Anyone who has lived in the valley for more than a minute knows that there is a tradition here to cultivate our own. Usually we are talking about peaches, almonds, raisins or other products.
But for officials at a Clovis medical school, “growing our own” means finding and supporting students who might one day be our doctors, but who face the challenges of coming from rural areas where a lack of financial resources can limit their preparation to apply to medical school.
What started as the Pre-Medical Rural Enrichment Program (PREP) is now the Pre-Medical Bootcamp, housed at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of California Health Sciences. The program offers medical school applicants a range of assistance, including preparing for the all-mighty MCAT – the Medical College Admissions Test. Score high on the MCAT and you have a good chance of gaining admission to your favorite medical school.
Also in the school zone:
- The CMAC’s third annual Voices of Youth screening will take place on October 9th.
- Elementary students in Vang Pao will benefit from field trips and career exploration thanks to a new grant.
- Congratulations on National and State Honors, Anniversary Celebration and Renomination.
But students in rural areas often don’t have the resources to prepare for the MCAT, so Dr. Samuel Kadavakollu, chair of biomedical education at the College of Osteopathic Medicine, helped lead the bootcamps.
“Some students in the Central Valley do not have the financial means to adequately prepare for the MCAT exams, so we came up with the idea of creating MCAT boot camps so that we could increase the number of pre-med students locals and help these students prepare for the MCAT and medical school in general,” he said in an article posted on the CHSU website. Kadavakollu had been helping pre-med students in the area mentor since 2012.
Since the first bootcamp in 2019, the CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine has hosted four more, virtually and in person. Mini-grants from the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium have helped fund these programs.
A document on the results of the first bootcamp which took place over eight weeks in the summer of 2019 was published in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. The first bootcamp included 78 participants, who reported after the program that they felt better prepared for medical school and the MCAT, were more familiar with osteopathic medicine, and had a greater desire to practice medicine locally. They also reported a better understanding of cultural competence, which is essential in areas such as the Central Valley where many patients, especially in rural areas, are from ethnic minorities.
Of the 27 participants who reported admission to medical schools, more than half were admitted to osteopathic medical schools, including the 11 who enrolled in the CHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Young filmmakers present their work
If you’re wondering what some of our young people are thinking, an upcoming film screening might give you some insight. The third annual CMAC Youth Voices film screening will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 9 and will be held at Maya Cinemas, 3090 E. Campus Pointe Drive, just east of Fresno State.
The screening of the film is free and open to all ages. A Q&A will be held with the filmmakers after the screening. Places are limited and tickets are available through Eventbrite.
Students from local middle and high schools, members of the CMAC Youth Voices cohort, began meeting in June and were guided by CMAC teacher artists Meng Lee and Sergio Cortes, who guided them through a program 14 week full training course. Students learned about media literacy, idea generation, screenwriting, field production, audio production, editing and post-production.
The students then produced documentary films focusing on social justice issues relevant to the Central Valley, including climate change, cyberbullying, higher education in Latinx communities, and youth eating disorders.
CMAC Youth Voices is funded by The California Endowment and California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CMAC is the Community Media Access Collaborative, a membership-based non-profit organization that enables the community to better connect through media.
Grant Funds Field Trip, Career Exploration
Vang Pao Elementary students in grades three through six will have the opportunity to explore career and college options thanks to a $10,000 grant from Aera Energy. The Bakersfield-based company, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has selected 10 nonprofits for grants. The Southeast Fresno school was one of 10 selected because of its student demographics — 99.6% are students of color and 96% from economically disadvantaged homes — and the staff’s dedication to encouraging students to focus on their education for a successful future.
Principal Yua Lee said most students at Vang Paol Elementary, a unified elementary school in Fresno, don’t have the opportunity to go beyond their community or explore career options.
The grant will fund a second field trip, destination to be determined, for more than 400 students who will also be able to meet engineers, biologists, geologists and other professionals during a career day at the end of the school year. .
Awards, anniversaries, leaderboards
- Two Clovis Unified Schools were among 29 in California selected as Blue Ribbon National Schools, an award from the U.S. Department of Education to honor schools where students are high achievers or make the best progress in closing achievement gaps. The two schools — the only recognized ones in the Valley — are Harold L. Woods Elementary School northwest of Clovis and Granite Ridge Intermediate in northeast Fresno. Both have been recognized as exemplary high-achieving schools.
- Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval appointed Nathan Moore to the University Advisory Board, which advises and advises the Rector of the University as needed. Moore is president of AGAPE Planning Partners, a boutique financial planning firm. Moore earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1999 from Fresno State and a financial planning certificate from Craig School of Business. He was named Volunteer of the Year in 1999 by the Fresno County Volunteer Bureau and continues to be involved in volunteer efforts that include preventing human trafficking with Mollie’s House, mentoring boys from fifth and sixth grades with Kratt Elementary’s young men of character and incarcerated mentorship. youth. He also volunteers as a chaplain with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
- San Joaquin Valley College will celebrate its 45th anniversary on October 7 from 9 a.m. to noon on the Visalia campus at 8344 W. Mineral King Ave. The event will include several guest speakers, an awards ceremony, campus tours, and additional guest activities to celebrate the college. 45 years serving local communities. It was founded by Shirley and Bob Perry to meet the need for high quality, local job training. Today, the college offers more than 20 programs in medicine, business, and industrial commerce, serving thousands of students at 17 campuses across the state and online.
- Fresno State psychology graduate student Samantha Patricia Navarro recently received the 2022 California State University Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement. Navarro, the farmworker’s kid who attended Modesto Junior College and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Merced, is in her second year of graduate school at Fresno State where she is majoring in experimental psychology and maintains a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. As a Fresno State recipient, she is a Peter Mehas Distinguished Fellow. Navarro credits her junior high advisor, Aaron Sanchez, for helping her navigate the classes and the college application process. “It was kind of an understanding that my parents wouldn’t be able to give me a lot of advice,” said Navarro, whose father dropped out of school after sixth grade and mother dropped out of high school to start work. “I had to step in and look for information and look for a mentor.”
- University of the Pacific at Fresno ranked highly in recent college and university surveys in the social mobility and college cost categories. In the recent U.S. News & World Report ranking, Fresno Pacific was #2 in the Regional Universities – West category for social mobility, which measures the rate of low-income students earning their bachelor’s degrees. The university was #39 overall in the category and #16 for best values. In Washington Monthly’s ranking, Fresno Pacific was 64th among master’s universities nationally and 35th among “Best Bang for the Buck” schools in the West, down from 105 and 65 in the 2021 ranking.