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Ripon Leadership Academy at DHM
Leadership  DHM  IMG 7103
Doctors Hospitals Chief Nursing Officer Antonio Tony Garcia and hospital CEO Ike Mmeje opened a business adventure for Ripon students recently in the main conference room launched by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Youth Vocational Leadership Academy was launched recently with Ripon community high school juniors and seniors visiting Doctors Hospital of Manteca where they heard from a number of department heads telling of their duties and their department’s mission in the medical field.

Under the leadership of Ripon Chamber of Chamber President Tamra Spade, the academy sets up an insight into the different industries in the region and the possible networking opportunities available in a particular profession the students may want to pursue as adults. 

“The Youth Program is designed to nurture and develop positive leadership qualities,” Spade said. “It’s about Ripon and San Joaquin County and how young people can become leaders. We want to create successful leaders and this program will give youth the knowledge, tools and contacts to do so.  It’s learning about the different vocational opportunities – it’s work and it’s fun,” she said.

The students were welcomed initially by Chief Nursing Officer Antonio “Tony” Garcia and DHM CEO Ike Mmeje and they then listened to Eddie Gutierrez from the radiology department, CEO Ike Mmeje, Abby Buran of the Medical Lab, Eric Rudel from Physical Therapy followed by lunch and a tour of the hospital by Kelly Carpo of Business Development.

The students involved are from Ripon Christian High School and the California Connections Academy – an online educational school under the direction of Ripon Unified School District.  Students from Ripon High School were not able to get time off from their weekly scheduled classes.

Students taking part in the yearlong program are Logan Van Vuren, Brittany Bloemhof, Trevor McFadden, McKenna Moret, Zack Mensonides and Cara Hoekstra.

Following the Health Care trip to DHM, the students will see a manufacturing plant in November, Public Safety in January, Educational Facility in February, Government in March with a possible daylong bus trip to Sacramento, Agriculture and Environment in April with Project Completion followed by graduation at the end of the school year.  

The students concluded their day at the Almond Blossom Optometry Office of Dr. Taylor Kirk and his staff explaining their procedures to the group.      


To contact Glenn Kahl, email