In 2019, through a partnership with Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) and University of Maryland Medical System, a semester-long phlebotomy certification program was established at Renaissance Academy, ensuring students can begin work after high school graduation. It was the first cohort of its kind, running 3 days a week for 2.5 hours each day, from March 5th to May 30th, and taught the clinical procedure known as a venipuncture.
"We’re sponsoring the first class of Renaissance students who will be trained and certified as phlebotomists … you know, the people who draw your blood when you go to the doctor,” said the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, at a mural unveiling at the high school back in April.
The three-month long phlebotomy program, funded by Promise Heights through a $30M United States Department of Education grant, exemplifies its commitment to college and career readiness and offers Renaissance students career exposure and job-skills in the health sciences.
Of the ten students who attempted the course, eight completed it successfully and will go on to do their externship-clinical practice at the University of Maryland Medical Center this summer.
Advancing their training with the phlebotomy certification prepares the students for careers that include working in hospitals, in out-patient labs, or being a traveling phlebotomist, or an in-home nurse.
"It's in the healthcare industry, there will always be jobs — it's a striving industry that is not going anywhere," said Abena Alexander, the Health Training Coordinator from BCCC who taught the course at Renaissance Academy. Alexander celebrated the determination of the students who completed the course.
“I'm really proud of the girls, it was all girls — I am really proud for them sticking it out and doing what they had to do to improve themselves," she said.
Program partners are already planning to double down on the phlebotomy certification program, potentially offering it in next year’s Fall and Spring semesters at Renaissance Academy following the program’s successful first cohort.
“We look at this program as a stepping stone into the health professions—nursing, medicine, pharmacy,” said UMB President Perman, “and I plan on seeing a lot of Renaissance students at UMB one day."