More about the Perry Outreach Program
What is a Perry Outreach Program?
A Perry Outreach Program is a one-day career exploration for young women in high school who are interested in careers in orthopaedic surgery, engineering or both. Participants in a Perry Outreach Program (aka POP) will complete six hands-on mock surgeries and learn directly from local medical professionals & engineers. You can see photos from our most recent POPs on our facebook page.
When/where is the next Perry Outreach Program?
We hold over 70 programs annually. Our upcoming program calendar can be filtered by program type, location and date. We try to return to all locations annually, around the same time of year. You are welcome to apply to any program you are able to attend, but we are unfortunately unable to provide support for travel or lodging.
How do I attend?
The first step is to find the next program date & location that works for you. You can find those on our upcoming program calendar. Then you'll fill out the POP application form online. Keep in mind that it is a competitive application process, and deadlines are typically about one month before the program date.
FAQ about the Perry Outreach Program:
Applicants must gender-identify as female or nonbinary and be in high school. Preference is given to older students, but underclassmen who are not accepted are encouraged to reapply for the program in the same location the following year.
Good news! Our program is free! We work very hard, applying for corporate and educational grants, to make sure our programs stay that way. And for all those that say there is no such thing as a free lunch… Ours is. Students receive lunch during the program day. Students will also receive a pair of Perry Initiative scrubs to keep.
Perry Outreach Programs occur on Saturdays and run from 8:30am to 3:30pm. Unless otherwise specified, parents are welcome to join us any time after 2:30pm.
If you are taking a college entrance exam, you should consider the exam to be an all-day commitment. Of course the Perry Initiative supports you in taking your exam, but do not plan to attend our event afterward. Please check your schedule carefully before applying to our program. Applying to the program when you already have a commitment takes a spot away from another girl who was interested and available.
Unfortunately, as the program is already quite short, we cannot allow participants to come for only part of the day. Please check your schedule carefully before applying to the program. Applying to the program when you already have a commitment takes a spot away from another girl who was interested and available.
A full Perry Outreach Program is 40 participants. We will accept 40 students and maintain a waitlist of 5-10 students. If one of the original 40 selected is unable to attend, a girl from the waitlist will be contacted.
Unfortunately, we do not accept students that have already attended the program once. This gives more people the opportunity to experience that same Perry Initiative event you loved so much!
Additional Tips & FAQ about the Application Process:
We seek young women in high school with an expressed interest in engineering, orthopaedic surgery and/or medicine. Admissions will be based on the quality of the application essays and student career interests. Previous applicants and older students (who will have fewer chances to reapply) will receive preference.
The Perry Outreach Program is an admission-based program. This means all of our participants must complete an application. Applications are reviewed after the application deadline and the applicants who best meet our admissions criteria are invited to attend the program.
Online applications usually close one month before program date at 5pm EST/EDT. Please note individual application deadlines on each program event page.
There are two essay questions that must be completed as a part of the Perry Initiative Outreach Program application.
Question 1: Why are you interested in participating in the Perry Outreach Program?
Question 2: What are your short term and long term educational goals?
The character limit for each essay on the POP application is 1000 characters. This includes spaces and works out to be about a paragraph for each answer. We want to know about your interest and experience as they relate to this program, but essays should not be as detailed as a college application essay.
The essay questions are the only place on the application where you get the opportunity to tell us about yourself! It is best to view these essays as a chance to tell the admissions staff all about what a lovely, driven, passionate, smart, and interesting person you are. This is the place on the application to let us know that you are more than your name, email and high school. This is where you show us that you really are interested in engineering or medicine. Go ahead, tell us about you. We’re interested!
No. We do not ask for your GPA or a transcript. We would like to hear about YOU as a person and feel that a GPA is a number that does not necessarily reflect your interest and aspirations. We also seek to inspire girls to go into the fields of engineering or orthopaedic surgery. We hope that by the end of the day, you will understand the work that is necessary to succeed in these fields (including, but not limited to, a strong GPA).
