FACES for the Future Coalition
My name is Reyna and I participated in the 2008 FACES Summer Medical Academy program. I then went on to graduate from Berkeley High School and am now attending Seattle University. Participating in the FACES Summer Medical Academy impacted my decision to pursue nursing as a career in many ways. It gave me the opportunity to see both the clinical and mental/emotional aspects of nursing. We learned about the importance of all healthcare professionals in the care of a patient, and we also learned basic clinical skills such as administering shots and placing IV’s. This allowed me to see how I could be successful in all aspects of nursing. While participating in FACES, I gained confidence in my intellect and ability to become whatever I wanted if I set my mind to it.
Linh Dao, 24, a native of Vietnam, is the first graduate of the FACES for the Future program at Children’s Hospital Oakland to be accepted to medical school. Linh was part of the first cohort of FACES students, starting in 2000 and graduating in 2003.
In the fall of 2009, Linh enrolled at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Linh is particularly interested in becoming a surgeon, influenced by time she spent alongside Children’s Hospital anesthesiologist Mark Escajeda, MD. “I really love surgery,” she said. “Shadowing Dr. Escajeda during surgery, I developed a fascination for the human body. He explained to me what was going on, including the patient’s condition.”
In turn, Dr. Escajeda was touched by Linh’s presence. “Her bearing, her curiosity, everything said she was going to go to medical school, from the very beginning,” said Dr. Escajeda. “She seemed to be a very giving person, the kind of person who will make a fine physician.”
Adia’s smile is nervous at first, but soon warms to a friendly, welcoming grin. She’s a drummer in a band called BFC that also features her twin sister, Earnestine. The band “plays the songs of artists [they] like, such as Korn and Papa Roach, just for fun,” explains Adia, declining to indicate what, exactly, BFC stands for. “It was something very cheesy so we abbreviated it to an acronym,” she says mischievously.
Adia Harrison learned about FACES from Dr. Magaña, who visited her high school to speak about the program. “He came with a resident, and the fact that they came to us made me understand how passionate they were about it and how much they wanted it to succeed,” Adia remembers. “Their passion really made me want to be a part of the program and see it succeed, too.”
Leonel Mendoza was a member of the graduating FACES class of 2005. He attended Life Academy High School in Oakland, and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Integrative Biology.
Leonel shares that FACES had opened his eyes to the multiple opportunities available in health care and in a hospital setting. Leonel states, "I have learned the multiple fields that are needed to run a hospital, from accountants, to lawyers and business administrators, the hospital has it all." Leonel also states the importance of programs like these in troubling communities where resources are lacking. Leonel states that, "Students all over Oakland don't feel the motivation and the support to move forward and become someone in life. FACES taught me that I needed to be dedicated and go for whatever I decided in life. Even now during my early stages of medical school applications, Dr. Magaña and the rest of the team at FACES are willing to go out of the way to help me in any way they can."
Fram Kelly Saeteurn was a member of the inaugural FACES class and graduated from the FACES program in 2003. She attended Life Academy High School in Oakland, and graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Psychology. Kelly shares that FACES had opened her awareness about the need of diversity in the medical and social service fields.
Kelly states that, “I noticed that there was a lack of help in the social services field, especially with the rise of teen pregnancy in the Asian community. There was a lack of programs that could help meet the needs of the rising teen pregnancy in the Asian community. As of right now, I am where I want to be. I am working at a non-profit agency that is partly run by the city of Oakland, Brighter Beginnings, Early Head Start. My role is a Parent Child Educator, and I am responsible for providing teen parents and families of infants (0-3 years) with support, information and education on infant and toddler development.”
Chris Travis graduated from the FACES Oakland program and Oakland Technical High School in 2007. He recently graduated from Columbia University in New York in 2011, receiving a BA in English.
Chris shares, “When I was in high school, FACES gave me a taste of what it would be like to be a doctor. But more than that, it introduced me to passionate medical professionals who continue to inspire and mentor me to this day. FACES not only made me want to be a doctor - it introduced me to people who would help me make one day that dream a reality.
My name is Sonja Denise Washington and I was a member of the inaugural FACES class and graduated from the program in 2003. I attended Skyline High School for all four years.
Shortly before graduating high school I applied to UC Riverside where I was accepted and completed my undergraduate work. Two years after graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology I was finally able to complete all of my science prerequisites for a science program. I have always been interested in working in the medical field and I knew that I was destined to this field.