Center for Community and
Health Equity

Youth Programs

The Center for Community Health and Health Equity (CCHHE) is committed to advancing systems of care, research, and community programs that elevate the health status of the communities we serve. We recognize that one of the most effective ways to have a positive impact on the overall health and well-being of local communities is to give young people the opportunities they need to succeed.

CCHHE provides a wide range of development opportunities for young people – from pre-kindergarten to college – to advance their education and prepare for careers in health and sciences. Our programs bring together hundreds of Brigham and Women’s Hospital employees who serve as volunteers working in partnership with local schools and community organizations to create educational and employment opportunities for young people and help build a diverse workforce in the health care field. From developing basic literacy skills to enhancing science and health care skills, we offer support, guidance, and mentoring for our young people.

Youth Programs, through the Summer Science Academy, Project TEACH, SSJP High School, and SSJP Summer College programs, works on four levels to address health inequities by:

  1. Contributing to educational enrichment for young people through clinical, public health, and health equity seminars as well as tutoring.
  2. Supporting employment and training opportunities in communities that have experienced historical disinvestment and structural racism.
  3. Encouraging youth driven programming in youth-led groups, such as the SSJP Student Committee, Youth Equity Group, and Mental Health Mondays.
  4. Increasing the diversity of the healthcare workforce and leadership to maximize culturally responsive care and contribute to building a diverse workforce that is reflective of Mass General Brigham patients and communities.

Learn more about BWH Youth Programs in Mass General Brigham's most recent 'Check Up on DE&I' report.

Building Science and Health Care Skills

The Summer Science Academy program for rising high school students provides valuable exposure to careers in health and science education through field trips, intensive science instruction, and opportunities to explore careers in health care. Students spend the summer at BWH as paid scholars working on research and linking scientific concepts to real-life applications within the hospital.

The Project TEACH Program offered to rising sophomores provides the opportunity to learn about careers in health, science, and medicine through paid summer internships in various BWH departments, academic research projects, and weekly life skills seminars.

Our nationally award-winning Student Success Jobs Program (SSJP) is a year-round paid internship program designed to introduce students from seven Boston public high schools to medical, health, and science professions. The program matches students with a mentor in the hospital, provides hands-on work experience in the hospital, and enhances students’ interest in health care and higher education. Learn more about SSJP.

The SSJP College Summer Internship Program is a paid opportunity for alumni of our SSJP high school program to return to work at the Brigham during the summer. Interns are placed in hospital departments related to their major and/or career interests. Interns work 35 hours per week for 10 weeks, and in addition to work opportunity also participate in workforce development seminars and other networking events.

Growing Literacy Skills

The successful Pen Pal Program is a literacy-based, traditional letter writing program connecting elementary school students with BWH employees. Literacy and communication skills are supported while providing a fun and exciting experience for the children.

Our Book Buddy Program brings hospital volunteers to pre-kindergarten through second grade classrooms to read aloud to students. Reading aloud with children is an important activity for children to become successful readers. Brigham Book Buddies assists in developing reading skills and cultivates a stronger interest and enthusiasm for books and reading.

Get Involved

If you are a Brigham employee and interested in becoming a mentor, please refer to additional information here. You may also fill out any of the linked forms to show your interest in any of the following mentorship opportunities.

To learn more about our programs, how your school or organization can get involved, how to become a volunteer or mentor, or other ways to support our efforts, please contact Jesenia Cortes, Interim Director of Youth Programs at

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