Dr. Jeana Edwards, a member of the Life West faculty, took home an award from Eden ROP on Friday morning after a breakfast honoring members of the Hayward, San Leandro and Castro Valley community who have gone above and beyond to help high school students learn about different career tracks.
Dr. Edwards is being honored as a Business Partner of the Year for seminars that she leads with area teens in Life West’s anatomy labs.
In a letter announcing the award, Eden ROP Superintendent Linda Granger wrote, “You exemplify the ‘partnership spirit’ between the business community, our Chambers of Commerce and the Eden Area ROP. We are honored to present this award to you in recognition of your dedication to education and the future of our community. We also appreciate the difference you are making in the lives of our students and teachers.”
The program runs twice a year, in the spring and fall, and includes students who volunteer at St. Rose’s and Alameda hospitals as well as students from high schools in Hayward and San Leandro. Dr. Edwards said she takes up to 32 kids each time, and she works to make sure the mix includes students who may be credit-deficient as well as those who may excel at school and are looking for a chance to get an early start on learning about the health care field.
The goal is to expose the students to the labs and give them an opportunity to see what it’s really like to become a chiropractor. They walk away with a better idea of what they will need to study and how a health care education would prepare them. They also learn about an option for health care that may not be on their radar yet – the chiropractic field.
Working with students from different backgrounds and combining them in the same class is interesting, Dr. Edwards said. In many cases, these are groups that may never interact with each other, and this program allows them to collaborate in learning more about the health care field.
Kim Huggett, President and CEO of Hayward’s Chamber of Commerce, introduced Dr. Edwards at the awards ceremony and spoke about the partnership that she’s brought between Life West, Eden ROP and the Hayward schools. He mentioned that she also speaks to classes in the Hayward school system, and wrote in an email later, “We so appreciate your work with the work-based learning approaches the chamber has with the schools.”