Marccello Alvarez was one of 11 sixth-graders recognized for their commitment to attending the monthly Saturday Linkage Academy sessions at Western University of Health Sciences with a gift bag.

But Marccello wasn’t really interested in the gift bag containing items such as a university t-shirt and a small rubber hammer like the ones doctors use to test patients’ reflexes.

Marccello was interested in the information University students presented at the Saturday sessions.

"I thought it was a lot of fun because they taught you things you wouldn’t normally know," said Marccello, a student at Cortez Mathematics and Science Magnet School.

At each meeting there were things to learn – from how to listen to the heart with a stethoscope to the impact too much sodium has on arteries.

Marccello, who is thinking of becoming a doctor when he’s older, would like to return to these Saturday sessions. He could become one of about 20 children who as a seventh-grader will not only return to the university on Saturday’s but embark on a journey leading to a Western University degree through the Pomona Health Career Ladder. Read the full story >>