Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

*** Please note - applications are now CLOSED for Summer 2019 ***


I’m not sure if I’m interested in a career in medicine, is SCARF still right for me?

Yes! Our mentorship and career guidance program is right for anyone that wants to improve their professionalism, public speaking, and critical thinking skills. While you will learn a great deal about medicine and cardiology, we have had many students go on to become lawyers, engineers, or other professionals outside of medicine.

When is the application deadline and when will I find out if I was accepted?

The deadline for applications for the Summer 2019 program is December 14th. Our admissions committee meets in January to determine who will be selected for an interview. Interview requests will go out in early February with interviews generally taking place at the end of February/early March. Acceptance letters go out in mid-April and official acceptance and all paperwork is generally due back to us by early May or your spot may be given to a student on the waitlist.

What happens if I am placed on the waitlist?

In the past, most of our students who were placed on the waitlist were eventually accepted into the program. The interest in our program is frequently increasing and our spots are limited so we have to be selective in the students we choose. There are times that accepted students are unable to attend our program due to scheduling conflicts and therefore students from the waitlist are moved into the program. You will be notified as soon as possible if you are accepted from the waitlist.

Do you have minimum GPA requirements to be accepted?

No. We are looking for bright, passionate students with a willingness to learn and participate in philanthropy. We very closely follow trends of college admissions and what we have found is that most colleges are looking for students with a strong passion and interest in community and and leadership. We are not looking for students with a 3-page long list of volunteer activities that they are very infrequently or mildly involved in. We are looking for strong leaders with new and fresh ideas. 

When does the mentorship program take place?

Generally, the program runs from the first weekend of June through the last week in July. Our start date for Summer 2019 is still to be determined, however the program will culminate with our 2nd Annual Rhythm of Life Gala on July 27, 2019. 

Where is SCARF located?

We are based in Sycamore, IL and Elgin, IL and our students will be required to be at both offices throughout the program. Sycamore office – 2550 Hauser Ross Dr, Ste 350, Sycamore, IL 60178. Elgin office – 500 N McLean Blvd, Elgin, IL 60123

What is the weekly schedule like?

Students are split into two groups with each group attending twice per week. Depending on which group you are placed in the schedule would be as follows:

  • Group A: every Tuesday (Sycamore) with alternating Mondays (Sycamore) and Fridays (Elgin)
  • Group B: every Thursday (Sycamore) with alternating Mondays (Sycamore) and Fridays (Elgin)

What if I’m in summer school, can I still participate?

The schedule for SCARF is outlined above and students are not permitted to miss more than 2 of their scheduled days. If your summer school schedule will not fit within these parameters, then unfortunately SCARF will not be for you.

Can I still go on vacation over the summer?

Yes! You are provided with your exact schedule and all required dates in mid-April, which gives you and your family/friends plenty of time to plan ahead for any trips. In addition, the program ends the last week in July leaving plenty of time before the school year begins to plan a vacation.

Can I pick which group I’m in?

No, groups are carefully arranged by the SCARF team to ensure that we have an even distribution of new and returning students. We make every effort to group students based on age and location so that carpooling is an option for those that do not/cannot drive

My sister/brother/cousin/best friend is also applying, will we be in the same group?

Most likely you will not be placed in the same group as other family members. In the past this has led to disruption within the groups. Therefore, we try to keep siblings apart so that they are each able to focus and grow as individuals.

I live far from Sycamore and Elgin, how will I get to SCARF each day?

We make every effort to create groups A and B based on carpooling capabilities. You will be provided names, locations, and contact information for all students in your group along with your acceptance letter in April. This will give you ample time to arrange for transportation based on schedule. 

What do I need to wear to participate in SCARF?

The attire for the SCARF program is business professional. For gentlemen, this means a shirt and tie (mandatory). For ladies, you have the options of pants/skirt with a nice blouse or a nice dress (no sundresses allowed). Skirts and dresses are not permitted to be above the knee.

Please wear comfortable shoes as you will be standing a large portion of the day, though flip flops, sandals, sneakers are not allowed

What is the Scientific Symposium?

This is the culmination of our internship program and is mandatory for participation each summer. For summer 2019, the Scientific Symposium is held on Saturday, July 27th. If you are unable to attend this symposium, you will not be accepted into S.C.A.R.F. this year. You will present the research you have been working on throughout the summer. Each small group will present with a large poster and a team of judges will evaluate the information along with your knowledge and speaking skills. The winning group will present to all attendees at the annual Rhythm of Life gala following the symposium.

What other events take place throughout the summer/year?

SCARF hosts many fundraising and team-building events both throughout the summer program and throughout the school year. The mandatory summer events will be listed within your acceptance packet, providing you ample time to plan accordingly.

Events added after the acceptance packets have been sent out in addition to extra events held throughout the school year are optional. We ask that you make every effort to attend these extra events. Your presence and support of SCARF outside of the 10-week internship is noted and taken into account when letters of recommendation are written.

How much does this program cost?

The majority of the total program cost is picked up by the foundation each year (through donations and fundraising events). However, students and their families are expected to cover a portion of the total program cost. This portion will generally be between $1200 - $2000 for the entire program and the exact cost is determined by the fundraising efforts the previous year. If you are unable to afford this portion, a limited number of scholarships are available. These are subject to the fundraising efforts of our students the previous year.

I don’t have CPR certification. What do I do?

CPR certification is mandatory. Training will be provided by Dr. Sarah Alfano and you will be American Red Cross certified in Adult and Pediatric CPR/AED. This certification will last for 2 years.

What else will be required once I am accepted?

Because our students have the opportunity to visit multiple hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians’ offices, there are basic requirements outside of what we would typically require through SCARF alone. These additional requirements include up-to-date vaccinations (including mandatory influenza vaccination) and a 2-step TB test. A list of these additional requirements will be provided to you along with your acceptance packet.

What types of activities will I participate in throughout the program?

Our students are kept very busy during their time spent with us each day. In addition to the large research project they will conduct and present at our Scientific Symposium, they are each responsible for presenting two mini-presentation topics to their peers throughout the summer. For summer 2019, each student will be assigned one healthcare case presentation topic as well as one ethics/current event topic. In addition to these presentations, we have guest speakers multiple times per week who will present on various topics from legal issues, financial recommendations, motivational speakers, etc. One of our most popular events is our pig heart dissection that typically takes place in late June. This past summer, we also introduced yoga Fridays were students have a chance to practice yoga and meditation prior to starting office hours. Each year we are introducing more activities, speakers, and events so each year will be different than the last.