Education extends beyond the classroom at Simon Youth Academies and often includes professional development and job training. Through a strong corporate partnership established in 2007 with CVS/Caremark, the Pathways to Pharmacy and Pathways to Logistics programs provide students with internship and professional development opportunities at CVS locations in their local communities.
CVS/Caremark, which operates more than 7,000 pharmacies in the U.S., recognized a shortage of pharmacy-related employees in the health care industry. Simon Youth Foundation, which serves at-risk students through 24 academies in 13 states, recognized a shortage of quality business engagement opportunities in the youth development and education landscape.
The two organizations responded by developing Pathways to Pharmacy – a robust program that offers students an opportunity to be mentored by health care industry professionals and exposed to the field of pharmacy through employment in a six-week paid summer internship.
In 2011, the partnership grew to include Pathways to Logistics, a program offering Simon Youth Academy students internships with CVS.com and its order fulfillment and shipping services.
“Through SYF’s partnership with CVS/Caremark, I became interested in pharmacy as a career while at my Simon Youth Academy. Now, I’m three years away from completing a six-year program to earn my Doctor of Pharmacy degree,” said academy graduate Alexis Ireland.
Many of the Simon Youth Academy students who have completed the Pathways programs have gone on to careers with CVS/Caremark.