not think of a better group of kids to reopen this program with. Our future is very bright in Orangeburg County,” said Kelly Hedges, the Medical University of South Carolina’s statewide coordinator for volunteer services.

“These kids are going places and I know we’re going to see some doctors and nurses coming back in our hallways,” she said.

“We have loved having them,” she added.

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MUSC-Orangeburg CEO Walter Bennett III told the students’ parents, “I had the privilege of spending time with your lovely young adults earlier this week and they had the chance to ask me numerous questions about what I do and my path and hopefully I was able to share some knowledge with them on what to look for in the future. Hopefully all of them are going to stay in health care.”

“They are awesome at what they do. We really appreciate them being with us for the past four weeks,” he added.

One of the program graduates, student Robert Boyd, said, “I gained a lot of knowledge and wisdom.”

“Growing up, when I went to the hospital, I used to think, ‘OK, the doctors just run the hospital,’ but no, I got to pick Kelly’s brain, I got to pick the CEO’s brain, I got to pick everybody’s brain here. I got to see the role models, the super starts and just everyone and they did a great job,” Boyd said.

Student Lacey Cornelius said she learned about how the hospital works as a unit.

“As you go to each floor, you realize they all work together. I loved helping the patients and workers. I’m planning to be a nurse,” she said.

Hallie Fanning, another student, said, “I gained a lot of knowledge in how to properly care for patients and it was nice every day to walk in and see people sitting at the front desk. They were always very nice and greeting you. It was just a privilege to do this.”

The other eight students who graduated from the program were: Jeremy Fields, Jenia Haigler, Joy Middleton, Milligan Nance, James Simmons, Jasmyn Stewart, Cadence Westberry and Oceana Williams.

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