Monterey County

#PositiveLocalNews: SVMH Program Seeks To Mentor High School Students

Mentorship Program Will Give Hands-On Experience In Medical Field For Students

New SVMH Program Seeks to Mentor Students

SALINAS, Calif. - Building the next generation of doctors and nurses, right here on the Central Coast. That's what one local hospital hopes to do by partnering with Career Exploring.

The new program will follow a nationwide model to spark interest in the medical field for students. They will get to see first-hand, what its like to work in that field.

It's not unusual to catch Jack Koster volunteering at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital.

"Whatever the nurses need me to do, I'm there for them," said Koster.

Koster is a junior in high school and already has a plan.

"Recently since I started volunteering at the hospital I've compacted my interests and I've narrowed it down to a couple of professions, either anesthesiologist, the surgical field or pediatrician," said Koster.

Koster knows that because he's seen what it's like first-hand. Now he hopes to learn more with a new program called Career Exploring at SVMH.

"What the Careers Explorers program will do for us is really add that element of leadership development, a little bit more career exposure and a lot of access to mentors here both in the clinical side of healthcare and administration side," said Director of Community Development and Programs Tiffany DiTullio.

Career Exploring is a work site-based program for student volunteers. It will offer mentorship, monthly meetings, shadow opportunites and community projects.

"What we are trying to do is get those students who might be interested, get them established here locally if they do chose to go into the medical career, they are going to feel that connection to Salinas Valley, and they are going to want to come back and serve their community," said DiTullio.

For Koster these are elements that are making going to college easier.

"I really think that with this program it will give students an opportunity to get into the hospital, and into their studies and really decide do I want to do this or do I not," said Koster.

There will be an informational meeting Jan. 14. To apply to become a volunteer, contact the Volunteer Services Department at 831-755-0772 or

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