Jorge Campos Franco, a recent graduate of West Ranch High School, was among 13 students from Los Angeles area schools awarded a $10,000 college scholarship as part of the 2017 Milken Scholars program.
In addition to the college scholarship, Campos Franco will be provided with a lifelong support system that includes career-related counseling, assistance in securing internships and opportunities for community service through the program.
“The Milken Scholars program goes back to 1989 so there are scholars that have been with this program for a long time and they’re like family and talk to each other and want to help each other,” Campos Franco said. “They’re available to mentor me and are willing to let me shadow them.”
In addition to the scholarship and mentorship program, the Milken Scholars attend a three-day summit in Los Angles with more than 100 scholars including new recipients, undergraduates and alumni facilitators.
“It was filled with many speakers… and many people who are very accomplished in their fields and it was really incredible,” Campos Franco said. “There were also many scholars from previous years including three scholars from 1989, so talking to them and seeing old pictures was amazing.”
Founded 28 years ago, the Milken Scholars program aims to honor men and women who demonstrate potential to make a difference in the world.
College-bound seniors in Los Angles, New York and Washington, D.C. are nominated for the program and complete an application and interview before being selected. Milken Scholars are chosen based on their academic performance, community service, leadership and perseverance in face of challenges.
“In the nearly three decades since Lori and I cofounded the Milken Scholars program, these leaders of tomorrow have consistently inspired us by their achievements, leadership and dedication to service,” Milken Institute Chairman Mike Milken said in a statement. “This year’s class of outstanding Los Angeles Scholars is no exception.”
An AP Scholar with honors, Campos Franco earned entrepreneurship awards at the Future Business Leaders of America Gold Coast Section Leadership Conference during his time at West Ranch.
He was also a member of the National Honor Society, the California Scholarship Federation and the Key Club, and was chairman of outreach for his high school’s Coding Club where he partnered with the Santa Clarita Valley Boys and Girls Club.
Campos Franco also found time to volunteer with the American Cancer Society, Share Your Blessings, the Michael Hoefflin Foundation and West Ranch’s Wildcats Against Cancer.
“Currently I’m volunteering at the Children’s Hospital from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.” Campos Franco said. “It’s awesome getting to volunteer and getting a feel for the hospital setting.”
This fall, Campos Franco will attend the University of Southern California (USC) to study human biology. Following his graduation, he plans to attend medical school to become a neurosurgeon.
Jorge Campos Franco said the Milken Scholars program will be most beneficial to him as he navigates college courses and medical school applications.
“My mentor is named Joy and she will be my schoolyear mentor and she attended USC and finished her undergraduate and this year she went there for grad school and got her master’s in global medicine,” he said. “The mentors are really awesome and provide a lot of support and a lot of advice.”
The program will also help him land internships at hospitals and job shadow opportunities with doctors.
“As a medical student with hospitals, there are a lot of privacy issues that go along with shadowing,” Campos Franco said. “With the connections that Milken Scholars has, it will be easier to get access to doctors and hospitals because they already have an internship and shadowing program sorted out for us.”
In the future, Campos Franco is looking forward to building connections through Milken Scholars and becoming a mentor himself.
“I can’t wait until next year where I might be assigned to mentor someone,” he said. “I want to give it back and help someone who might be pursuing a career in medicine also so they know what to focus on and what to do.”
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