CBU welcomes PEP students to campus.

Team Cajon in front of the Yeager Center at CBU.

Team Cajon in front of the Yeager Center at CBU.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the new mental health pipeline project run by IHPC, you are not alone! Still in its infancy, the Pipeline Enhancement Project affectionately known as 'PEP' is funded by OSHPD and provides mental health training and career exposure for students attending Murrieta-Mesa and Cajon high schools. Working closely with the psych teachers at both schools, we've seen a tremendous response from the students and have launched the program with more than 300 participants! 

Team Mesa receives a warm welcome from CBU.

Team Mesa receives a warm welcome from CBU.

This prompted a great opportunity to partner with local university, California Baptist, and provide an indepth tour of their Behavior and Social Science department, speak to students currently enrolled there, and see first hand what makes CBU unique. This private "college days" visit to campus was conducted over several days in order to accomodate students from both schools, and included a complete campus tour, a sneak peak at CBU's brand new event center, and of course a meal in the cafeteria rubbing shoulders with the college students because, after all, what college experience is complete without cafe food? As it turned out, they were pleasantly surprised at how good it was! Folks from the admissions office were on hand to provide some practical advice on FAFSA (federal student aid), tuition costs, and how to apply. 

Campus tour for Cajon PEP students. 

Campus tour for Cajon PEP students. 

CBU really rolled out the proverbial 'red carpet' for our PEP students and we want to thank all involved for providing this opportunity for them!

Classroom learning comes to life when students visit local hospital.

Group picture with the students. 

Group picture with the students. 

Herb Medford, Rad Tech.

Herb Medford, Rad Tech.

There was an air of expectation as a class of 35 students from Chino Hills High School took a day off of school to visit Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC) as part of IHPC's health site visit program. The day included a tour of several facilities as well as volunteer opportunities and human resources, but focused on two areas of medicine not often introduced at the high school level - bioethics and radiology.  Dr. David Adams surprised the students by demonstrating the relationship between law (for those who are thinking about law school) and medicine and how bioethics allows practioners to do both. Radiology imaging tech, Herb Medford described the critical role that imaging plays in a hospital setting, especially on a surgical team. Students quickly learned that there is a lot more to his specialty than just taking xrays! It was hard to pinpoint just what area garnered the greatest curiosity as students were taken on a tour of the women's center, cath lab, and physical therapy center, but they asked lots of questions and seemed genuinely interested in what happens in a hospital behind the scenes. HR manager, Rene Martinez brought it all home when he talked about life after school when they will be looking for their first job and going in for interviews at facilities like PVHMC.  He helped them understand what HR managers look for and how they determine if a candidate might be a good fit. Before they knew it, it was time to head back to school and hit the books again. One student had this to say about her experience:

The field trip was incredible! I learned so much about parts of the medical field that I had never been exposed to before, like bioethics and radiology. I also expanded my knowledge on the aspects I had already been previously interested in, like neonatology. Field trips like the ones Reach Out provides are always an amazing learning experience for everyone who attends.
— CHHS student Isabella O.
Dr. David Adams discusses biothethics.

Dr. David Adams discusses biothethics.

Thank you to volunteer coordinator Lindsey Medina and all  PVHMC staff who made this visit possible!

Dressed for success!

Robert Coster, AMR

Robert Coster, AMR

It was an impressive sight as students from Chino HS arrived by bus to American Medical Response (AMR) - Rancho Cucamonga, dressed in blazers, button down shirts, and ties. Dressing for success is part of the training that IHPC provides to students who participate in a health site visit. While at the facility, students participate in mock job interviews and visit each department to get an overall understanding of AMR's operations. Each stop in the tour allows for questions and answers and concludes with a chance to climb inside of an ambulance while EMT personnel patiently explain the equipment and functions. Students listened carefully as AMR ambassador, Robert Coster gave a presentation on the many access points into an EMT career with ambulance company. 

Wow, I did not know AMR paid for the paramedic course if I were to become employed with them. I am so glad I came to this site visit!
— CHS student

At the close of the site visit, both Robert Coster and Andy Serobyan taught the students hands-only chest compressions (shown above). It was another successful visit and ROP instructor Corey Lynch and his EMR students were so thankful for the amazing opportunity!

