At the crossroads of physical and mental health, the Todu Guam Foundation presents a holistic approach to serving Guam’s children in its CARES Health Internship Program. In this blend of medicine and administration, selected high school interns are exposed to the workings of different fields, ranging from medical and social work to business and marketing, which may aid them in defining their futures. The interns experience the behind-the-scenes preparations for the foundation’s medical outreaches. They learn the bulk of the mundane yet essential tasks in the office. Under the CARES program, the interns go to schools and assist coordinators in teaching students social and emotional learning tools that can help them cope with their mental health struggles, soaking in some of the lessons themselves. Since this generation has been speaking out about their mental health issues, the CARES movement is a response to this demand, offering presentations on ways and mechanisms to cope. With the interns by the foundation’s every stride, they are at the forefront of the CARES movement, becoming the kind face that students feel safe to approach. This represents an underlying reciprocity with the youth of the foundation serving the youth of Guam.
Targeting the internship at high school students, the program intended for the demographic they serve to also be a part of their mission. The foundation takes into account the interns’ desired careers in order to create fruitful connections and opportunities. It trains the interns in any and all aspects to form the backbone of the world’s future workforce. In turn, the interns absorb skills and aptitudes in the medicine, mental care, social work under the considerate and watchful eyes of the clinical director, Dr. Delores Lee. In short, the program works in the present to prepare for a kinder future.