Collaboration offers ambitious young people an introduction to a health care career.
Do you remember your first summer job or internship? Over 200 young people will remember theirs as a meaningful, informative experience, as participants in Kaiser Permanente's 2022 Summer Youth Employment Program. A partnership with UNITE-LA South L.A. Scholars, STEM Academy of Hollywood, and other organizations, the program provides high school students from underserved communities with supportive, inspiring employment experiences in the health care field. The 2022 summer interns were situated in 7 Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Southern California.
Born and raised in Los Angeles County’s San Fernando Valley, high school senior Jessica Javaherforoush interned in the administration office of Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center’s new cancer center.
As one of 37 talented youth who graduated from summer internships at the medical center, Javaherforoush interacted with registered nurses and administrative directors.
“I was inspired by Kaiser Permanente’s amazing registered nurses. One nurse taught me so many things in the span of a few weeks and openly shared her previous experience working in the emergency room,” said Javaherforoush. “I shadowed registered nurses as they removed PICC lines, inserted IVs, and retrieved medicine.” Javaherforoush also restocked supplies, answered phone calls, and decorated clinics, among other responsibilities. Importantly, she had direct, supervised contact with patients, including offering blankets, snacks, and smiles to members receiving infusion therapy.
“This was my first internship and it surpassed my expectations. The knowledge I learned will stay with me for a lifetime, and I am glad I gained this early experience working at Kaiser Permanente,” said Javaherforoush.
After high school, Javaherforoush plans to earn a bachelor’s degree and medical degree, then start her career in emergency medicine. “I perform my best work under pressure and I like the satisfaction of helping someone feel better,” she said.
During their 6-week internship experience, participants developed professional leadership skills, attended educational sessions and motivational workshops, and were matched to their field of interest.
In addition to working with nurses, interns were introduced to many other Kaiser Permanente medical professionals who mentored and advised them. These ranged from department administrators to lab technicians, opticians, and engineers. Participating departments included the call center, cancer center, nursing administration, and more.
In addition to offering an inroad to health care careers, the Summer Youth Employment Program helps Kaiser Permanente build a more inclusive environment and a vigorous pipeline of physicians and employees who represent our diverse membership and communities. It’s one of many workforce development programs that Kaiser Permanente offers to youth, underserved communities, and our communities at large.
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