The WIOA program at SC AHEC has been assisting youth pursuing training in health careers since 2017. To be eligible, youth must be 21 or under, demonstrate financial need, and have at least one additional barrier.

The majority of our program participants are UAA students pursuing a variety of health careers such as medical assisting, nursing, psychology, pharmacy and pre-med. Many have benefited not only from the financial assistance, but also from the case management that provides another supportive adult who can help them navigate the academic and personal challenges that arise.

Students are required to complete extra didactic and hands-on training, which introduces them to topics beyond their regular coursework, and provides exposure opportunities in the profession they are pursuing. For some students, this community-based experiential learning has galvanized a newfound interest in public health, and a passion for addressing health equity and health literacy issues in Alaska.

Two of APCA-AHEC’s program graduates have gone on to gain acceptance into the intensely competitive WWAMI medical school program in their pursuit to train as physicians. The WIOA program is not a scholarship; rather it is an opportunity for students to benefit from interprofessional education, invaluable career exposure and networking opportunities, and a relationally-based case management approach that creates a personal and financial safety net to support motivated, determined youth reach their goals.