Kaiser Permanente offering internships to high school students

Central Valley high school students and young adults interested in the medical field can now take part in a new internship at Kaiser Permanente in Fresno.

It's called the KP Launch program, and that's precisely what HR leader Mike Silveira says they want to do with the program.

"We hope, as the name implies, that we will launch them into their future careers."

This paid internship at the Kaiser Permanente hospital in Northeast Fresno is giving students from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to work alongside medical professionals.

Silveira says the internship is opening doors.

"We really are interested here in making sure that opportunity is available to everybody, and we want to help students who may not get as many opportunities as other students to do these kinds of things."

Ten students from 16 to 19 years old were selected, including 16-year-old Crystal Mata from Sunnyside. She's working in the ophthalmology department.

Mata is mainly interested in pediatrics, but she is keeping an open mind.

"I hope that I get to learn something new, in a new environment, and I hope to meet new people and to find out if there is something else that is going to interest me."

The internship is eight weeks long, and each student gets randomly assigned to a supervisor who also acts as a mentor.

Each department is different, and Daniella Guerra is working with an IT consultant.

"I love the healthcare industry overall, and I know that for sure I want to go into it, whether it be IT, or more of the business side of it, but I know 100% that I want to go into this now."

The internship will begin accepting new applications in February.

Silviera hopes that in the future they can expand the program so they can serve even more students.

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