ASCP Career Ambassador Opens Minds and Changes Destinies
Monday, June 17, 2013
Samantha Aldrich, MLS(ASCP)CM, was apprehensive about her first visit to a high school as part of the 2012–2013 ASCP Career Ambassador program, which is sponsored by Roche. But something happened that she could never have imagined.
“I had been hoping the students would not fall asleep,” she recalls, with a laugh. “After that first class, a student came up and thanked me. She told me, ‘My parents are not very supportive of me. You have inspired me to go to college and go into laboratory medicine. If you can do it, I can do it.’ ”
Applications for the 2013-2014 ASCP Career Ambassador program, which is sponsored by Roche, are now open to all ASCP-certified laboratory professionals, not just those who are recently certified. The deadline to apply is July 10.
Clearly, Ms. Aldrich had struck a chord, mesmerizing students with her presentation that included an animated YouTube video showing how a virus invades the body and how white blood cells fight back.
“Since I could not take them to the laboratory, I brought the laboratory to them,” she says.
It has been an astounding year for Ms. Aldrich who was worried about securing 10 visits to area high schools. Instead she made 21 schools visits, thanks in part to a teacher who posted an online announcement on a science teachers’ forum about Ms. Aldrich’s availability to visit schools.
“As a result, I received a flood of email requests from science teachers to come to their schools,” Ms. Aldrich says.
She talks enthusiastically to students about jobs in the medical laboratory because she knows firsthand how well the profession is hidden from the public. As a biology major in her sophomore year, Ms. Aldrich had been flipping through a course guide in college when she saw a reference to medical laboratory science jobs.
“I wish someone had told me about this field earlier,” she says. “Most of the students I have visited this year were equally amazed to learn about careers in the medical laboratory.”
Now Ms. Aldrich works in a molecular pathology laboratory at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., where she performs genotyping and infectious disease testing. Every day she finds a new thrill and a new challenge.
She highly recommends ASCP members to apply for a Career Ambassador position. Applications for the 2013–2014 Career Ambassador program, which Roche has generously supported for many years now, will be accepted through July 10. Applications are open to all ASCP-certified laboratory professionals, not just those who have been recently certified.