The Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens (MERIT) aims to eliminate health care disparities by transforming under-represented high school students into health care leaders. To accomplish these goals, MERIT provides seven years of academic, professional, and social support. Scholars are selected during their sophomore year of high school and participate in intensive MERIT programming until graduation including weekly Saturday sessions focused on academic enrichment and college admissions guidance, paid summer internships in hospitals and laboratories, and longitudinal mentoring. After high school, they become MERIT alumni and receive continued guidance throughout college. Health care disparities will only be eliminated if the workforce mirrors the communities we serve. MERIT Scholars’ voices are not represented now, but one day, they will be poised to influence critical decisions.
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