If it’s before the application deadline and you or your reference haven’t heard from us yet, don’t panic. We’ll be in contact if we need additional information. Do not worry – we may not contact your reference and that’s okay.
In the application, you will be asked to answer the following questions:
Essay Question #1: Why are you interested in participating in the Perry Outreach Program?
Essay Question #2: What are your long and short-term educational goals?
Here are some tips that will help you formulate your answers and hopefully increase your odds of being accepted.
PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD! And when you think you have the perfect essays… PROOFREAD AGAIN!
This may sound obvious, but our admissions committee sees hundreds of applications each year with spelling and grammatical errors that could easily have been prevented. You should use a computer with a keyboard and not a smartphone/tablet to submit your application. If necessary, write your essays in a separate word processing program and copy and paste your essay into the provided text box on the application. A word processing program will also give you a character count; the limit for our essays is 1000 characters
Tip #2: Think about it!
Take some time to reflect on your answers. It is better to think of and communicate a couple of good reasons you would like to participate in the Perry Outreach program than to give a one sentence answer with your first thought. For example, when you first hear about the program, your first response to “Why would you like to participate in the Perry Outreach Program?” may be “My teacher told me about the program and it sounds fun.” While that may be the immediate reason you would like to participate, it does not distinguish you from other applicants.
Tip #3: Flesh out your ideas.
Full, well-constructed paragraphs are far more likely to gain you admission than one sentence answers. Again, see tip #2. We want to see that this is something you are genuinely interested in doing. This is also the only place where you get a chance to let us know that you are a real human. Tell us something interesting about what has inspired you to look at engineering or medicine as a career!
Tip #4: Use complete sentences!
When discussing your short-term and long-term educational goals, it is better to describe these goals in sentence format rather than as a list. Even more impressive is if you include things you are going to do to achieve those goals. For example: “By studying each night and arranging time with my teachers outside of class to discuss my progress once per week, I intend on graduating at the top of my class. This will help me achieve my long-term goal of being accepted to a top university to major in cat wrangling.” Also, try to avoid using abbreviations for things that may be very familiar to you, but not familiar to someone else (AP and IB are commonly understood, but other specialized designations for classes you may attend are not).
Tip #5: Most importantly: Be Yourself!
Tell the truth. Don’t make up stories or make true stories “more dramatic” in hopes of grabbing someone’s attention. That said, you should also not be afraid to talk honestly about any hardship you may have encountered in your educational journey or home life. Be authentic in telling your experience, and the true you will shine through!
Please double check your personal information, especially your email.
If your email is mistyped or inactive, we won’t be able to contact you. You should receive an email confirmation that your application was received. If you don't receive it right away, check your spam folder. Sometimes school email settings will send us there.
FAQ after Application to a Perry Outreach Program:
- Check and make sure that the application deadline for your program has passed. Admissions decisions will not be made prior to the application deadline.
- Wait at least 4 business days after the application deadline to allow us to make decisions. Some of our programs receive over 150 applications!
- If it’s been 4 days after the application deadline and you still haven't heard from us, check your spam folder. Sometimes school email settings will send us there.
- If you have done all three things above and still cannot find any correspondence from us, you can email our Program Coordinator, Hannah Heuschneider: [email protected]
Unfortunately, we simply cannot accept all of applicants. Please do not take our admissions decision as a judgment of you as a student or as a person. In addition to your essays, there are other factors that contribute to our decision, including the number of students who reapplied.
You may request feedback on your application. If you send an email, our Program Coordinator, Hannah Heuschneider: [email protected], can provide you with insight about your program’s applicant pool and how you can improve in the future.
Please email Program Coordinator, Hannah Heuschneider: [email protected] as soon as possible. She will be able to give your spot to a student on the waitlist.
Yes and no. If you notify us ahead of the program (or day of the program, in case of sudden illness) that you are unable to attend, you are eligible to apply again for next year’s program. You do need to fill out the application again. While you will be given preference in admissions, you are not guaranteed admittance. If you did not notify us ahead of time and simply no showed on the day of the event, you will be disqualified from admission to all future Perry Initiative events.