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San Gabriel, CA Fall 2017

"The most interesting part of class was feeling the pulse and listening to the heart."

-- JMS student

"Vegan food actually tastes good!"

-- JMS student

"The only thing different would be more time in the afternoon."

-- JMS student

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Jefferson Middle School

In the Fall of 2017, the San Gabriel Educational Foundation and the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center made it possible for nearly 25 middle school students to have an after-school experience they won't soon forget.  Nearly 25 students in eastern Los Angeles County from the ages of 11 to 14 spent Tuesday afternoons learning about how the heart works, as well as what happens when the heart doesn't work.  They discussed ways to keep the heart working and spent some time in the kitchen cooking vegan food.   The intention was to educate, inspire, and empower this group of middle school students to create a future less devastated by heart disease. 

This group of students were especially creative.  They asked a ton of questions, made brilliant connections, and inspired others thru their series of 5 videos.  And they were so entertaining in their ability to share their knowledge!  What a gift to spend a few weeks with this group!

During the 10-week program, they spent a few weeks learning about the structure of the heart and how it works.  They then moved on to testing the heart, with some guest lecturing from the San Gabriel Fire Department. Next, conversations about how the heart gets diseased flowed into exploring various treatments and preventions for heart disease. 


And then, they took to the school's teaching kitchen!  Near the end of the course, 16 middle school students prepared (and tasted) 3 vegan recipes.  They were especially curious about the health benefits of chocolate.  So they had a chocolate-infused menu to try!   They prepared healthier, plant-based variations on some classics: enchiladas, chili fries, and a cake.  Check out these Future Doctor of America approved recipes from that week: Pumpkin and Chocolate Enchiladas, Cocoa-infused Chili Cheez Fries, and Apple & Chocolate Chunk Cake.

Because this group was especially creative, we decided to bring in a professional videographer and professional video editor to guide the students in creating some videos to share their new knowledge.  Check out how they are inspiring others to live heart-healthy!  Already, they are creating a world less devastated by heart disease!

Future Doctors of America at Jefferson Middle School in the Fall of 2017 was made possible thru sponsorship from the  San Gabriel Educational Foundation and the generous support from the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center.  Both organizations do so much good for their communities!


This initial pilot program would not have been possible specifically without the support of a few fantastic women:  Katherine Kleine; Adela Angiuli; Dr. Chasity Nunez, MD; and Katherine Kleine.  Drs. Kelly Bender and Kertia Duga each donated their afternoons to cook with this energetic group.  Troy Dillinger and David Bender made the videos possible.   Thank you all, for supporting Future Doctors of America and inspiring this group of middle schoolers to create a future less devastated by heart disease. 

Some of the picture highlights from Jefferson Middle School are below....

JMS, Fall 2017 made possible thru sponsorship provided by:

And the generous support from the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center Foundation Fund

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