UNMC to hold graduation ceremony for 12 Step-Up participants

OMAHA – The University of Nebraska Medical Center will hold a graduation ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 31 for the 12 interns who have been working at UNMC this summer as part of the Step-Up Omaha! Program. The graduation ceremony will be held in the Linder Reading Room on the second floor of the Sorrell Center, which is located at 42nd and Emile streets.

The Step-Up program – Summer Training, Employment Pathway & Urban Pipeline – is an initiative by the Empowerment Network and the City of Omaha in collaboration with community partners, including the Urban League of Nebraska.

This year’s class of 12 interns is the largest Step-Up group that UNMC has hosted. Speakers at the UNMC graduation ceremony will include Willie Barney, CEO of the Empowerment Network, and Cheryl Mayfield, coordinator of Step-Up Omaha! and an alumna of the Step-Up program.

Step-Up Omaha! provides jobs and paid internship opportunities to youth and young adults, ages 14 to 21, in mutually beneficial paid summer jobs and work experience opportunities. Program participants gain valuable job training, work experience, vocational training, academic recovery and remediation, life skills training and community service opportunities.

In addition, participants can:

  • Earn up to $1,800 during the summer.
  • Gain on-the-job experience and explore career opportunities.
  • Learn more about their strengths, talents and career interests.
  • Gain valuable life and job skills, including interviewing, job search and customer service.
  • Connect with long-term employment opportunities.

Two of the interns at UNMC this summer were Joshua Robinson, a junior at Omaha Northwest High School, and Mack’Kya Broadway, a student at Metropolitan Community College.

Robinson wants to be a paramedic, while Broadway is interested in neurosurgery. Both still have a ways to go. But UNMC is helping them take the first step . . . up.

Robinson and Broadway have both been involved with Step-Up previously, but this marked the first time they have worked on the UNMC campus.

“I like the experience, getting to go to different jobs and learn about those jobs,” Broadway said. “Miss Evelyn (Grixby, UNMC’s Step-Up coordinator) is great, and I work with Dr. Faye Haggar, and she’s great, too.”

Broadway said the opportunity to work on the UNMC campus allows her to see how doctors work.

Aileen Warren, assistant vice chancellor for human resources, said that UNMC has proved very welcoming to the program.

“Every year we have more departments that reach out to us and want to be a part of the program,” she said. “That says a lot in terms of the importance and the value that UNMC finds in having these young people on campus.”

Warren said she is proud that UNMC hosts the interns, “exposing them to different opportunities and encouraging them to be their best in terms of whatever they decide to do after they leave here.”

Moniki Cannon, Step-Up Omaha! employment director, called UNMC an amazing host site. “Each year we have more and more interns express interest in the medical field,” she said, “so this provides an opportunity for them to get firsthand experience of what the medical field brings.

“As a site, UNMC is growing and constantly adding on departments, which is always helpful. The orientations, welcome reception, and graduation ceremony at UNMC – those are all really nice touches that we actually use to model best practices. They really help to create an experience.”

These Step-Up interns will be on the UNMC campus through Aug. 2.


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