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Opening Doors of Opportunities One Student at a Time

Kaiser Permanente leader is recognized for her role in establishing mentorships and unforgettable experiences for students and recent graduates.

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There aren't too many jobs where you can expect instant gratification as well as a reward of recognition for accomplishing your tasks. Fortunately for Carolyn Dallas, coordinator, youth workforce programs, Diversity and Inclusion, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, she is able to witness the positive transformation that occurs when underserved students participate in one of Kaiser Permanente's community outreach programs. When she received a recent acknowledgement by Health Career Connection for her role in establishing mentorships and unforgettable experiences for students and recent graduates — that was simply an unexpected bonus for doing the work that brings her passion.

"You feel like you are touching these students' lives in a positive way and helping them shape their careers," said Dallas. "Being recognized by Health Career Connection was special because I was joined by a great group of people who have the same drive that I do."

These summer programs promote higher education and leadership skills that will increase students' chances to enhance their knowledge or get hired as Kaiser Permanente employees.

Kaiser Permanente's youth workforce programs that are funded by community benefit include the following:

Summer Youth Employment Program: Focuses on high school students and encourages youth to return to the program every year until they graduate.

Apothecary Circle: Provides underrepresented, undergraduate students who have an interest in becoming a pharmacist a way to explore the profession and begin developing skills.

INROADS: Places talented underserved youth in business environments that will prepare them for corporate and community leadership.

Health Career Connection: Connects talented, diverse undergraduate students and recent graduates to health employers and graduate schools that focus on health professions — inspiring students to achieve their health career goals, and make a difference in health organizations and their communities.

Dallas began with Kaiser Permanente in 1998 as a human resources specialist at the Baldwin Park Medical Center. She went on to work as a coordinator for the summer youth high school employment programs in Southern California, until she moved to her current role working with all of the summer youth workforce programs as part of Diversity and Inclusion.

"The work that I've done has offered individuals the chance to build their confidence with an open door of opportunities," said Dallas.

"Individuals like Carolyn help create opportunities for our students, while offering encouragement and support," said Jeffrey Oxendine, MPH, MBA, president, Health Career Connection. "Our youth programs are essential to the career and professional development of our students. It provides them with invaluable exposure, practical experience, and mentorship that help them discover and take a major step toward pursuing the health career that best suits them."

For more information on the summer youth workforce programs, click here.