Students practice proper technique for hands-only chest compressions. 

Students practice proper technique for hands-only chest compressions. 

PEP students receive suicide prevention training.


The PEP students in Mr. Welch's Psych 101 class at Murrieta Mesa HS have begun their teen suicide prevention training as part of the Be A Link Campaign (#BeALink). The training is conducted by the Riverside County Department of Public Health and promotes positive youth development by helping students bring more awareness to the issue, and act as a peer resource for teens seeking mental health services. The goal is to use campaigns like Be A Link to increase awareness and reduce teen injuries and fatalities from suicide attempts. Part of this initial training included resiliency building. The students used "improv" to act out what they had learned. The exercise proved helpful and the kids got into it.

The students have already begun planning the lunch-hour activities they will be facilitating as part of the January campaign. They've come up with some original ideas like filling balloons with positive written messages and writing negative messages on the outside. When someone pops a negative message (a balloon), the positive message falls out, which they can keep. We are so proud of the more than 100 students who are participating in this important program!


New beginnings for HOT youth.

Over the last year, the HOT (Health Occupations Training) program has worked with two motivated WIOA (Workforce Investment and Opportunties Act) youth as they strive to build their futures in health care. We cheered for our young lady, Shuvette, when she walked across the stage at last year's Y-4 Conference to be recognized for "Best Professional Dress." Then we congratulated Neery as he too walked across a stage to receive his Medical Assistant certificate at San Manuel Gateway College.  Both of these young people have endured hardships but aren't letting that get in the way of their dreams.  Let's catch up with them: 


Shuvette: A former foster care youth, this young woman has taken every opportunity the HOT program has afforded her. She attended both the leadership retreat and the Y-4 conference, and actively participates in the HOT workshops, and one-on-one support our youth outreach specialists have given her. She jumped at the chance to participate in a three-week paid work experience (PWE) we set up for her and was placed at Premier Medical Transport (PMT) in Colton, CA. She was eager to learn, worked hard, and was always on time. She so impressed her supervisor at PMT, they offered her a permanent position following her PWE. Shuvette is now a non-emergency patient transporter and is extremely happy about her new job. Her huge grin shows it! She plans to get as much experience as she can at PMT and pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. 

Neery tutors a student at Gateway College

Neery tutors a student at Gateway College

Neery: This young man's early struggles in life have instilled in him a sence of responsibility and desire to provide for his family. He came to us a year ago and, like Shuvette, just needed the opportunity to succeed. Early on, he showed a lot of initiative and was very active in the HOT program. He initially had an interest in phlebotomy but decided on the Medical Assistant certificate program at Loma Linda's San Manuel Gateway College. Armed with a $700 scholarship award from the HOT program, Neery successfully completed the MA (Medial Assistant) program in June of this year and got a job as a Care Coordinator in the Quality & Compliance department at SACHS (Social Action Community Health System) clinic in San Bernardino. He is already paying it foward by tutoring other students in the MA program at Gateway College, part time.  This is just a stepping stone for Neery, who was recognized for choosing the winning name "Generation Go!" for the WIOA program. He too plans to go back to school to become a Physical Therapist.

We are so happy to see two young people on their way to brighter futures and serving their communities. They are living examples of our mantra to Plan Now, Live Well, and Serve Here!

PEP takes mental health and wellness to Murrieta Mesa High

The Pipeline Enhancement Project (PEP) on mental health began mental health and wellness training for students in Russ Welch's Psych class at Murrieta Mesa High. Community mental health trainer, Tina Brown, MS, MFT, is from Tri-City Mental Health and covered topics such as depression, anxiety, and self-harm. The training is just one of several that will be delivered to students including teen crisis awareness and mental health first aid. Through PEP, students will be part of a long term study which will transition them into post-secondary education and mental health careers. 



SAFE Talk helps teens prevent suicide.

safe talk 3.jpg
safe talk.jpg

Students at Cajon High who signed up to be part of the mental health pipeline project, received training on suicide prevention from Kryssel Elson  from South Coast Community Services. The training, known as SAFE Talk certifies the students to be suicide alert helpers. They each received a booklet that helps them identify if someone is having suicidal thoughts and a resource card of places to go for help. The training is strictly preventative and should not be confused with intervention training. Marwa Mohamed, IHPC Outreach Specialist, and Psychology teacher/advisor Chris Peters plan to train all 120 students in the project.   

