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Medical Magnet Graduate Carlos Solorzano Jr. Wins David Geffen Medical Scholarship

Congratulations to Carlos Solorzano Jr. ('13), who will attend the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Fall 2018 as a recipient of the David Geffen Medical Scholarship. This prestigious scholarship covers all expenses associated with obtaining a medical degree, including tuition and cost of living. With an estimated value of $70,000 annually (based on in-state tuition), only 33 scholarships are given out annually among the thousands of applicants who apply to attend this top-ranking medical school.

Solorzano's interest in the medical field grew exponentially as a student in JSerra's Medical Magnet Program.

"I remember going up to Providence [Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance] every other Wednesday at 4:30 in the morning together as a class. Dr. Cappelletti wanted to get us exposed to all aspects of medicine — from research in the micro bio lab to the clinical component to the nurses' and doctors' roles," Solorzano explained. "Allowing us to have hands-on experience so early on gave me the insight into my specific fields of interest. In medical school interviews, I would tell them about the Magnet program and the interviewers were always blown away as it's not commonly offered.

At the University of Southern California, where Solorzano's tuition was fully covered by scholarships, Solorzano majored in Human Biology and graduated in May 2017. He decided to take a gap year to focus on the MCAT and medical school applications while working at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he works with a cancer geneticist and enrolls patients in their genetics registry study.

I genuinely appreciate Dr. Cappelletti's influence while I was in high school and her commitment to the Magnet program.

Solorzano looks forward to his future at UCLA — specifically, the Charles Drew Medical Education Program, which is a sub-set of the David Geffen School of Medicine. The program is aimed at serving the most underserved communities of Los Angeles. He is currently interested in studying otolaryngology — a surgical subspecialty that deals with conditions of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck.

"Otolaryngology is very diverse," Solorzano said. "It would be great to have an ENT [ears, nose, throat] clinic in underserved areas."