MEDIA ADVISORY: From Public Assistance to a Career at UCSF

WHAT: Low-income and out of work San Francisco parents who have completed a free five-month health careers training program at UCSF and the Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) will be honored at the Community Outreach Internship Program (COIP) graduation.

This program, restarted amid the deepening recession in 2010, mentors San Francisco residents who want to improve their lives. All have been on government assistance or homeless. The program provides training and work experience to prepare them for today’s competitive job market and become self-sufficient.

COIP ran successfully from 1999 to 2006, graduating 100 participants and placing 85 percent of them into jobs at UCSF. After a brief hiatus, in 2010, the program was revived by UCSF and JVS in recognition of the potential match between the high demand for medical administrative workers and high poverty and unemployment in some San Francisco communities.

WHO: Nineteen interns (18 women, one man) are graduating Friday, each with a unique and powerful story of resilience and hope. In addition, two alumni of the COIP program will share their experiences about how the internship changed their lives.

WHEN/WHERE: The following individuals are available for interviews at UCSF’s Millberry Union Conference Center on the Parnassus Campus at 500 Parnassus Ave., on Friday, October 14, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.:

  • Graduates, who can talk about overcoming personal struggles to reach this milestone in their lives.
  • Chanta Helton, an alumna of the COIP program, who works as a full-time employee at the UCSF Adult Neurology Clinic, can share her success story.
  • Damon Lew, assistant director, Community Relations at UCSF, can talk about the Community Outreach Internship Program, its history and what impact it has had on the greater San Francisco community.

Interested media please contact Leland Kim. On Friday, contact him for parking questions and specific directions to Millberry Union at 415-999-0791.