We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Padilla and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elizabeth, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
The USC Primary Care Physician Assistant Pipeline Program is helping the community by providing Latinx, Black/African, indigenous, LGBTQ+ first generation students and those educationally and economically disadvantaged by providing services and resources to support their educational development and personal career paths. Exposing participants to an array of health careers.

The program was established in 2014 under the guidance of Maria G. Maldonado, MPAP, PAC-C, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, USC PA Pipeline Recruitment Director, and National Health Service Corps. Mentor. Currently the program creates social impact by guiding youth who want to pursue healthcare where it is pre-dominantly white/caucasian. Pipeline has 4 branches, College Readiness Workshop/Leadership & Academic Development, K-16, Workforce Prep, and Family Engagement. Each branch’s curriculum is built intentionally to cover the social determinants of health. This in hand is creating representation within our healthcare system for all backgrounds. Currently, the program has expanded their mentorship program to partner healthcare professional with the participants, an internship option where students are immersed in a healthcare setting, and an alumni network that will continue to support each other throughout their journey.

Our program creates and opens doors that would have otherwise not been opened. Allowing youth to be guided to success.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My career has definitely been unexpected. I started my career working for a non-profit part time in college as a lifeguard. I got where I am professionally today since I always have the mentality to never say no to an opportunity. Through out my career there have been individuals that have discriminated against me, and didn’t see the potential I have. Mentioning that I am too young for a certain role, have too much of a bubbly/happy personality & should be more ‘serious,’ that going to school while working full time would potentially impact my work performance, or that I am one foot out the door due to trying to pursue higher education thus I should find another job though my male counterparts had the opportunity to go to school full-time. These microaggressions and corporate bias didn’t deteriorate me from continuing to focus on the main purpose of why I got into community work, to create change in marginalized communities.

Through these experiences, I have learned to always stay true to yourself and not compromise your values & purpose. There is always another opportunity and environment that will match and understand your value. If you are unhappy or something stops giving you purpose, it is ok to leave that situation. I live my life now by only giving energy to positive people, jobs that fill my cup, and situations that focus in creating systemic change.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One week in Los Angeles:

Monday: Little Tokyo/Arst District

For Monday since it is usually a working day I would start at Etiquette Coffee in the Arts District for their Lavender Latte and Chorizo Burrito and head over to Little Tokyo for some lunch. I would definitely try the array of Ramen that is provided on 1st street. Including Daikokuya and Rakkan. Walking around also to appreciate the Japanese culture, and end my day at Wurstkuche.

Tuesday: Koreatown

Korean BBQ is a must while in Koreatown! There is so many options, my favorite is Bulgogi Hut. There is a ton of great bars too, especially at Chapman Market. Escala for some mimosas during brunch.

Wednesday: Boyle Heights

Got to start off my day with some coffee, and i would start at MUGS Coffee with their Horchata Latte, I specifically ask for half the sweetener. After grabbing my coffee i would head over to Mariachi Plaza where they have some great eateries including Un Solo Sol and Yeyas. After a long day ending at Xelas for a drink.

Thursday: South LA & Crenshaw

South LA Cafe is a must when in South LA, also try their coffee cake! For lunch end up at Earl’s Grille for some vegan hotdogs or burgers in the heart of the Crenshaw District.

Friday: Palos Verde

To end the week we will go for a run/hike at Palos Verdes to see the sunset and drive to Redondo Beach Pier to unwind and relax near the beach.

Website: https://keck.usc.edu/physician-assistant-program/usc-pa-pipeline

Instagram: padillaeli

Linkedin: Elizabeth Padilla

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