St. Louis Area High School Students Learn About the Profession
of Pharmacy while Attending the Career Explorers Program
ST. LOUIS – For four weeks, St. Louis area high school students have learned firsthand about the world of pharmacy by participating in the Walgreens/St. Louis College of Pharmacy Career Explorers Program.
The program, which is geared toward African Americans and other minorities, aims to increase interest in the profession. As one of two such summer programs in the nation, this is its ninth year of existence. Though designed for minorities, the 20-day program is open to high school students of all ethnic backgrounds. Upon completion, each participant receives a certificate of completion and a $1,200 stipend.
“The Career Explorers Program gives high school students a first-hand look at the pharmacy profession,” said Freddie Wills, program coordinator and associate director of multicultural student services at the College. “It’s gives them an opportunity to say “being a pharmacist is something that I can see myself doing in the future.’ It also provides an opportunity to introduce students to other health care-related professions.”
The students learn about the history of pharmacy, how to read prescription abbreviations, calculate dosages for prescriptions and fill prescriptions. They also take hospital tours and participate in laboratory compounding exercises – developing such medications as lip balm, ointments and calamine lotion. In addition, they will also alternate between the College and St. Louis-area Walgreen stores, working as pharmacy technicians for 10 days; they will be paired with mentoring pharmacists, learn about the company and Walgreens’ pharmacy system.
The program ends July 11.
Since its inception, more than 200 students have participated. More than 50 percent of all participants have enrolled in pharmacy schools throughout the nation.
About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: Founded in 1864, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is one of the oldest and largest colleges of pharmacy in America. The College admits students directly from high school and integrates the liberal arts and sciences with a six-year professional curriculum leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Approximately 1,200 students attend, and more than 72 percent of practicing pharmacists in the St. Louis metropolitan area are alumni.
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