The skywalk that connects the Specialty Clinics parking structure to Level 2 of the Froedtert Hospital campus is one of the busiest areas on-site, with more than 3,000 patients and visitors passing through each day. This is where Kenya Brown, 21, works her shift as a guest relations representative, greeting and guiding people to their appointments.
“I love what I do,” Kenya said. “I work early hours, starting at 4 a.m., and I am usually the first member of hospital staff to greet our guests. I want to make sure each guest is greeted by a friendly face and is able to get whatever assistance they may need.”
Kenya’s career with Froedtert Health began when she was a high school junior at Carmen High School of Science and Technology’s Northwest Campus. She went through the Carmen High School Internship Program, which prepares students for the workforce thanks to a partnership between Carmen Schools, Froedtert Health and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Carmen High School Internship Program includes coursework applicable to STEM careers, focuses on career readiness skills and includes a summer internship.
During Kenya’s junior year of high school, she took a series of college-level, health care-specific courses at Carmen, for which she earned high school and college credits. Those courses made her eligible for the paid internship at Froedtert Hospital. She spent the summer taking patients in their hospital beds and wheelchairs to wherever they needed to go on the Froedtert Hospital campus.
“Kenya was always great at taking the initiative to grow and learn,” said Jessika Hinds, the assistant director of career programs and partnerships for Carmen Schools of Science and Technology. “She interned as a Transporter, but she was always curious about new opportunities or skills and learned so much more throughout her internship.”
More than 50 Carmen students have completed internships through the program, and some, including Kenya, were offered full-time positions. Kenya enjoyed the summer internship so much, she asked her supervisor if she could stay on part-time through her senior year. He agreed, and when she graduated in 2019, she accepted a full-time job. After spending a year in Transport, she moved to her current role at Froedtert Hospital in Guest Relations. Kenya’s manager says she is always impressed by Kenya’s positive attitude and desire to grow.
“We strive for a superior level of customer service, and Kenya embodies that every day,” said Kaila Mitchell, manager of Strategic Operations and Guest Relations at Froedtert Hospital. “She always goes above and beyond. We meet monthly, and when we discuss the future and her goals, I can feel her passion and drive. The sky is the limit for her.”
Kenya’s sister, Katelyn Brown, 20, also went through the Carmen High School Internship Program. She is now a nursing student at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Kenya’s original plan was to work until her sister graduates and then attend nursing school herself, but now she is considering a new path.
“The internship program and my time working at Froedtert Hospital have opened my eyes to opportunities in health care that I didn’t know existed,” Kenya said. “When I think about my future, I have some decisions to make. I may still transition to the clinical side, but I’m also considering a degree in health care business administration. I’m so grateful for the experience.”
For more information about the Carmen High School Internship Program, visit: https://www.froedtert.com/carmen-internship-program.