Multicultural News

Eskenazi Health expands summer internships for HBCUs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Diversifying the health industry is one goal of Eskenazi Health’s historically Black colleges and universities intern program. 12 Indiana students who attend HBCUs will spend this summer getting first hand experience.

Historically Black colleges and universities have seen increased enrollment over the last couple of years. Eskenazi interns tell News 8, that’s an important piece of information to show that there is value in an HBCU education, and many times students just need opportunities like this to help their dreams become a reality.

If leading by example is what you’re looking for, Ryan Williams fits the description.

“To myself I said there’s a possibility that I could work here one day. It was a great fit for me,” Williams said.

Williams is one of the interns who kicked off Eskenazi’s intern program last year. Williams holds a kinesiology and sport health degree from Morehouse college, and is an Eskenazi employee.

“I enjoyed the fact that they were able to connect connect with other black students. Especially within our community. I feel like it’s been overlooked for a while,” Williams said.

Eskenazi Health human resources director, Christia Hicks developed the idea. Having two children graduate from HBCUs she recognized the challenges students face trying to find internships during summer breaks back home in Indiana. Hicks has opened up opportunities for intern roles out of the traditional health care roles.

“It’s about changing lives and it’s about impact. I’m very very excited about our students being exposed to what opportunities there are in healthcare, Hicks said. It gives our leaders and our employees an opportunity to see the richness and greatness that can come from historically black colleges and universities.”

The inaugural program’s success, made way for 12 this summer session. Williams younger sister and Spelman college student, Sydney Williams, and Kentucky State University student, Aaron Durham help make up this class.

“My search for an internship wasn’t going well coming out of my coming out of my sophomore year,” Durham said.

“I just saw how much Eskenazi impacted his life and I really wanted to get more hands-on experience,” Sydney said.

Sydney plans to become a surgeon. She understands that career path presents challenges for women, but especially Black women.

“I feel like a lot of the time HBCUs are neglected or overlooked. As if our degrees are somewhat lesser than that of a predominantly white institution, and that’s just not the case. We are just as capable, just as smart,” Sydney said.

Durham says as a business major he’s taking a less traditional route, and the real work experience is setting him up for the real world.

“Just going to an HBCU alone and then a smaller HBCU at that. So when I have an opportunity like this I try my best to take advantage,” Durham said.