Tampa, Fla., - Your doctor of the future might be one of the Tampa Bay Area high schoolers who graduated from a special academy on Friday at Florida Hospital.
"I was like, I got to go to a program when all my friends are out there at the beach and everything, but I actually enjoyed this more," says Brandon Isaac, a Sickles High School student who spent four weeks of his precious summer days away from school at a summer academy.
Isaac is one 30 kids who graduated Friday from Brain Expansions Scholastic Training (B.E.S.T.), a non-profit program that mentors kids with an interest in the medial field, but who might not have access to a mentor in the field.
"Definitely a life-changing experience," says student Zoria Telfare to ABC Action News. "I never would have gotten to do this anywhere else."
Telfare and the other teens shadowed doctors and nurses and specialists, spending time at Florida Hospital's ICU, and even watching surgeries.
"Someone offered to let me see a heart be taken out," says Telfare, with excitement. "So I would never have gotten to do that without being here."
"You see personalities that are very reserved when they get here, says Ronald Anderson, one of the program administrators. "But as the weeks develop and go forward then we see these young people blossom."
Former graduates of this program are now working medical professionals, and many of these kids plan to follow their footsteps.
"It just clarified this is what I want to do, this is what I want to go into," adds Telfare. "You get to help people every single day. And bring some joy into their lives despite the situations they may be going through."
You can learn more about the BEST program, including how to sign up, and how to donate money, by clicking HERE.