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First-Of-Its-Kind Program At Crozer-Chester Medical Center Encouraging Minority Students To Pursue STEM Careers

UPLAND, Pa. (CBS) -- It's a new way to get minority students interested in careers in science and technology. It's happening now with a first-of-its-kind program at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

It's about changing stereotypes and expanding horizons. The hope is that some of the Chester students in this program will eventually become doctors, scientists and engineers.

Welcome to anatomy class, where this group of students is dissecting frogs.

The middle and high school students from Chester are part of a first-of-its-kind program at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. It's designed to get minority kids interested in careers in science, technology, engineering and math -- known as STEM.

"A heart surgeon," 11-year-old Ethan Latoiso said of what he wants to be when he grows up.

During the four-day program, the students interact with people in different STEM careers.

"Everyone that's given a talk is a minority and looks like these guys. I'm actually wearing my Jordans today. I want them to see themselves in me," Dr. Thomas Butler said.

Butler, a transplant surgeon at Crozer, is leading the program.

"I want them to see and know that they can be me," Butler said.

Research shows minority students are less likely to earn STEM degrees. A survey from the Pew Research Center found white people hold the majority of STEM jobs -- just 9% are Black and 8% are Hispanic.

"What we're trying to do is change those numbers and change them from the bottom up," Butler said.

Forty-seven students were selected for the four-day program that started with a traditional white coat ceremony.

"I think I want to be a chemist mainly because I love mixing up concoctions and see where it takes me," 9-year-old Ionie-Joy Benjamin said.

The program was sponsored by a grant from the Transplant Foundation, an affiliate of Gift of Life.

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