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Opportunity through First-Hand Experience

Warhawk Summer Up! at Zion Cancer Treatment Center

Run by the City of North Chicago, Warhawk Summer Up! connects North Chicago’s Middle and High School Students to learn and work experiences that build skills and transform futures.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, students get a six-week hands-on education on what it's like to work in a hospital. Whether it's shadowing a nurse, observing a procedure, or directly supporting patients and families dealing with cancer, they learn some of the many ways to turn an interest in health sciences into a career in medicine.

An opportunity like this is a big one, so appreciate it. Be humble...because we sometimes take our blessings and what we’re given for granted. I think I’ve grown. The more I worked there, the humbler I got. When you come to a place like CTCA, you realize, ‘Wow, the things that I was complaining about, they were nothing!’ -Abigail Mortis

Edwin Garcia, NCCHS Class of 2019 “I’m interested in being a nurse. Sometimes my interests change to the forensic sciences. Escorting patients was challenging [and this experience] helped me think if I really want to be a nurse or not, and what it’s going to feel like being around patients every day.”

Abigail Mortis, NCCHS Class of 2019

“I definitely want to be in the medical field, so I’m covering all my bases, not limiting myself. I think it’s helping me grow. I’ve been in North Chicago my whole life, so I’m not really used to anything else. I think getting away would help me…so I’ll have more knowledge than just what I can get here."

"I learned how to adapt to hearing people’s stories. It made me better at understanding people. Sometimes it was hard talking to patients. You don’t really know what to say. You have to comfort them in a way that they know that you’re comforting them. You also have to be careful about what you say: not too much or too little."

Nathalie Martinez, NCCHS Class of 2019

“I’m more into the beauty end of medicine. I want to go into skin care, as a dermatologist or as a cosmetic or plastic surgeon. At the hospital labs, we picked up blood and DNA samples, filed them, and packaged them to be sent out to other hospitals or labs. They’re really hard to describe: each one has a different look– like paint or food coloring splattered on and smushed between two pieces of glass.”

Luis Garcia, NCCHS Class of 2019

“I’m interested in pursuing a career as a nurse. I chose this internship to get an idea of what it’s like working in a hospital setting. The experience was great. The staff members were just good people. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, take the opportunity to volunteer at CTCA. It will give you an idea of what it’s like to work in a hospital setting. I also know this will rate on my college applications!"

Pictured above are the four NCCHS interns, along with their mentors and KeOne Carter (second from left), North Chicago's Warhawk Summer Up! coordinator. For more information on Warhawk Summer Up!, email KeOne at, or visit



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