June 06, 2024

TGR Foundation, Providence recognize high school students addressing community health needs

High school students across three schools in the Anaheim Union High School District were recently selected by a panel of judges from Providence as winners of the 2023-2024 Career-Connected Learning Program Student Showcase. 

Students from three high schools in the Anaheim Union High School District gather at the TGR Learning Lab for the inaugural Career Connected Learning Program Student Showcase.

In January students participating in the health care pathway of the district’s Regional Occupational Program received the results of Providence’s 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment. Working in teams, the students were tasked with choosing one of the needs identified, supplementing the results with further research and developing a presentation on recommended ways to meet the needs chosen.   

From behavioral health to food and economic insecurity, students had a variety of areas to consider. Teams from each school prepared concepts including community events, technology tools and more. The winning teams provided solutions to elderly neglect, teen mental health and healthcare system strategies.  

John Lee, TGR Foundation senior vice president of programs, visits Magnolia High School to present results of Providence’s 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment. 

“We decided to go for elderly mental health,” said Dana S., a Magnolia High School freshman, “It was really hard to find information at first because of how many resources there were. There wasn’t a lot, which is why we thought it was even better to spread more awareness.” 

On the day of the Showcase, teams arrived at the flagship TGR Learning Lab Anaheim, where they had time to practice their presentations before addressing peers across all three schools and a panel of four Providence healthcare professionals who served as judges to select a winning team from each school.  

Sunnie M, junior and Danielle M., freshman from John F. Kennedy High School practice for their Student Showcase presentation at the TGR Learning Lab Anaheim.

“It was a little scary,” said Danielle, a John F. Kennedy High School freshman. “I wanted to make sure everything was perfect and that it was going to go as it was supposed to. The most rewarding thing was when all of our hard work paid off and we won.”  

In addition to bragging rights, students were also treated to a pizza party with their classmates to celebrate their success. Reflecting on the experience, communication, teamwork, time management and confidence were the greatest skills students gained throughout the process.   

Student Showcase winners Ciara Martin, Kendra Smith, Evelyn Altamirano Vazquez, & Ileana Menera Rodriguez gather with their instructor and TGR Foundation’s senior vice president, John Lee during pizza party to celebrate their success.

“Our experience participating in the showcase was very amazing and it helped build all of our confidence,” said Sophia M., a junior from Magnolia High School. “I loved it; this experience made my interest in a career as a pediatric oncology nurse stronger because you have to talk to the patients, so it helped my communication skills.” 

Panelists and representatives from the partner organizations were impressed with the skill and preparations shown throughout the presentations.  

“The students showed a strong desire to advocate for underrepresented populations, embracing diverse perspectives and showing intellectual humility to drive positive change in the community,” said Dr. Ligia Hallstrom, North Orange County ROP. “They crafted visually engaging, persuasive presentations that captivated the audience and the judges and used research to adeptly weave insights into their narratives.” 

Providence professionals smile for a photo before Student Showcase presentations begin at the TGR Learning Lab Anaheim.

TGR Foundation’s Career-Connected Learning Program, hosted in partnership with Providence, the Anaheim Union High School District and the North Orange County Regional Occupational Program, provided students with an immersive experience built to expand their exposure to potential healthcare careers, build their portfolios and connect them with industry professionals. The Student Showcase followed ongoing classes and a signature field trip and Community Health Academy at the TGR Learning Lab.  

“The most beneficial component of this partnership was the opportunity to co-design an experience,” said Scott Reindl, Anaheim Union High School District Coordinator, 21st Century Career Readiness. “All of us had input on designing the experience for the students, and it was well-aligned to the career pathway content students were experiencing in the classroom. In addition, embedding the learning experiences within the school day ensured that all students had access to the benefits of this partnership.”  

While the Student Showcase was a culminating event of the Career-Connected Learning Program pilot, TGR Foundation will build on the program to continue preparing students for their futures through its Learning Labs in Anaheim, Philadelphia and beyond 

“I am excited to see this partnership grow to include other career pathways, which will help our students see the interconnectedness of various roles in the workplace, as well as the importance of the entire community supporting public health needs,” added Rendl.  

For more information on TGR Foundation’s Career-Connected Learning Program visit TGRFoundation.org/career