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Medical field hopefuls recognized at ceremony in Jefferson Regional Medical Center

by Special to The Commercial | May 27, 2023 at 2:39 a.m.
The 2023 Growing Our Own Medical Professionals Program/Club Scrub earns honors. (Special to The Commercial)

The Ivy Center for Education celebrated its seventh White Coat Ceremony and first Green Coat Ceremony and Banquet at Jefferson Regional Medical Center.

The Ivy Center honored its 2023 Growing Our Own Medical Professionals Program/Club Scrub members, according to a news release.

The scholars who were given white coats received stethoscopes, goggles, medals, certificates, and a book entitled "Pulse of Perseverance."

The 2023 White Coat recipient honorees were Kendall Anderson, Kennedy Burks, Ian Campbell, Christopher Carlock, Jhourney Daniels, Alexandria Evans, Sarah Gwinn, Malachi McDonald, Trinity Mitchner, Kylee Monk, Dylan Parker, Jennifer Parker, Jada Pryor, Marquis Rice and Kadence Williams.

Scholars presented with green coats already have been honored with their white coats and continued to join the Ivy Center programs.

"The Green Coats mean, 'Keep It Going' because your future looks bright," a spokesman said in a news release.

The 2023 Green Coat recipients were Ivan Armour, Alala Bugg, Sylvana Burgess, James Ento, Aniyah Freeman, Sinez Herring, E'Layah Jones, John Richardson, Kennedi Scaife and Danielle Scarborough.

The April 27 ceremony was the first in-person celebration since 2019 due to covid. The celebration started with an overview of the Ivy Center program by President Mattie Collins. Meditation was presented by Sylvana Burgess, a junior at Pine Bluff High School, and the welcome was given by Alala Bugg, a junior at Pine Bluff High School.

Club Scrub Reflections were presented by John Richardson, a junior at White Hall High School, and Executive Director Patricia Berry presented words of encouragement.

Danielle Harris, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences South Central recruiter and Club Scrub coordinator, introduced the speaker, Dr. Asia Colen-Wilkins.

Colen-Wilkins, a 2015 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, obtained her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine in 2021 from New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine-Arkansas.

She is currently a second-year family medicine resident at UAMS South Central Family Clinic Family Medicine.

While in medical school, she chartered and served as president of the Student National Medical Association chapter. She has a goal of establishing a federally qualified community health center to serve those in need of services.

She is active as a mentor to pre-medical students. She is a wife, daughter, sister, and supporter of many.

Colen-Wilkins encouraged the Ivy students to hold on to their dreams and stay focused on excellence. Her presentation was interactive asking questions and allowing the scholars to answer back.

Colen-Wilkins is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the Delta Omega Omega chapter.

Sarah Gwinn, a sophomore at White Hall High School, said she plans to become a pediatric psychologist.

"I choose this profession because I love to be around kids, and I hold a high interest in psychology," Gwinn said.

Jhourney Daniels, a sophomore at Watson Chapel High School, stated that she plans to become a pediatric nurse.

"I have a sincere desire to help children and their families," Daniels said.

Damiccah Robertson, Ivy parent and local educator served as photographer for the evening.

The Ivy Center is a college readiness/youth mentoring program created to promote higher education for seventh-12th graders.

The 2023 Growing Our Own Medical Professionals Program/Club Scrub was made possible in part through a grant from the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation/JRMC Community Health Endowment.

In addition to the grant sponsors, the Ivy Center and UAMS South Central also thanks the other sponsors and supporters including Arkansas Blue and You Foundation; UAMS/HBCU Med Track, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield EEC, Ryland Family Charitable Trust, Women Support Women CO and donations from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc./Delta Omega Omega Chapter; First Sisters Outreach; Keidra Burrell, Shunika and Betty Mosley, Eric and Kerin Burdett, Saracen Casino Resort, state Reps. Vivian Flowers and Kenneth Ferguson, Go Forward Pine Bluff, supportive parents and all community partners.

Further thanks to the Facebook live team, and other Ivy Center Board Members: Jeff Pulliam, Vice President; Patricia Richard, Secretary, and grant writer; Marguerite Flannigan, Technology Director, and College Tour Evaluator; Sederick Rice, PhD, Future Engineers Coach/UAPB HBCU Med Track site director and Charity Smith-Allen, PhD, ACT Boot Camp Coach.

For more information and how students may become members of the Ivy Center for Education, email Mattie Collins, Ivy President at or or Patricia Berry, Ivy Executive Director at

Follow the Ivy Center or Facebook; Instagram and Spotify; orvisit the website

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