Inspiring the Next Generation of Healthcare Workers
Sofia is a 2017 alum who participated in the Public Health Institute's FACES Behavioral Health Undergraduate Summit. There she began to learn about the social determinants of health and became interested in public health.
Meet Sofia Ledesema (she/her/hers), a participant in PHI’s FACES for the Future program.
Sofia was raised in the Bay Area and is pursuing her Master’s in Public Health at UC Berkeley in Health and Social Behavior. Sofia is a 2017 alum who participated in the Public Health Institute’s FACES Behavioral Health Undergraduate Summit. There she began to learn about the social determinants of health and became interested in public health.
She pursued her undergraduate degree at UC Davis and earned a BS in Human Development and a minor in public health. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked as a health educator at community clinics and was an undergraduate Health Career Connection intern at John Muir Health in 2019, where she saw the importance that communication and culturally sensitive care had in a patient’s experience.
Sofia is passionate about addressing structural health inequities using a systems approach and hopes to inform her community health work using social epidemiology to move towards community-driven and action-based research. Sofia is also interested in using health communication to create innovative, culturally sensitive chronic disease prevention materials for diverse communities. As an undergraduate, Sofia explored this interest by researching the readability level of COVID-19 materials targeted toward Spanish-speaking agricultural workers.
After finishing her undergraduate degree, Sofia was an academic advisor at UC Davis. Here, she assisted in supporting the UC Davis undergraduate public health scholars summer program, a research program aimed at increasing students from underrepresented backgrounds in the public health field. She enjoys working with students and hopes to continue to do so in her future career. During the summer of 2023, Sofia is interning at John Muir Health and working with the Community Health Improvement Department and the Office of Belonging and Equity. She is also the fact sheet instructor for the Aspiring Physicians Program at UCSF’s Latinx Center of Excellence. Sofia appreciates all of the opportunities that participating in FACES afforded her.
FACES was one of the first programs where Sofia saw people from her own community in the healthcare workforce and helped her realize not only did she belong in higher education, but her lived experience was important in informing her work.
PHI’s FACES for the Future Coalition delivers the FACES program model to communities seeking to prepare high school students for entry into the health professions by developing their own pipeline programs. FACES incorporates best practices in youth development, stakeholder engagement, and workforce development strategies.
A version of this impact first appeared on the FACES for the Future website.