In 2009, Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego (RCH) launched FACES for the Future (FACES) with the goal of facilitating healthcare careers among high risk youth in an underserved community. FACES is a four-year academic and career preparation program in partnership with San Diego Unified School District’s Hoover and Crawford High Schools. At Hoover, students travel together as a cohort throughout the program, for both core academic classes and health related classes. At Crawford, they are together for their health-related classes only. Hoover and Crawford High provide core academics and, in partnership with CCTE, Project Lead the Way biomedical science courses. RCH provides hospital-based and community-based rotations, as well as school-based staffing. In 2018, after having hosted their own health career pathway program, nearby Kearny High School began a partnership with Rady Children’s Hospital to complete their seniors’ clinical rotations on the hospital campus. In 2020, they became a FACES for the Future program along side Crawford and Hoover.
The FACES San Diego program is structured around five program components: 1) health career experience; 2) academic enhancement; 3) psychosocial support; 4) personal development; and 5) alumni support.
Career experience in local hospital and community settings is a FACES highlight. As seniors, students participate in clinical rotations at Rady Children’s Hospital, choosing from 25-30 different departments and clinics, making for a truly unique exposure to careers in healthcare.
As juniors, students job shadow at a variety of healthcare and social services organizations located in City Heights. This experience fosters student ties with local agencies; increasing their understanding of local resources and sense of community engagement.
Each FACES student receives the assistance and support needed to reach their highest potential not only as a high school graduate, but also in creating a vision and plan for achieving career goals through higher education. Academic Enhancement components include:
- Specialized Curriculum
- After School Tutoring
- Study Skills Training
- PSAT/SAT Workshops
- College & University Campus Field Trips
- College Application Workshops
- Financial Aid Workshops
- Scholarship Application Support
All FACES students complete the Resiliency Scale for Children and Adolescents which measures the vulnerability and resilience of each student, and informs the selection of various challenges to target. In addition a Needs Assessment is used to guide case management and referral services offered to all students. FACES advocates a solution-focused, student-empowering approach to resolving conflict with others, teaching students to identify solutions on their own rather than become reliant upon others to solve problems.
FACES students work to create a personal vision with high yet attainable goals for their future. Students work individually with FACES staff for problem solving and access to resources. Workshops aimed to enhance personal growth and leadership development include:
- Healthy Lifestyles
- Resume Writing
- Developing Personal Statements
- Communication Skills
- Ethical Principals
- Personal Character
- Conflict Resolution
- Ropes Course
Support for FACES students continues past high school graduation. Alumni events are held during summer and school breaks. FACES alumni and staff are working together to provide support throughout the college years and transition to the workforce.
- Kearny High School’s Website
- Hoover High School’s Website
- Crawford High School’s Website
- Kearny High School FACES Program
- Interested in joining the FACES San Diego program at Kearny High School? Click HERE
Mary Beth Moran, Center for Healthier Communities Director, RCHSD
Mary Beth joined Rady Children’s Hospital in 2007 to manage the injury prevention programs in the Center for Healthier Communities. In August 2018, she became the center’s director. A physical therapist for 25 years, Mary Beth holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Regis University, a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from New York University, a Master’s degree in Education from George Washington University and a Master of Science in evaluative clinical sciences from Dartmouth College. She enjoys working with families from many cultures and has provided medical services and consultation internationally in South Africa, Vietnam, New Zealand and England.
Shelli Brown, Manager – Youth Development Programs
Shelli Brown has been working with and for youth and families in a variety of settings for over twenty years. She recently moved back to the San Diego area after having lived out of state where she was able to grow her career, volunteer work and family. Currently, Ms. Brown serves as the Youth Development Program Manager at the Center for Healthier Communities, Rady Children’s Hospital- San Diego. Before moving back to her hometown, she lived in Denver, Colorado where she worked in youth violence prevention as the Project Director and the Community Site Manager for the Youth Violence Prevention Center-Denver (federally funded initiative through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). She also provided direct service to justice-involved youth as Licensed Professional Counselor at an adolescent drug treatment center and taught conflict and anger management skills at a non-profit organization. Ms. Brown’s interest in impacting young people and families took root in San Diego where she worked for the San Diego Unified School District as a teacher’s aide and counseling aide shortly after graduating from college.
Alicia Wood, Lead Coordinator
Alicia Wood was born and raised in Seattle, WA but came to California in 2003 to attend Chapman University. She majored in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work. After college, Alicia worked at the Braille Institute in Anaheim running an after school program for blind and visually impaired children. After moving around Orange County and Long Beach for several years, she transferred to Braille Institute in San Diego where she worked until 2016. In June 2016, Alicia graduated from CSU Long Beach with her Master’s in Emergency Management and in June 2017, she got married and started working at Rady Children’s Hospital. She is currently working as the Lead Coordinator supporting the FACES for the Future and Medical Academy programs.
Wendy Meija, Program Coordinator – Hoover High School
Wendy Mejia is a native to San Diego. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from San Diego State University in 2016. Shortly after, she joined the Center for Healthier Communities as a Safe Routes to School intern. Wendy continued to grow into other roles within the Center and has now transitioned to the role of Program Coordinator at Hoover High School. Wendy’s involvement with the Center began in high school as a member of the first cohort of the FACES for the Future program. She’s not only an alumna of FACES but she is also an Alumna of Hoover High School. Most recently, Wendy graduated from San Diego State University with her Master’s in Public Health. Wendy enjoys being a resource to her community as to others. She hopes as the new Program Coordinator for FACES she can mentor and guide Hoover students throughout their journey towards a Health-related education and career.
Joycelin Chou, Program Coordinator – Crawford High School
Joycelin is committed to community health and aspires to help achieve health equity. Her passion for public health stemmed from her undergraduate experience at the University of California, Irvine, where she earned a BA in Public Health Policy. After working in the healthcare industry for several years, she attended San Diego State University and earned an MPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting new places and trying new food.
Shadeh Rassoulkhani, Program Coordinator – Hoover High School
Shadeh Rassoulkhani is native to San Diego and a recent graduate with a Master of Public Health, concentrating in health promotion and behavioral science from San Diego State University. She also completed her bachelors in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara in 2016 and has enjoyed working with diverse populations in San Diego since then. Shadeh has previous work experience as a case manager serving refugees, survivors of human trafficking, parolees, and asylees. Additionally, she has leadership experience working at a migrant youth shelter during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has also worked as a research assistant and program evaluation specialist for behavioral health, tobacco, and cancer studies. Additionally, Shadeh has previous experience working with various youth development programs and harm reduction programs in research and social service settings. As a new program coordinator at Hoover High School, Shadeh is excited to start working with students, faculty, community stakeholders and organizations to support students in achieving their academic, career, and wellness goals.
Shelli Brown, Youth Development Program Manager
Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego
3020 Children’s Way, MC 5073
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: 858-576-1700 ex 243745