Mi Futuro

Mi Futuro healthcare symposium will draw 300 youth, honor firefighters
January 12, 2018

 Mi Futuro esta en Carreras de Salud: My Future is in Healthcare Careers, is the North Bay's symposium for youth to introduce careers in mental health and primary healthcare.

The symposium will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Jan. 19, in the Grand Ballroom of Sonoma State University’s Student Center. The event is sold out and at capacity with over 450 attendees. 

This symposium is offered to all youth and young adults from 16-30 years old, with a particular focus on Latino and Native American youth and cultural sensitivity to their unique patient-care needs. 

Sonoma County is predicted to have a dominant Latino population by 2050. The symposium targets the Latino population with these statistics in mind, to establish an effort toward strategically managing the local healthcare workforce to reflect the expected patient-care demand.

“Now in our third year of Mi Futuro, we are thrilled to be introducing healthcare careers to our future bilingual behavior health and primary healthcare workforce,” said Wanda Tapia, Executive Director of non-profit Latino Service Providers and the Principle Investigator for Mi Futuro 2018.

The purpose of the symposium is to:

·       Reduce participant attitudes and beliefs regarding the stigma that is associated with mental health conditions and accessing treatment.

·       Increase participants’ understanding of the stigma related to mental health as a barrier to treatment and wellness.

·       Motivate participants to consider careers in the mental health and primary healthcare fields.

·       Share economic opportunities in the local community.

·       Highlight educational career pathways at the high school and post-secondary levels.

·       Increase confidence in completing enrollment & financial aid applications to college and career technical schools

·       Mentor future healthcare leaders to serve our community with marked integrity.


New to the program this year is a “Heroes Tribute in recognition of the wildfires that swept through Sonoma County and North Bay communities. During the month of December, a canvas print was circulated through ten schools in Sonoma County, collecting student signatures representative of the larger Sonoma County youth population to honor first responders during the Tubbs fire.

During the Mi Futuro symposium, Sonoma County firehouses will be presented with a framed “Heroes Tribute” canvas replica.The event will begin with welcomes from Sonoma State’s Provost and Executive Vice President, Dr. Lisa Vollendorf, and Santa Rosa Junior College’s Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Mary Kay Rudolph. 

The keynote presentation will be by Rachel Guerrero, former chief of the Office of Multicultural Services for the California Department of Mental Health and professor at the University of California, Davis. Followed by the “Heroes Tribute” presented by local healthcare and education leaders.

Emcee is Dr. Kirk Pappas, who served as the “Physician-in-Chief” of the Kaiser Santa Rosa Medical Center from 2011-2017, responsible for physician operations of the hospital and medical offices serving over 170,000 residents of Sonoma County