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Making A Difference

Class Projects

Bridges To Healthcare

Class of 1985 Pre-Health Access Fund: Increasing access to healthcare professions

Our class has undertaken support for a new initiative that will advance the success of Dartmouth undergraduates and influence healthcare outcomes for underserved communities.

The Class of ’85 Class Projects committee has teamed up with the Dartmouth Health Professions Program (HPP ) and the Undergraduate Advising & Research (UGAR) offices to fund a class project to assist undergraduates from populations that are “underrepresented in medicine” (URiM students) and have a financial need. Our contributions will help defray the high costs of preparing for and applying to post graduate health professional schools.

 To start, the Fund will address the first financial obstacle a student may encounter: the high cost of MCAT test preparation and fee applications to medical schools. According to Dartmouth representatives from the Health Professions Program office, Dartmouth students who prepare and take the MCAT, score very high (93rd percentile and above) and gain admission. Students who do not meet a threshold score on the MCAT are not even placed in a pool for consideration, regardless of their academic grades and other outstanding credentials. Given the high stakes of the MCAT exam, quality test preparation is critical and costs of test preparation are a sizable barrier to a low-income student. The Class of 1985 fund will initially provide 5 students with $2,000 grants for the MCAT test preparation course that best fits their learning style and the MCAT test fee.

It is our hope that through the generosity of the members of the Class of 1985, we can increase the number of students we are able to impact for medical admissions, and then grow the funds to help students access other health professions that also desperately need a diverse and well- educated workforce. We believe that by supporting a more diverse applicant pool we are ultimately supporting a better healthcare system, more reflective of the U.S. population.

The Class Projects team and 1985 Class Officers ask you to consider a donation when you pay your class dues to support the Class of 1985 Bridges to Healthcare fund to remove financial barriers for underserved students to apply to medical schools.

“. . . the point I’m trying to get across is that the odds are in fact stacked high. But here I am trying to push through all of these barriers because I know the kind of life that I want for myself. I want to wake up every day knowing that the work that I do can cause absolutely no harm to anyone. I want to wake up knowing that I could be the reason that someone else gets a second shot at living their dreams or turning over a new leaf. . . . This is my definition of peace and happiness so I am determined to achieve my dream to become a medical doctor. Thank you so much for contributing to this desire and dream of mine. . . . Such acts of kindness as yours are hard to forget. They also inspire me to keep working harder to achieve my dreams so that one day, I too can help other aspiring students as well.
John Ejiogu ’23
Hometown: Owerri, Nigeria. Economics Major, Chemistry and Music Minors

Some of the initial students awarded grants in the Class Bridges to Healthcare program. Clockwise from upper left: John Ejiogu, Alvin Morales-Giron, Yisiara Aguirre, and Bamlak Messay.

Dartmouth Partners In Community Service

A portion of the money we collect from Class Dues is committed to our sponsorship of Class Projects. We currently support Dartmouth Partners in Community Service (DPCS) with an annual gift of $5,000.

DPCS was started by the Class of ’59 at their 35th reunion and is now a project that has been adopted by 20 classes, including the Classes of ’86, ’87, and ’88. Currently approximately 40 student interns engaged in social impact work are supported each year through this program, which is administered by the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact.

Together with the Center, DPCS has supported over 800 Dartmouth undergraduates in alumni mentored internships in nonprofits across the U.S. and engaged over 400 alumni mentors from 57 Dartmouth alumni classes.

In addition to the experience they gain from social impact work, DPCS interns are also matched with a Dartmouth alum from a sponsoring class who serves as a local mentor.  This is a unique aspect of the DPCS program compared to internship programs at peer institutions. Alumni mentors meet with the intern at the beginning, middle and end of the internship to discuss the student’s internship goals and objectives, their plans, progress and challenges, and evaluate the experience. Mentors provide support as needed, in person, by phone or by email. Mentors need not be involved in the community service agency, but should be located geographically near the site of the internship. Serving as an alumni mentor is a great opportunity to connect with a current Dartmouth student and provide friendly guidance and support.

Mentoring is a central aspect of DPCS internships and we encourage classmates to get involved as mentors and the program seeks expertise in the following areas:

  • Healthcare and community/public health experience in Boston (DPCS Boston Community Health Internship Program), but also generally across the country.
  • Social impact experience in San Francisco (DPCS San Francisco Social Impact Internship Program) and Philadelphia
  • Alumni with experience in social impact work, as a career or volunteer, across the United States in a multitude of sectors- law, education, housing, youth work, policy,anti-poverty, immigration, food, sustainability, etc.

Are you interested in serving as a mentor to a future DPCS intern?  Please contact our DPCS class representative, Veronica Jenkins (click her email link in the Class Projects Chairs section below).

“What motivates me to be a change maker is my family history. My family was able to escape as refugees and build new lives thanks to those who did this work. I feel compelled to help refugees and asylees so that they too can have this opportunity.”
Chris Jun ’22
Class of ’85 DPCS Intern

Your Class Project donations help make a difference for Dartmouth Students and the communities they serve!

Class Projects Chairs

Veronica Jenkins
Class Projects
linda blockus
Linda Blockus
Class Projects

Past Projects

Our Class supported the Center for Professional Development Student Internship. The Class of 1985 was the first class to adopt this program as a class project. The CPDSI was a program initiated by President Hanlon to support students who are taking their learning beyond the classroom.

Before our 25th Reunion we sponsored the work of a group of Dartmouth alumni creating a book and movie about the history of Dartmouth skiing entitled, Passion For Skiing. The book is a wonderful history of Dartmouth’s involvement in the ski industry, and a movie along the same lines is in the works.

As a Class Project we sponsored high school students in the Tucker Foundation-led Summer Enrichment At Dartmouth (SEAD) program. SEAD offers an exciting and challenging multi-year enrichment experience for pre-college teens from under-resourced urban and rural high schools. Based on the Dartmouth College campus during the summer term, the program brings together college and community resources to provide a unique opportunity for growth for all involved.

Class Projects News