Summer High School Program Students Accepted to St. Louis College of Pharmacy

News Story Photo For the first time, graduates of the BESt Pharmacy Summer Institute have been conditionally accepted to attend St. Louis College of Pharmacy. The 12 BESt graduates are entering their senior year of high school, and they will be invited to attend the College in fall 2014 provided they meet College admissions standards. A graduation ceremony for all students participating in BESt this summer was held at the College on July 19.

"These are high-performing, gifted students who have lots of character and talent that we are seeking as we look to diversify our campus," says Kimberly Simmons, Pharm.D., MBA, assistant vice president of diversity and inclusion.

BESt is a joint effort between the College, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Express Scripts. The program co-directors are Isaac Butler, Pharm.D., MBA, of Express Scripts and Steven Player, Pharm.D., MBA, of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. The College's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, along with several staff, faculty members, and students, helped facilitate classroom learning and field trips.

The six-week summer enrichment program focuses on preparing talented minority students for future careers in pharmacy and other health care professions. The program has three levels, with separate coursework for students entering their sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school. All students gained exposure to pharmacy and learned what it takes to succeed in college. Some of the graduates have attended BESt for three years.

The application process for next year's BESt Summer Institute will begin in January.

"Summer enrichment pipeline programs like the BESt Summer Institute are critically important to exposing and expanding opportunities in the profession of pharmacy to underrepresented minorities," Simmons says.

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