This week, eight influential members of our health sciences community will graduate -- not from PNWU, but from the Mount Adams School District. They may not be doctors (yet), but each of the graduates has already succeeded in shaping the future of health care in rural and medically underserved areas throughout the Northwest.
As participants in Roots to Wings, a transformative co-mentoring health science education pathway program which encourages American Indian-Alaska Native (AI-AN) and Latino students living on the homelands of the Yakama Nation to pursue health and STEM education and career, the eight students have provided invaluable knowledge to our own medical students -- and university as a whole -- as they helped to expose PNWU to the values, traditions, and medical needs of their communities.
“Your graduation from high school is your proud beginning of an exciting journey full of learning possibilities,” said Roots to Wings Director Dr. Mirna Ramos-Diaz in a message to the graduates. “We remember each one of you when you first came to PNWU at the inception of the Roots to Wings program six years ago! Your unwavering commitment, persistence, openness to learning, and to push beyond your comfort zone has produced many fruits which you are now enjoying in this special occasion! We honor you, your culture, values, family, friends, and teachers on this very special day! We look forward to one day seeing you as a student at PNWU! You belong here!”
Roots to Wings was recently featured in The Wiley International Handbook of Mentoring: Paradigms, Practices, Programs, and Possibilities. The book serves as the first collection in the area of mentoring that applies theory to real-world practice, research, programs, and recommendations from an international perspective.