Step-Up Chattanooga places low-income students in internships at more than 40 local businesses

Intern Makalah Smith, left, takes notes for cardiac rehab manager Allan Lewis, center, as he puts patient Richard Sullivan through a 6-minute walk test in CHI Memorial Hospital's cardiac rehabilitation facility on Thursday, July 14, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn. More than 40 businesses and organizations in Hamilton County have offered paid internships to high school students through the Step-Up Chattanooga program.

There are enough hurdles for students this age, but for this lowincome group there seems to be some more hurdles we are hoping to help them take out of the way. Jeff Rector, business partner manager for Step

Makalah Smith said she's learning more over the summer than she would from years of sitting in a classroom.

On Thursday alone, Smith, a junior at East Hamilton Middle High School, learned how to use a dual stethoscope and worked with cardio rehab patients. This summer she's also been able to observe surgeries and work in nursing administration at CHI Memorial Hospital.

Smith said she's known for a while that she wants to be a doctor or nurse, and working in the hospital this summer is helping prepare her for that future.