Salt Lake City, Utah (Good Things Utah) — While Latinos represent 20 percent of the population in Utah, they account for only 5.5 percent of workers in the medical field. This also includes other healthcare fields such as administration and the insurance industry.
In 2020, to address the representation gap for the Latinos in healthcare related professions, SelectHealth launched the Latinx Scholarship Program with Salt Lake Community College. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Salt Lake Community College and their commitment to offer affordable and accessible education throughout the community.
“We have close to 20 students who have completed our program or who are currently participating, including some who are now full-time employees at SelectHealth,” said Sebastian de Freitas, SelectHealth Community Relations Manager. “Salt Lake Community College has been a great partner for this program given that many of their campus locations reside in the heart of diverse communities across the valley.”
The SelectHealth Latinx Scholarship is a two-year full scholarship for freshman Hispanic and Latinx students with demonstrated financial need at Salt Lake Community College who are interested in a career in healthcare.
The program also includes mentorship opportunities for students to guide their professional development, including career coaching, preparing resumes, and access to healthcare professionals who can answer questions.
To qualify for the SelectHealth Latinx Scholarship, students must:
- Identify as Hispanic or Latinx.
- Demonstrate financial need.
- Have a 3.0+ GPA.
- Be a graduate from a Salt Lake area school district: Jordan, Canyons, Murray, Granite, or Salt Lake City.
- Have a goal to graduate with an associate degree within two years.
- Demonstrate dedication to improving our community through civic engagement and community service.
“When I was looking for scholarship opportunities at Salt Lake Community College, I had never seen anything like the Latinx Scholarship,” said Manette Perez, a previous Latinx Scholarship recipient. “I was amazed to see a scholarship specifically targeting the Latinx community that offered financial assistance, a paid internship, and mentorship opportunities to connect with professionals in the healthcare industry.”
Students are also invited to participate in a paid summer internship at SelectHealth to assist in personal and professional growth. The summer internship allows students to work with different departments including marketing, member services, provider development, care management, and community relations.
After students earn their associate degree, they have the option to apply for a full-time position at SelectHealth. If hired, employees can qualify for tuition reimbursement to pursue higher degrees of learning.
“This was a great opportunity for me because I am interested in a career in the healthcare field,” said Sofia Valero, one of the program participants. “Through the program, I was offered an amazing internship during the summer that helped me connect with so many different people outside of just doctors or nurses that were working in healthcare.”
The SelectHealth Latinx Scholarship Program aims to support education and provide a broader understanding of the healthcare industry for Hispanic and Latinx students.
“Many Latinos come from countries in which the healthcare system operates very differently than in the United States,” noted de Freitas. “Our healthcare system has many layers and has its own unique language that is not easily understood. The Latinx Scholarship Program is designed to introduce students to all aspects of healthcare and help prepare them for a successful future.”
For more information or if you are interested in applying for the SelectHealth Latinx scholarship program, visit the Salt Lake Community College website.
*Sponsored by Intermountain Health.