Labcorp partners with community program to improve access to education
When a growing community organization in Newark, New Jersey, saw the opportunity to aid underserved students in attaining college readiness, they partnered with Labcorp to bring the idea to life. The program resulting from this partnership has helped an underserved school set more students on the path toward careers in healthcare.
At the heart of the community organization is a school with a mission to ensure a safe, progressive, social and emotional environment where students are engaged in academic rigor and excellence to reach high school and college readiness. The Newark, New Jersey school— comprised of pre-K to eighth grade students—has:
- 92% of the student population on free and reduced lunch
- 22% of the student population having special needs
- 19% of the student population being bilingual or Englishlanguage learners
Additionally, the school recognized the following needs of its students:
- School uniforms, coats and other cold weather clothing
- School supplies (pencils, erasers, book bags, etc.) and a methodology to hand out supplies to those with higher needs
- Career Day volunteers
- Laptops with upgrade accessibility and other tech equipment
- Increasing the special education program
- Tutoring help, specifically for bilingual students
- School beautification program(s)
When the school began searching for partners to help fulfill these needs, they reached out to Labcorp, who had previously worked with the school to test water for lead levels.
- Partnership with grassroots afterschool program
- Development of Adopt-a-School program
- Sustained support through reciprocal giving
Delivering support the grassroots way: Boots on the ground
Labcorp first donated school supplies and sent volunteers to support school supply drives, back-to-school backpack events and Career Day efforts.
Labcorp volunteers were able to show students what a future in healthcare looks like—that it’s not just hospitals, labs and doctors’ off ices, but it’s also, at the heart, about community involvement. Through these conversations, students could envision a future supporting healthcare access for all.
From these early efforts, Labcorp’s involvement grew into supporting some of the school’s more significant needs. Most notably, volunteers from Labcorp and the community transformed a classroom into a fully functional science lab for students, with Labcorp supplying microscopes and other equipment.
Labcorp also donated glass slides and coverslips for use with the microscopes; pipettes and aliquot tubes for taking and measuring samples; and a single-door freezer and double-door refrigerator for storage. Chromebooks were donated, which allowed students new and various ways to learn. This proved especially helpful in giving students the ability to review programmatic information before having to take statewide exams.
“My students will be able to learn diff erent ways on how to highlight, drag, write and draw by using the computer instead of using pencil and paper. The Chromebooks will be exciting for my students because they will be able to use them whenever necessary.” – Local Teacher
The power of education for all
Unrestricted healthcare access has its roots in accessibility to education. Being empowered to learn in various ways and gaining exposure to philanthropic and community outreach eff orts helps students and other young people see how real change begins at the local level.
These insights may give them the power to help improve health and improve lives: one community at a time.