Mentorship Program

In 2016, Health Plan of San Joaquin expanded the scope of the Health Careers Scholarship Program and added a complementary Mentorship Program. Recipients of the Health Careers Scholarship Program are required to participate in the Mentorship Program.

The purpose of the Mentorship Program is to pair knowledgeable professionals, particularly those in the medical and health care fields, with incoming college freshmen and provide support, reassurance and encouragement for them to continue in the field.


Loretta Olson

Modesto Junior College / Registered Nurse
I chose to be a nurse because I like helping people. It is important to me to be present in order to comfort people when they are scared and in pain. I was inspired by the wonderful, empathetic nurses who cared for my dad when he had a stroke. My dad and my entire family needed compassionate, caring nurses as we were devastated by this tragedy. I want to be a nurse who can stand alongside my patients and help them through a trying and difficult time. I decided to become a nurse to comfort and be kind to those who need comfort most.


Manveer Bahia

UC Davis / Physical Therapist
I’m going to pursue a career in the medical field because I want to belong to a community that understands the meaning of empathy. 

Isabela Ortega

Isabela Ortega

UC Berkeley /Doctor – Pediatric Oncology
I am passionate about becoming a physician in the San Joaquin Valley because I would like to help bridge the gap of understanding amongst Spanish speaking families and medicine as well as increase Hispanic representation in the medical field. I want to come back and make a difference in the community that I grew up in by providing optimal healthcare and advocating for my patients in low socioeconomic statuses.


Maliha Shahzad

UCLA / Doctor – Clinical Psychologist
Witnessing firsthand as a competitive student and athlete as myself, I realized the gravity of one’s mental health as they go onto their childhood and adolescent years. It is important to shine light into the further increasing mental health illnesses that dwells in our society today.

Chalyn Valdez

UC Davis – Doctor – Oncology or Orthopedics
From being a coach for a science club, to volunteering at a child center, or participating in the Decision Medicine program, all these experiences allowed me to learn and explore my interests throughout high school. These things, alongside my personal experience with health-related circumstances that my family has gone through, have all contributed to what drives my passion for pursuing a career in medicine. I aspire to become a physician and one day be able to be there for patients, help people, and give back to my community. 


Lizette Arizmendi

Delta College / Registered Nurse
When I become a nurse my goal is for my future patients to feel safe and strong under my
care. I want to make an impact on my community; by improving future patients lives by
helping them cope through any stressful situation they are put across.


Sarisha Jacobs

UCLA /Doctor – Doctor Pediatric Cardiologist
I was inspired by the nurses and doctors that helped my brother when he had rhabdomyosarcoma. They didn’t just treat him like another patient. They treated him and our family with compassion and kindness. They showed me that being a doctor is more than just treating the injury or disease, but also being a source of support for the patient and their family. I look forward to “gifting” it on and pursuing a career in pediatrics.

Carolina Marquez

UC Santa Cruz / Doctor – Psychiatry
When you think you can’t make a difference, remember that one raindrop raises the ocean.


Tania Perez

CSU Chico / Doctor
Pursuing a career in the medical field has always been an aspiration of mine. Becoming a nurse is something I definitely have my heart set on and will open up many doors for me. It will give me the opportunity to be strong in difficult situations I may encounter. It will fill my heart with so much joy and satisfaction derived from helping others and making a difference in their life. And, it will be extremely rewarding giving back to my community when I touch several lives as simultaneously their lives touch mine.

Isabela Ortega

Vianda Nguyen

UC San Diego /Doctor – Doctor
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

The mentor enhances the mentee’s college experience by:

  1. Offering one-on-one interaction
  2. Fostering professional development
  3. Identifying challenges (academic or personal)
  4. Helping to develop goals and providing guidance so that the mentee feels empowered to succeed in the program and stay on-track until graduation and beyond!

Frequently Asked Questions:

We’re sure you have a lot questions about HPSJ’s Health Careers Scholarship Program. Please visit the FAQ’s page for more information now.

Mentor Testimonials

“It has been such an honor to be part of a scholarship program that supports the success of its students in so many ways. Don’t underestimate what you have to offer to our student mentees. Anyone can be a mentor: the only qualifications are an open mind and a caring spirit. As a mentor, you will have an opportunity to positively impact someone else’s life. And sometimes, the life you end up changing is your own: there are so many ways to reflect and learn more about yourself in the process of helping others. In the words of Maya Angelou, “[To be an effective mentor] you don’t have to know how many square miles are in Idaho, you don’t need to know what is the chemical makeup of blood or water. Know what you know and care about the person, care about what you know and care about the person you’re sharing with.”Kristen Tokunaga
As a mentor, I believe I’ve been effective in helping my mentee Crystal stay on track in her educational goals to become a physician and have fun while doing so! The hallmark of success is to see her return home after graduating and get a job in the Central Valley. If she eventually becomes an HPSJ Provider, then I reached the pinnacle of success as a mentor!”Cheron Vail

Posted on February 27th, 2018 and last modified on September 25th, 2020.