High School Pipeline Programs

About our pipeline programs

The Maine AHEC Network aims to alleviate significant healthcare workforce shortages in our communities through the delivery of health career exploration programs that support Maine youth on their path to a health profession.

Engaging students through pipeline activities — particularly students from rural communities — is critical since growing up in a rural area is a strong predictor of future rural practice. To increase the diversity of the healthcare workforce, youth programs also focus on supporting youth from populations that are under-represented in the health field.


Health Careers Explorations Camp

Every year, UNE hosts a free health career exploration camp for high school students from rural or underserved communities to participate in hands-on activities to learn about careers in health care. In addition, they learn about the college admissions process. The next summer camp will take place June 22–24.

During the camp, students learn about careers in dental hygiene, dental medicine, osteopathic medicine, neuroscience, neurodevelopmental and related disabilities treatment, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and public health.

The camp is overnight, designed to replicate some of the college experience. Students will stay in dorms on UNE's Biddeford Campus and eat at the dining hall. Students who live locally have the option of attending the day camp activities only. Camp coordinators and chaperones will stay with the students while the camp is in session. Transportation between the Portland and Biddeford campuses will be provided during the camp.

No Cost

There is no cost for accepted students to attend this camp, which is funded by the University of New England, Maine AHEC Network, the Finance Authority of Maine, Maine Health Access Foundation, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Application Process

Applications are accepted from students throughout the U.S. who will be entering grades 10–12 in the fall of 2024.
Maine students from rural and underrepresented communities, and those who have more limited access to such opportunities, will be given priority consideration.
To apply for the summer camp, complete the online registration form by May 3, 2024. Application decisions will be sent via email by May 17, 2024. For questions contact Nina Brinker at nbrinker@une.edu.

Strengthening our Healthcare Workforce: Empowering New Mainer Youth to Explore and Pursue Health Careers

Strengthening our Healthcare Workforce: Empowering New Mainer Youth to Explore and Pursue Health Careers delivers health career exploration learning activities, career planning support, and leadership skill-building to facilitate entry into the health professions for New Mainer youth from immigrant families in Cumberland and Androscoggin counties, with an aim to increase equity and diversity in the health care workforce, and ultimately, improve health outcomes.

There are five primary components of the project

  1. Learning opportunities for students to gain exposure to health careers and to receive mentorship
  2. Support for student internship opportunities in the health field
  3. College preparation and career planning sessions for youth and their families
  4. Leadership and civic engagement learning opportunities
  5. Ongoing support for youth and their families

Graduate students from the AHEC Scholars program participate in the delivery of learning activities for this project.

The project is made possible due to Maine AHEC Network and its community partners at Maine Access Immigrant Network and the New Mainers Public Health Initiative being awarded a two-year Community Responsive Grant from Maine Health Access Foundation. This grant allows Maine AHEC Network and its partners to build on a project that was funded over the past five years by the federal Office of Minority Health.


For more information or questions about any of our Pipeline Programs, email the Maine AHEC Network Pathways Coordinator, Christina Schechtman at cschechtman@une.edu.