The outreach specialists at IHPC work with young people to inspire, empower, and enable them to pursue their futures in health care. One of the many programs we have successfully initiated is the student ambassador program which selects high school health pathway representatives from area high schools. They attend nexus meetings, take on projects, give presentations, and share IHPC opportunities with their classmates. Through the program, the ambassadors develop leadership, initiative, and other soft skills. Two of our student ambassadors have shown early success through the program. Let's meet two of them:
Jeanette Choi - Senior at Chino Hills High School Health Science Academy
We met Ms. Choi last year when she was an eager junior and applied for the IHPC student ambassador program. She actively promoted IHPC seminars, conferences, and site visits to her peers and even assisted with the Get Psyched! workshops we provided to get students interested in mental health careers. In her second year as a student ambassador, Jeanette then came to us with a request - she said a lot of her classmates were interested in mental health and she wanted to do a second Get Psyched! series for the Health Science Academy. We put her in touch with Dr. Teresa Etheridge, Program Director for HumanityCenter4Change, a mental health training agency, and that was it! Jeanette took charge and handled all the marketing, planning, and execution of Get Psyched Too! Dr. Etheridge, the keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, was incredibly impressed with Ms. Choi and the hospitality she received from the students. Because of Jeanette's leadership, 48 students from Chino Hills HS participated in the series proving that old adage "You can give a man fish and he'll eat for a day but if you teach him to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime" certainly applies to the value of teaching young people to lead the next generation of health professionals.
Andrew Hoover - Junior at Ayala High School
We first met Andrew last year when he interviewed for a summer internship with the Kaiser Permanente Regional Reference Laboratory in Chino Hills. The lab is one of IHPC's industry partners and we were helping them to select students who were ready for an internship opportunity. Andrew was the last student of the day to interview and unfortunately, was not accepted into the program. Undaunted, he realized he needed to bulk up his resume and do something to get noticed. So, he applied to and joined the IHPC student ambassador program. A soft-spoken, shy young man, Andrew still took every opportunity the program offered him. He coordinated SBVC Nursing Day for 50 of his peers in Ayala's Pre-Med Society club, attended nexus and ambassador meetings, and assisted with the coordination of the JUMP Spring Celebration that was held on his school campus - even taking the mic and leading an activity with the 300 students gathered in the gym. The results? Andrew re-applied for the Kaiser Permanente Summer Youth Employment Program (YSEP) and was accepted! In an email to share the good news with his IHPC mentor, Ben Machado, he said, "I was chosen to be one of the interns for the YSEP program at Kaiser this summer because I was more qualified. I was able to show all the events I did with IHPC! Thank you very much for supporting me as a student ambassador!" We couldn't be happier for Andrew as we've watched him develop professionalism and leadership over the past year. We wish him a great internship this summer!