Coming full circle - a personal story of paying it forward...

Ben Machado takes a picture with a few Colton High students attending the summit. 

Ben Machado takes a picture with a few Colton High students attending the summit. 

Outreach Specialist, Ben Machado had the privilege of speaking at the Colton Joint Unified School District's (CJUSD) Student Leadership Summit.  As a native of the Colton area, Ben attended J. Paul Rogers, Colton Middle School, and Colton High. During his senior year of high school, he heard a guest speaker, Tyler Durman, who's presentation was so empowering it changed the trajectory of Ben's life. He hoped he could one day do the same for others. That day came when his talk "Learn to Lead, Live to Serve" at the summit struck a cord with a young lady who sent the following email to Ben:

I was thinking about your presentation the whole day. Right now I am a junior at Grand Terrace High School and I am terrified to figure out what’s going to happen after I graduate. Even though I am 100% sure I want to study to become a forensic psychologist, I don’t know what to expect and how to react when I am under pressure. However, today when you spoke to all of us, I somehow felt a hint of hope.

Me, coming from a Hispanic family, never thought that your cultural background could play such a huge role in your education. I am a pretty open person, and I try my hardest to exceed my parents’ expectations because I appreciate everything they’ve accomplished, just like you did. I don’t want to keep missing out on opportunities and I wish to take advantage of everything that comes in my way. It would be an amazing privilege if you could guide me and give me some advice. Thank you. And I really appreciate it.
— anonymous student

Every day we strive to make a difference in the lives of our students by lifting the barriers to educational achievement, and expanding economic opportunities to create safe, healthy, and innovative communities. It's hard work and sometimes we get discouraged. Then we see how the seeds of hope and empowerment that we sew, grow and come full circle. The work we do is making a difference and we share this story so that you too may be encouraged and continue to do the good work that will one day change the landscape of our region.  "Plan Now, Live Well, Serve Here."

Yucaipa High students drive blood and organ donation.


The Yucaipa High School health and biomed students showed real leadership when they organized a blood drive and organ donation rally in the schools' gym several weeks ago. Working closely with their teacher/advisor Tana De Leon,  Christy Bethel from OneLegacy (#DonateLife),  and LifeStream, the students did a double hitter, using the blood drive as an opportunity to educate and encourage students to sign up for organ donation as well. It turned out that many of the students were more than eager and willing to save lives through the gift of organ donation.

Yucaipa High has recently developed a OneLegacy student leadership team to raise awareness about the need for organ donors in the Inland Southern California region. Many of the health and biomed students serve on the OneLegacy team. Their outreach resulted in 123 students giving blood and registering for organ donation through the California Donor Registry - not too shabby!

A special thank you to everyone who participated in the LifeStream Blood Drive and OneLegacy Donor Registry Drive and a big pat on the back to the amazing Biology and Medical Academy students, for a successful rally! 

Home of the LA Lakers.

Although we didn't get to meet any of the superstars directly, there was a certain excitement to being in the same space where the Los Angeles Lakers train and practice every day - posing in front of their locker space, sitting in the giant leather swivel chairs, seeing what a size 14 Nike looks like up close...the brand new El Segunda Training Center is nothing if not state-of-the-art and our invitation to visit the facility and meet the athletic trainers was a special experience.

Head athletic trainer, Marco Nunez, has a special connection to the Corona area and wants to see more high school students pursue this health field. A former mentee of coach Jim Winn, who teaches sports medicine at Corona High, Mr. Nunez offered Corona High health pathways "Dream Team" (and a few privileged RO staff) a behind-the-scenes tour of the Laker's training/weight, ice, medical, and treatment rooms, as well as their aquatic therapy pools. The facility boasts locker rooms and basketball court (we glimpsed a couple of players shooting hoops) as well as living spaces for chilling, a barbar shop and eating areas - a home away from home. 

The visit was a precursor to potential site visits in the near future. CNUSD health pathway sports medicine students will learn more about the field of sports medicine and how trainers like Mr. Nunez make a significant impact on the well-being (and performance) of top athletes. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students and we're guessing we won't have to ask them twice!