In 2000, the original FACES for the Future program was launched at Children’s Hospital in Oakland in partnership with six local public high schools. All students who enrolled in the program were considered “at-risk” because of the high poverty and significant psycho-social challenges that were prevalent in the communities where they resided. The goals of FACES at that time were to motivate participating high school students to succeed in both school and their personal lives, to provide them with the means for entry and success in college and the health professions, and to demonstrate the program’s effectiveness, thereby making it a replicable model for other communities.
With time, due to its successful outcomes, the program became regarded as a best practice model for youth workforce development in healthcare, and was eventually replicated in other California communities. The original program, now known as CHAMPS, continues to serve youth in the Oakland community.
The FACES Coalition, based at the Public Health Institute, works to replicate the successful FACES program model throughout the state of California. In doing so, the Coalition strives to improve healthcare workforce shortages and diversify the health workforce through the empowerment and mentorship of young people who reflect the diversity of our communities.