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Youngsters Offer a Big ‘Thank You’ for a New Laptop

Youngsters Offer a Big ‘Thank You’ for a New Laptop

Published: 5/2/2017

Javonte Nelson, a third-grader at Fairview Clifton German Language School, had two simple words upon receiving a brand new laptop: thank you.

The computer was given by Med Mentors, a mentoring effort run by medical students at the University of Cincinnati, and got a nice boost from a $15,000 gift from medical staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Eleven computers were given to area schoolchildren at a special ceremony held April 18, 2017, in the Medical Sciences Building’s Lucas Board Room. 

Matthew Stewart, a second-year medical student, has been a mentor for Jayonte the past year and was on hand to assist with the laptop. It came loaded with Microsoft and other educational programs to aid a core mission of Med Mentors—helping youth succeed academically and socially. Stewart, along with a second mentor and medical student, Neil Rajdev, and Jayonte have visited exam rooms in the College of Medicine, toured UC’s west campus, attended an occasional Reds game and bonded over homework and burgers.

"We got to touch a real brain,” says Jayonte, accompanied by his grandmother, Vicki Bush.

Bush says Jayonte’s mentors have helped the youth ‘a lot’ in the past year.

"He was going through some issues when they first started with him because his grandfather had passed away and his father wasn’t in the home at the time, and they stepped in and have been a big help for him,” says Bush. "They pick him up and they go out on events and share time together and do activities and I think it has helped Jayonte a lot and he really looks forward to seeing them.”

Bush said it was wonderful gesture for Med Mentors to offer a laptop for her grandson. She says the tool will aid Jayonte in completing homework assignments and that even at school students had to share computers during pretty limited free time.

Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC) works closely with Med Mentors to link medical students with area youth. Med Mentors was founded in 2001 by Wan Lim, PhD, associate professor emerita, and has mentored over 1,500 students since that time, says Alex Lentsch, PhD, senior associate dean for faculty affairs and development in the College of Medicine.

"The Med Mentors program is one of the gems in our College of Medicine and is truly a win-win for our medical students and our community’s youth,” says Lentsch, who attended the special ceremony and offered thanks to the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and Cincinnati Children’s on behalf of the Dean’s Office in the College of Medicine.

Keith Stringer, MD, a pathologist at Cincinnati Children’s and assistant professor in the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, is the faculty advisory for Med Mentors.  Charles Cavallo, MD, instructor in the UC Department of Pediatrics, is president of the Med Mentors advisory board.

Med Mentors has received support from the Charles H. Dater Foundation, the Rue Foundation and the Medical Student Association.

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