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Chargers, Gilead Host Students Interested in Sports Medicine Careers


The Bolts Community Crew, sponsored by Gilead Sciences, recently teamed up with the Chargers and hosted students from Los Angeles and Orange County high schools for a Career in Sport Medicine Symposium to help educate and motivate those who look to pursue a future medical career in sports.

Students in attendance were those who were currently participating or enrolled in after-school programs that focus on athletic training or careers in sports medicine. They got a first-hand, interactive look at multiple career fields.

"We got a chance to spend some time with some great high school students and members of the Chargers staff, trainers, nutrition and your physician," Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Gilead Sciences Perika Sampson said. "Just hearing about their careers and journey that took them from where they were in high school to where they are today, getting a chance them inspire the students about the opportunities that are ahead of them."

The day at the Hoag Performance Center began with a tour of the Chargers facility hosted by guard Zion Johnson, before launching into a Careers in Sports Medicine Panel. Among the panel was Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Eugene Yim from Hoag Orthopedic Institute, Chargers Assistant Athletic Trainer Alvin Cabrera and Chargers Dietician Assistant Ben Hawkins.

Jasmine Velasquez of Lawndale High School's Biomedical Careers Academy said students were excited about the chance to hear first-hand stories and ask questions to those who now have a career in sports medicine.

"I'm extremely excited to hear from all of the medical practitioners and healthcare providers from the Chargers team," said Velasquez, who is also a part of West Coast Sports Medicine. "Our kids are very excited about it.

"This is going to open up a lot of opportunities and really broaden their spectrum of what they could do with the medical field," Velasquez added. "This is a huge opportunity for them."

Nearly 70 attendees from local Athletic Training after school programs attended the first "Careers in Sports Medicine Symposium" hosted by the Chargers. Local high school students were invited to hear from the Chargers Team Doctor, Assistant Athletic Trainer and Assistant Team Nutritionist on their careers and journey into working in sport medicine. Sponsored by Gilead Sciences, Inc.

The impact of the event went further than the panel, as students were able to have access to professionals and their journeys.

Anthony Jones, the Associate Director of Inclusion & Diversity at Gilead Sciences , talked about the importance of an event like this and the impact it has on the future of the field.

"The impact is very important," Jones said. "Plus, we know that these are going to be the next generation of people, as I mentioned before, in order to make that difference into somebody else.

"These are the ones that will end up being the most transformative, the next people that we'll see inside the bright lights in the big city as well," Jones added. "So why would we not want to be a part of an opportunity to continue to make that impact and move things forward."

Between the Chargers medical staff sharing their insights and the ability to communicate with others with similar interests, Chargers Manager of Community Relations Cheyanne Warren-Diaz hopes that all students took something away from the event.

"We really hope that these kids took away something from this day," Warren-Diaz said. "Whether it was from our assistant athletic trainer, our team physician or our assistant nutritionist, whether they go on and be an athletic trainer some day or they just have a better understanding of what that world looks like, we all hope from today they have a better understanding of what the career in sports medicine is, and what it is like to work for an NFL team.

"I hope from today these kids really take something out of this today and what they heard from the panelist, and they take it onto the rest of their careers, whether it's networking [or] whether it's just persevering," Warren-Diaz later added.

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