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IU Health and Indianapolis Public Schools Present Inaugural Class of IU Health Fellows at Crispus Attucks High School

On Tuesday morning, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and Indiana University (IU) Health announced the 26 students selected for the inaugural class of the IU Health Fellowship at Crispus Attucks High School.

IPS, in partnership with IU Health, has launched a health care-focused fellowship pilot program at Crispus Attucks High School, enhancing and expanding the district’s health sciences pathway. Upon graduation, students completing the fellowship will receive a job offer from IU Health, along with tuition assistance to complete a related degree in college.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to ensure our students at Indianapolis Public Schools succeed after they graduate,” said Aleesia Johnson, IPS superintendent. “This inaugural class of IU Health Fellows from Crispus Attucks High School is receiving a golden ticket to advance their academic and professional careers in new and exciting ways. We look forward to watching this partnership grow and positively impact many lives for years to come.”

The fellowship was introduced to freshmen currently enrolled at Crispus Attucks. The pilot program will build upon the current nursing pathway to offer additional tracks within the health care industry for some of the most in-demand careers, including medical assistant and patient care assistant.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need to invest in the next generation of health care providers, and we know there are capable, passionate students in our own backyard,” said Dennis Murphy, president and CEO of IU Health. “Our partnership with IPS can help drive the success of its students. By removing barriers of access and finance, this program will promote student success and satisfaction, leading to a stable workforce and improving the economic landscape of Indiana.”

Ninth grade students at Crispus Attucks went through a rigorous selection process. In addition to submitting an application with their grade point average and list of extra-curricular activities, they were also required to write about adversity they’ve faced and how they overcame it, submit two letters of recommendation and participate in a panel interview. Out of 56 applications, 26 students were selected to join the inaugural class of IU Health Fellows.

“I’m so happy about this because being in the medical field has always been my number one focus in life,” said Kevin Fernandez, an Attucks student. “My goal is to be a general surgeon and I feel like with this opportunity I can make it happen.”

“I like to help people and the medical field is a lot about helping people, so I want to be a registered nurse,” said Ja’Nya Allen, an Attucks student. “I feel like it’s going to be easier now that I’ve been accepted into this fellowship because they’re going help with college tuition and it will mean a guaranteed job when I graduate.”

“I’m so thankful to everyone who has made this opportunity possible,” said Lesley Herrera, an Attucks student. “I want to be a pediatric oncologist and work with amazing people while helping children suffering from cancer. I feel like I can breathe easier with this kind of support to pave the way.”

The IU Health Fellowship at Crispus Attucks is being launched in partnership with the Lily Endowment, Center for Leadership Development, Crossroads Education, Indiana University/Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, IU School of Medicine, Ivy Tech, Mosaic Center, 16 Tech and others. Continuation and expansion of the fellowship is dependent upon additional funding from grants.

“Crispus Attucks has a rich history, including introducing students to health care professions while providing a rigorous college preparatory education, and we are thrilled to add to that legacy,” said Crispus Attucks principal Lauren Franklin. “Our students and their success are our top priority, and we are excited to partner with IU Health as we continue to generate the best opportunities possible.”

To watch a recording of the event, click HERE.