Lupita Medrano is a FACES Oakland alumnus, Class of 2011. Lupita was born and raised in Oakland, California. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2015, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Feminist Studies with a Concentration in Science, Technology and Medicine. Lupita is currently enrolled in a formal pre-health post bac program at California State University, East Bay, in preparation for her ultimate goal of applying to medical school. Lupita also works as the Student and Program Support Services Coordinator for CHAMPS (Community Health and Adolescent Mentoring Program for Success – formerly FACES for the Future Oakland program) at the UCSF Benioff Oakland Children’s Hospital.
Lupita writes, “My overall goals include serving underprivileged communities through health practice and health education, advocating for female leadership roles, promoting the diversification of the medical field, as well as supporting the educational success of youth in the Bay Area. One of the ways I contribute to the achievement of these goals currently is through the work I do at CHAMPS as the Student and Program Support Services Coordinator. One of the ways I hope to achieve my goals in the future at a larger capacity is through a career in medicine as an OBGYN. It was on a FACES rotation at Highland Hospital – on the labor and delivery floor – that I solidified my goal of becoming an OBGYN. FACES helped me narrow my broad interest in medicine and surgery into a specific health profession. Participating in FACES allowed me to experience multiple “once in a lifetime” opportunities that a young brown girl from Oakland could have never imagined possible, such as witnessing childbirths, pediatric surgeries and numerous patient-provider interactions. On top of having the unique privilege of stepping foot in clinical settings alongside medical professionals who sought to inspire me, most important is that I’ve been provided with lifelong mentors through the FACES staff and founders who genuinely care for me and believe in my journey – Young Kim Parker, Shanta Ramdeholl, Simone Jennings, Dr. Tomás Magaña and Dr. Barbara Staggers. Every Monday and Wednesday of programming, these individuals provided me with a workshop space where I was made aware of the strength in my unique position in society and made aware, for the very first time, of just how much of an asset I was and could grow to be for my community. FACES has instilled in me the importance of advocating for and empowering my community. I love my community and I know for certain that my purpose in life is to be of service to others. With an immense passion for community health and health education, I feel I can do that best through a formal career in medicine. FACES/CHAMPS has guided this realization and continues to assist its development from dream into reality.
Lupita’s advice to other FACES students, ” Take what you receive from FACES and give it back to your community. “