Riverview kindergarteners don the scrubs for COMP-NW’s Mini Med day

As is custom, first-year students at COMP-Northwest took part in the college’s annual Mini Medical School for elementary kids on March 15.

Students from Sarah Haley’s kindergarten class at Riverview wore their burgundy-colored Western University T-shirts, and were happy to see some familiar faces at the college. That’s because the two schools have a long-standing history together.

When Haley first heard the medical college was coming to town, she reached out to form a partnership with them, she said. Out of that partnership came a plan to send medical students to Riverview every year.

“The kids love it when the doctors come,” Haley said. “They’ll bring the kit of bones, or we’ve done a brain lesson. We do healthy activity lessons, like wearing helmets and why we wear helmets.”

Kids high-fived medical students they recognized during mini medical school, and chanted a song written by Haley: “Hail! Hail! The doctors are here. Never mind the weather, now that we’re together. Hail! Hail! The doctors are here. We’re the hardest workers in town. Western U! Western U! Western U!”

As is Haley’s hope, the partnership encourages her kids to consider medicine as a career path, and they’re less likely to think about college as a foreign concept because it’s in their own town, she said.

“I won’t be surprised if we have some doctors. It’s too early now, ‘cause they’re still kind of young, but we’ve had kids that have come back to do the health career ladder,” she said.

COMP-Northwest’s Health Career Ladder hosts monthly Saturday Academies through most of the year for sixth- through 12th-grade students aimed at encouraging them to pursue post-secondary education and develop science and math interests and skills.

Flynn Burton, 5, isn’t quite at that stage. Right now, she wants to be a Ninja.

“Ninja’s are real,” he reassured everyone.

But Emilyah Simon-Johnson, 6, was so excited to be at the college that she jumped up and down.

“It was awesome,” she said about her first visit.

Emilyah wants to be a Western U doctor when she grows up, she said, but she discovered that day that her friend, Reagan Gay, 6, also wants to be a Western U doctor.

“Then we could both be Western U doctors,” Emilyah exclaimed before giving Reagan a hug.

And why do they want to be “Western U” doctors?

“Because it’s the best here!” she said.