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Faces for the Future Mentors Students in Health Care Careers

"If you are poor and you are uneducated and you don't have a diploma, you are more likely to suffer from health problems or disparities," said Dr. Tomás Magaña, a pediatrician who founded the program at Children's Hospital Oakland but now runs it out of the Public Health Institute, an Oakland nonprofit. "Faces tries to address that by providing opportunities for academic success, professional and personal."

Outfitted in blue scrubs, Madison Badger knocked on the rooms throughout the maternity ward and offered water to the mothers.

At 17, Madison is years younger than the full-time staff at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward. But this is where she feels she belongs. Having successfully battled leukemia in middle school, she wants to become a pediatric oncologist. As the daughter of a single mother who didn’t attend college, however, she did not always have a clear path.

That’s where Faces for the Future comes in.

Since 2000, Faces for the Future has let hundreds of high-school students in the East Bay and elsewhere in California test out their interest in health care in hospitals. As volunteers, the students are paired with mentors in the field. They work among patients, take field trips to local colleges, have access to tutoring, and receive lots of personal support from local counselors and teachers. And they earn academic credit along the way.

Read the full story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Originally published by San Francisco Chronicle

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