Aspiring Minority Doctors
Aspiring Minority Doctors is a student-run volunteer organization that develops high school students from economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented backgrounds in medicine, and students who will serve in underserved communities from Ventura County to become health care professionals. Using the chapter system for the organization, four chapters will be created at high schools in Ventura County with a minimum of 20 members in each chapter for the first year. Aspiring Minority Doctors provides inspiration, information, and community resources through health care professional panels, presentations and group discussions involving students who aspire to be a physician with physicians, nurses and other health care leaders to explore different health care professions and be on track for medical school. Moreover, Aspiring Minority Doctors is about connecting the medical community and resources to the students of Ventura County.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Brazil Sullivan was born in Riverside, CA and raised in Oxnard, CA. He is currently a senior at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard. At Santa Clara, Brazil has maintained a 4.45 Grade Point Average. For the past two years, he has been a part of the Associated Student Body government at his school. As vice-president during his senior year, he oversees a number of campus events including dances and rallies. As a 17 year old, Brazil has been a leader for change by volunteering his time at FOOD Share, Ventura County’s largest food bank, to tackle hunger in his community. Having been a recipient of FOOD Share’s programs and the local food pantries, Brazil understands firsthand of what it means to be food insecure. Being in and out of homelessness growing up and throughout high school, Brazil sparked a passion for helping build housing for low-income families when he started volunteering with the organization Habitat for Humanity. As co-founder and vice-president of the Habitat for Humanity Club at Santa Clara, he has empowered other students from all economic backgrounds to participate in the projects as a team to bond with each other and give back to their community. In addition to volunteering at FOOD Share and Habitat for Humanity, Brazil is a volunteer at St. John’s Regional Medical Center. While volunteering at St. John’s, Brazil has gained experience in the hospital by interacting with patients and the medical staff, and learning what it takes to be a doctor. This past July, Brazil received the ABC7 “Cool Kid” award for inspirational story and his fight against hunger at FOOD Share.
Mercedes A. Ruiz
Co-Founder and Assistant Director
Mercedes was born and raised in Oxnard, CA. She is currently a junior at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard. Taking multiple Advanced Placement and Honors classes, she has been extremely focused on her studies maintaining a 4.3 Grade Point Average while holding leadership positions in numerous extracurricular activities. For the past two years, she has been a part of the Associated Student Body government. She serves as secretary tasked with providing clerical and secretarial assistance to ensure the proper services are provided in a proficient and productive manner by creating schedules, scripts, and aiding in overseeing school events. She is also a Varsity member of Santa Clara’s Academic Decathlon team, a competition she is fiercely passionate about and has been a part of since middle school. She now volunteers as a coach for the Junior High Academic Decathlon at her former middle school. The reason why she returns to her former school is to put an emphasis on getting an education and inspire the younger generation which is an important principle to her. She is also a member of Santa Clara’s Student Ambassadors, a club that promotes her school through interaction with prospective students and parents at the area middle schools. Student Ambassadors has allowed Mercedes to develop her communication skills, prosper as an individual leader and as a member of a team, and recall a vast variation of information at an instant. Furthermore, Mercedes is the co-founder and president for the Habitat for Humanity Club at Santa Clara which helps build homes for low-income families within her community. Outside of school, Mercedes is tackling hunger which is a major issue in her community. At 16 years old, she volunteers at FOOD Share, Ventura County’s largest food bank, to aid those who are food insecure within the county.