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CHS Athletic Training student creates internship program for low income students

Richie Wells, an Athletic Training Student in UK’s College of Health Sciences, is using his past experiences and passion for education to start an internship-based program for students in low income neighborhoods. 

Wells was born in The Bronx and was raised there by his two parents who were 20 and 21 when he was born. His parents made countless sacrifices to ensure that he had a quality education and opportunities for extracurricular activities. Through these experiences, Wells was able to gain the resources he needed to get to where he is today. “This is the foundation of my idea”, Wells said. “We want to give kids resources through tangible experiences that allow them to strive for their goals.”

This is where the idea for NXT STP was born. Wells realized that although education is vital, much of one’s success comes from the experiences throughout their life. He wanted to be able to provide these life-changing experiences for students who might not have the same opportunities that he did. “NXT STP is a program engineered to develop students in low income neighborhoods interest in an effort to give them direction, resources, and a support system so they can achieve their dreams”, stated Wells. “We hope to do this by giving them numerous internship opportunities and experiences in a variety of different fields.”

The ultimate goal is to expose students to a variety of different careers in the hopes that they will find a passion for at least one of them. With this exposure of multiple career paths, the hope is that students will be better prepared when they enter college to pursue a career that they are passionate about. 

In the first year of this program, the goal is to provide internships to 10 different high school students. Each student will be provided a weekly stipend for spending during the internship. The goals of this program do not simply stop when the internships are over. NXT STP wants to stay in contact with these students to ensure that they are able to achieve their goals in higher education and beyond. Each student will have a mentor who will serve as a support system for him or her to lean on during the college application process, and beyond. Aside from the internship opportunity, NXT STP also plans to provide training on professionalism, financial wellness expertise, goal-setting skills, and self-awareness strategies. 

Wells is looking for people to get involved with the program. He’s looking for passionate people to help him bring NXT STP to life. If you know a student who would benefit from this program, or if you would like more information about getting involved, you can contact Richie Wells, the founder, at richie.wellsjr@uky.edu or follow NXT STP’s Instagram @nxtstpky.

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