Inspires At-Risk Youth
John Garten-Shuman, Vice President of
Enrollment and Student Services, has taken a lead in talking
with local at-risk teenagers about the importance of going
to college after high school graduation.
“I tell [Youth Bridge teenagers]
college is not an option for you, it is an absolute must!”
For the past three summers Garten-Shuman
and the Community Benefit staff at Alta Bates Summit Medical
Center (ABSMC) have been working together in Youth Bridge,
a development program that serves more than 400 students around
the Bay Area.
“The goal is to enable young people
to dream beyond their circumstances, and to support them in
working towards their goal,” said Deborah Pitts, Alta
Bates Summit Medical Center Public Relations Director and
founder of Youth Bridge.
Garten-Shuman believes that by supporting
and nurturing these teens they can make successful choices
after graduation and possibly consider preparing for a job
in the health services field.
Three years ago, Jabari Smith, 18, was
inspired by John’s presentation to Youth Bridge.
Jabari plans to study nursing by completing his prerequisites
at Holy Names University before coming to SMC to finish his
nursing studies as part of the 2+2 program between the two
“At Youth Bridge, John
helped me decide on what steps I would have to go through
to become a nurse,” said Jabari. “I like the human
anatomy and as a nurse I get to experience that stuff. I like
the work environment.”
Garten-Shuman says the five-week program
gives teens an up-close look on how science works in the medical
“One of our most valuable resources,
as a community, is the youth. They have such talents
but not enough venues to explore and enhance them. We
need “hands on” experiences to get students into
college and hopefully to become health practitioners representing
the community in which they serve,” said Garten-Shuman.
Youth Bridge is just one of
many community outreach programs that SMC staff and faculty
partners with each year. If you are working in a program that
connects the College and our students with the health needs
of the community, contact one of the OP enews staff.
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