MOULTRIE, Ga. — Members of the Student National Medical Association Club, a PCOM South Georgia student-led organization, will soon be mentors to the youth of Moultrie.
SNMA has created a mentorship program with the Moultrie Boys and Girls Club.
Chizoba Akunwanne (DO ‘23), SNMA community service liaison, said she was inspired to create this program after serving as a mentor over the summer for high school students interested in medicine.
“Many PCOM students worked with local high school students during our Science & Math Summer Academy,” Akunwanne said. “I served as a mentor, and I saw how receptive the high school students were to our relationships, so I wanted to develop a partnership within our community with students of that same age.”
The goal of SNMA members like Akunwanne is to support underrepresented minority students interested in a career in health care.
“We want young students to see people who look like them thriving, which in turn boosts their confidence,” she said. “These students all have their own individual experiences and obstacles to overcome, and their story is worth telling,” Akunwanne said. “They just need encouragement and words of wisdom.”
The PCOM mentors will be working with two programs at the Moultrie Boys and Girls Club: Passport to Manhood and Smart Girls. Each program is meant to build character and leadership skills in the high school students. The mentors will be facilitating discussions on topics like peer pressure, friendships and finances. The mentoring program will begin virtually this fall.
According to its website, the mission of the national SNMA organization is “to support current and future underrepresented minority medical students, to address the needs of underserved communities, and to increase the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians.” Similar to the club at PCOM South Georgia, SNMA chapters are based at allopathic and osteopathic medical schools across the nation.