Promoting Opportunities for Youth
UCLA Urology has established a partnership with Bridge Builders Foundation, a Los Angeles based nonprofit organization that supports youth through mentoring, scholarships, educational programs and the teaching of life skills. The initiative will build on the foundation’s efforts to raise health awareness and promote career opportunities for African American and other minority youth. The department is actively working with Bridge Builders in providing a platform for interested high school students to get to know UCLA Health students and professionals through a series of lectures, lab experiences and dialogues. The partnership is being facilitated by Bridge Builders member Westley Sholes, a prostate cancer survivor and longtime supporter of IMPACT, the UCLA Urology-led program that has brought medical care to thousands of low-income, uninsured California men with prostate cancer.
Dr. Kymora Scotland, Assistant Professor of Urology, has partnered with Bridge Builders' Saturday Science Academy for the development of events to introduce youth to the field of medicine. A central theme of the Bridge Builders program is "What They See, They Can Be." With the help of UCLA medical students (pictured), Dr. Scotland and team provided a hands-on anatomy class to 125 middle and high school students during the 2022 event. For the 2023 event, Dr. Scotland hosted over 100 high school students from the King/Drew High School in collaboration with the Bridge Builders program. This event included a panel with an interdisciplinary team from various specialties, including doctors, a nurse, a radiology technician, and medical students. The UCLA Urology team was represented by Dr. Juan Andino, Dr. Renea Sturm, Dr. Scotland and Dr. Litwin, who all shared their diverse experiences about what led them to pursue medicine and how impactful this career has been. The students were also taken to the Rosenfeld Hall Simulation center, where members of the Scotland Lab led sessions on suturing, robotic surgery skills, and endotracheal intubation. The event concluded with a tour of the undergraduate campus. Events like these are more than community outreach; they are powerful catalysts for change.