Thirty-four students from Olney High School's Health Tech mentoring program are set to graduate this morning in ceremonies at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

The Health Tech program gives at-risk students from the city's poorest neighborhood and pays them to work 16 hours a week at the hospital in an effort to expose them to careers as health professionals. Graduates of the program have gone on to work as nurses, respiratory specialists, and other careers, including preparing for medical school.

Louis Lessick, a retired teacher who coordinates the program at Olney, said almost every student who completes Health Tech goes to college. The operators of the program say graduation rate for their students is 98 percent.

The Health Tech program is supported by grants from the Kal and Lucille Rudman Foundation and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children Foundation. Among those scheduled to attend today's graduation program (at 10 a.m. in the hospital) will be Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers, State Sen. Christine Tartaglione and Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez.