Written by Lauren Chen.
This summer 2021 marks the second year of Enterprise programming to support youth with an interest in the field of healthcare as they participate in the Medical Terminology course offered through City College of San Francisco. As a returning job coach (after overseeing this internship in 2020), it was my pleasure to work with not only a new group of youth participating in this program this summer, but the addition of two fantastic Program Assistants, Guadalupe (Lupe) Peña and Elaine Huang.
The pandemic has made online courses a familiar venue for young people over the past year and a half, yet it is still a format that makes collaboration and connection amongst peers more difficult to come by. This was the gap that our Program Assistants were the perfect solution to bridge, bringing their own experiences as college students and previous Enterprise interns to the program.
Lupe herself previously participated in the HIT50A program in 2020, the first year it was offered through Enterprise. With this experience, she has brought an intimate understanding of the course content and the ability to center participants’ experiences in all of the programming. Lupe is preparing to enter her junior year at Mills College. Before cementing her interest in a career in healthcare, specifically in nursing, she also completed Enterprise internships at Kaiser Permanente and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).
Elaine first completed a retail internship at the Gap, through Enterprise’s partnership with Old Navy’s This Way ONward (previously This Way Ahead). Now a biology major at UC Santa Barbara, the Program Assistant role was an opportunity for Elaine to develop her leadership and facilitation skills, study habits, and time management.
At the start of this summer, it was our hope that the Program Assistants would be able to add another layer of depth to the intern experience. Lupe and Elaine have not only stepped up to that task but exceeded it. In planning workshops, they have always asked thoughtful questions and offered their own insights into areas where we can make changes or improvements, aided by their own experiences as prior interns. In addition to attending planning meetings with other Program Assistants, and working with me to review the curriculum ahead of facilitating weekly professional development workshops, Lupe and Elaine have also been leading weekly study sessions with interns as they participate in the CCSF course. It has been a pleasure to watch as they have taken the lead to create their own study group agendas, brainstormed activities to increase interactivity with course content and amongst interns.
With their unique voices, warmth and connection, Lupe and Elaine have carefully created a space for interns to connect and support each other in getting the most out of their learning experience this summer. Such a successful summer wouldn’t have been possible without their efforts and heart, and we’re so grateful to have them aboard!