ST. LOUIS – A.T. Still University’s Dreamline Pathways program for local high school students gives them the opportunity to attend a week-long health care academy. After meeting at St. Louis Dental Center, half-a-dozen students traveled to Kirksville, Missouri, to participate in health care learning activities at ATSU while staying at Truman State University.

At the Dental Center, students got a glimpse of dental care. They learned how to correctly brush and floss teeth, and even learned how to do a filling for a cavity.

The students may be from different area schools, but they share the same passions: to be of service and to help others.

“I want to be a pediatric nurse practitioner, and I think this is a good experience to help me to figure out the health care field more,” said Kellsie Shell, Webster Groves High School.

Through this program, students get hands-on experience and the chance to talk to professionals about the fields of medicine they want to explore.

“I feel that it’s important to be able to experience these things early, so like you’re not in college looking for different things that you don’t really want to do,” said Ashton Whitfield, Whitfield Prep School. “And so, like, doing this early kind of helps you choose what you want to do for college instead of, like, waiting until the last minute.”

These students were nominated by educators in their schools. The program looks for kids who are excelling academically or have an interest in the health care field.

“We’re hoping that we just open the Pandora’s Box for them you. As a student, as I was growing up, I was only told be a doctor or this. But I think you forget that there’s so many opportunities available,” said Stephanie McGrew, ATSU’s Diversity & Inclusion coordinator.

Kellsie’s parents, Anthoine and Ava Shell, were pleased with the program and what it had to offer for their daughter.

“She came home all excited, I don’t know if she talked to the counselor or who it was up at Webster Groves High School. But when she came home, her enthusiasm spilled over into mine and we’re like alright, yeah we’ve got to do it, you know, it’s a no-brainer,” Anthoine Shell said.