The Cempa Community Care Future Ready Institute at East Ridge High School will enable students to gain real-world learning opportunities in the healthcare field.
Cempa Community Care recently finalized a formal agreement with Hamilton County Schools and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce to bring a new Future Ready Institute of Health Science to East Ridge High School in the 2021-2022 school year.
The first Future Ready Institutes were announced in 2018 in partnership with Chattanooga 2.0 in an effort to help prepare students for career success in Chattanooga’s fastest-growing economic sectors. For the 2019-2020 school year, students could choose from a list of nearly 30 Institutes housed in 13 high schools.
According to LaDarius Price, Community Outreach Manager at Cempa, the conversations about making Cempa a Future Ready partner began about two years ago when participating in an annual Vision Day event at the Erlanger Institute of Healthcare & Innovation at Howard High School, during which healthcare professionals from around the Chattanooga community came together to help students learn about careers in the healthcare field.
“Seeing the light bulb go on when we’d talk to these kids really made us want to have our own Future Ready home,” Price said. “I want kids that come from the inner-city, that don’t have access to the same resources as kids from more privileged backgrounds, to go through this program and say, ‘If I want to be that nurse, that doctor, that CEO, I can be. I’ve seen someone that looks like me, who’s overcome whatever they’ve had to overcome, and now they’re equipped to serve other people.’”
Currently, East Ridge offers three Future Ready Institute tracks: an Institute of Engineering and Design, an Institute of Building Construction, and an Institute of Leadership. Adding the fourth healthcare-focused track in 2021 will expand access to early learning opportunities that position students for successful future careers in the ever-growing healthcare industry in Chattanooga.
“Partnerships with leading community businesses are providing tremendous real-world opportunities for high school students in our Future Ready Institutes, and we welcome Cempa at East Ridge High,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “The business partnerships offer real-world experiences in the business world and the expertise of those in the field influencing classroom instruction to help our students be future-ready and prepared for success after graduation.”
This instruction not only enriches Hamilton County high school students’ overall academic opportunities but also enables area employers to hire highly qualified professionals from a local talent pool.
“We want the Chattanooga region to be the best place for young people to thrive as they complete their education and launch their careers,” said Christy Gillenwater, Chattanooga Chamber President & CEO. “The Future Ready Institutes give high schoolers early exposure and training in relevant career paths with the opportunity for upward mobility. Employer partnerships are key to the success of the Future Ready Institutes. Our community is lucky to have organizations like Cempa who see the value of that and help provide opportunities for our students.”
For additional Cempa Community Care information, please visit: www.cempa.org
About Cempa Community Care:
Leading the way for 34 years. Our mission is to champion healthy communities by providing affordable, compassionate, and high-quality care through advancing comprehensive support services and person-centered best practices.