Rural health focus of meeting

Published 9:29 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2016

By Samantha Bolden | The Selma Times-Journal

A meeting at City Hall Monday discussed the future of rural students who are looking to pursue a career in the health field.

John Wheat, professor and director of the Rural Scholars Program at the University of Alabama, talked about the five week program, which gives students a chance to experience life as a college student. Participants live on campus, take two college courses for credit, participate in seminars and field trips, and receive orientation about health careers.

The program was founded to encourage high school students to consider careers in medicine and health professions.

Wheat said that he would like for more African American males to apply for this program.

Councilwoman Susan Keith hopes that more students from the rural area will apply for the program.

“Our children are our resource to the future,” Keith said.

Selma High School sophomores Kameron Ford and Ja’maya Berry, both 15, attended the meeting and expressed their interest in the health field because of their love of helping others.

Ford wants to be a surgeon and Berry wants to be a nurse. Both aspire to attend The University of Alabama once they graduate.

“I’m always open to learning new things,” Ford said.

The requirements to qualify for the program are as follows:

* Be a rising high school senior; Be a resident of rural Alabama for at least six years

*Have a B average or 3.0 GPA

* Have taken the ACT (minimum score of 21) or SAT (minimum score of 1000)

* Have an interest in health care with a desire to return to rural Alabama

* Submit two letters of recommendation: one from the school’s guidance counselor and one from a teacher

* Submit transcript that includes ACT and/or SAT score

* Submit a statement of interest

* Meet the University of Alabama admissions criteria

For more information about the program, contact Wheat at (205) 348-1300.