WAIMEA— Wanda Shibata, chair of the Young Brothers Community Advisory Board, was pleased to see nearly half of the 27 students raise their hands when they were asked if they wanted to become physicians.
“There is a need for good doctors. In this time of rising elderly populations, especially doctors who work with the seniors,” Shibata told the students.
The students belonged to Na Lei Wili Area Health Education Center at Waimea High School. The nonprofit’s mission is to grow its own healers and promote the health and wellness of underserved communities on Oahu and Kauai through partnerships, education and advocacy.
Shibata on Thursday was joined by CAB member Jim McDowall in presenting a $2,300 grant to help offset the group’s trip to the state conference recently.
The group returned last month from the state conference on Oahu, where it qualified eight students to compete at the national conference in Anaheim, California, June 21-28.
The Waimea students going on the trip include Quiana Duarte, Ashley Buyat, Jonah Knapp, Samantha Nichols, Melia Takakusagi, Kira Nobriga, Lauren Valenciano and Lauryn Fleming. Sydney Brady, a student at Kauai High School, will also be joining the Waimea students at the conference.
“We had to present skills for amputees with cane, wheelchair, and walkers,” said Nobriga, who intends to major in physical therapy, about the qualifying meet. “This is in line with what I’m going to major in so it was very helpful.”
Duarte said during the state qualifying tests, they had to answer a 50-question test and preform a presentation that focused on forensics.
“We had to assess a crime scene,” the Waimea senior said. “We also had to give an autopsy report — in heels. It was challenging, but we pulled through.”
Fran Becker, Na Lei Wili AHEC executive director, said the group has taken a delegation of students to the Hawaii State Health Occupation Student Association Leadership Conference since its inception 10 years ago.
“We started with six students and one adviser in 2005-2006,” Becker said of the delegation that’s grown to 27 students and three advisors. “We have grown, and we definitely appreciate the help afforded us by the Young Brothers CAB. We couldn’t do it, otherwise.”