Five Hamburg Juniors accepted to MHP program


Julia Doklan, Pinnacle Senior Editor

Julia Doklan – 12

The Medical Health Professions (MHP) program is for Berks County seniors who are aspiring to work in the medical field. 16 schools are eligible to apply for this program, and five upcoming seniors from Hamburg were accepted. This is a huge accomplishment for Hamburg, and all the teachers and students should be proud of these individuals’ hard work. Josie Keith is the only senior this year tackling the MHP program, and next year it will be Tamandeep Saggi, Catharine Wingle, Emilee Kachel, Julie Harbonic and Caitlin Steele. Mrs. Claire Benz, HAHS career specialist, notes that all of the applicants from Hamburg are women; the future really is female. Mrs. Benz acts as the link between the applicants and Berks Career and Technology Center as the applications are submitted to BCTC. The program is a collaboration between BCTC, the Reading Hospital and Penn State Berks.

The program includes two college level classes at Penn State Berks: biology and chemistry. There are challenging courses, so a prerequisite to apply is a 3.0 GPA in biology, chemistry and algebra II in high school. The students also spend time in BCTC and Reading Hospital learning how to work advanced medical technology and talk to patients. Being able to manage high school and preparing for their future at the same time shows extreme dedication. The MHP program prepares the students for further study into the medical field and allows them to explore what job they want in the future.

For the application, these five had to get a recommendation letter from their guidance counselor and a science teacher and write an essay. An excerpt from Caitlin’s essay states, “My accomplishments to date are just the first steps of that process; this program would be a giant leap.” She cannot wait to find out where she belongs in the medical world, and this program is helping her to chase her dreams.

As of now Caitlin does not know what she wants to study after high school, and Tamandeep has her sights set on being an anesthesiologist. Either way, the MHP program will help them to make the decision of what is best for their future.

Tamandeep’s oldest brother was a part of this program during his senior year. Because of this, she had an extra motivation to apply. She heard stories from when he was in the program, and she knows how much it benefitted him. He got to shadow a childbirth during his senior year in high school – that is phenomenal.

Both Caitlin and Tamandeep are grateful that they will be prepared for life after high school during their senior year. They get to plan out their future and get accustomed to what college classes are like. They get to experience bits of college before they are full time college students.

Congratulations to Tamandeep Saggi, Catharine Wingle, Emilee Kachel, Julie Harbonic and Caitlin Steele!