Valley Breeze Feature – August 2023

Cancer scholars summer program 'a tremendous success'

PAWTUCKET – The First Gen Cancer Scholars program launched by The Lifespan Cancer institute has wrapped up its first year, which program director Dr. Thomas Olilla called “a tremendous success.”

The 20 high school participants gathered at Rhode Island Hospital with program staff to commemorate the end of their six weeks in the program on Aug. 17.

During those weeks, students got to shadow doctors and scientists at three local hospitals: Rhode Island, The Miriam, and Hasbro Children’s. They also had access to state-of-the-art labs at The Lifespan Cancer Institute and Cancer Center at Brown University.


Students received completion certificates and were praised for their hard work and dedication to the program.

“One thing that can’t be taken away from you is that you will always be the first class,” said Dr. Howard Safran, one of the doctors shadowed in the program.

“I’m confident that there will be people in this room that will come back here as doctors to make a difference in patients’ lives. In 10 years, I am (also) confident that R.I. will be one of the top states for cancer research,” Safran said.

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Our Program
The goal of the FutureGen Cancer Scholars Program is to reduce racial disparities in cancer treatment in the Providence area by developing the Future Generation of Cancer Scholars from young students within our community.