San Diego Business Journal North County young people are benefiting from a partnership between Tri-City Medical Center and the North San Diego NAACP. 

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Aaron Byzak, Chief External Affairs Officer, Tri-City Medical Center

By offering mentorship and a listening ear, the partners hope to send participants in the direction of their dreams, and help them realize their potential.
In addition to financial support, Tri-City leaders contribute their knowledge and insights, helping ambitious youth set goals, understand the path to success and create opportunities to begin advancing their futures.
Each session of the Youth Leadership Council program connects 20 students with regional business and community leaders, who serve as mentors. They help Youth Leadership Council members identify career opportunities and focus their efforts as they work toward personal ambitions. The leaders share insights and lessons they’ve learned throughout their careers so that students have a better understanding of the path ahead and are prepared for potential challenges.

Careers Are One Focus
As part of Tri-City Medical Center’s support of the North San Diego NAACP Youth Leadership Council, hospital leaders provide in-kind support that includes facilitating the “Strategic Career Planning: A 10-Step Guide to Realizing Your Potential” career planning program. This helps students between the ages of 14 and 19 understand what it takes to achieve life goals and how they can take advantage of available resources to set themselves up for success.
The program, designed and facilitated by Aaron Byzak, chief external affairs officer for Tri-City Medical Center, is designed to help students who want to excel and take control of their futures by augmenting their academic studies with professional, educational and personal goals, as well as developing a mentoring plan for individual and professional development. Each step in the program is focused on a specific skill set, from setting their vision, mission and values to creating opportunities that align with their passions.
Byzak, a healthcare executive who has led numerous policy reform efforts, also facilitates an advocacy training class for the Youth Leadership Council members to prepare them for leading change in their communities.

It’s More Than Good Grades
“I begin each session by asking students, ‘Do you want to be a victim or a victor?’” said Debbie Matthews, youth council adviser and member of the executive board of the North San Diego County NAACP. “A lot of students have never been in a setting to analyze themselves in this way. What we want to do is show them that there is so much more to achieving their dreams than just getting good grades in school. We are so appreciative of our partnership with Tri-City Medical Center in helping our Youth Leadership Council members create a vision and plan for achieving their goals and positively impacting their community.”
Tri-City Medical Center’s support of the program is part of its Community Outreach and Support Through Active Leadership (COASTAL) Commitment initiative, which is a wide-ranging outreach initiative with nearly 60 partner organizations that formalizes the medical center and its staff’s support and leadership in community improvement programs.

Cultivating Leaders
“This program is about growing future community leaders who are going to shape our region over the coming decades,” said Steve Dietlin, CEO of Tri-City Medical Center. “At Tri-City Medical Center, we’re committed to actively engaging with youth from our community because we know that helping them achieve their dreams will advance the health and well-being of our community as a whole. By building relationships and guiding students on what it takes to be successful, we’re paying forward all we’ve learned throughout our 60 years of serving this community. We’re proud to be partnering with the North San Diego NAACP and hope to inspire other organizations to do the same.”
Tri-City also provides financial support for the Youth Leadership Council’s operations and donated custom-made shirts and jackets to participants.
The San Diego NAACP Youth Leadership Council was founded in April 2012 along with the San Diego State University NAACP College Chapter. The Youth Leadership Council is comprised of youth and young adults between the ages of 14 and 24 who want to make a positive impact in their community.
Tri-City Medical Center is a full-service acute care hospital in Oceanside with three primary care clinics and over 500 physicians practicing in 60 specialties. This summer, Tri-City Medical Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary.