Matriculating Class of 2021

PRIME-US Incoming Class 2021-22


Richard Ballena

Richard BallenaRichard was raised in Lancaster, California by a first-generation Peruvian immigrant family. He comes from a working-class home, and while growing up he witnessed his family and friends face health disparities. Richard chose to pursue medicine as a means to improve community health and earned a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Pomona College. He also took several courses in Chicanx-Latinx Studies, which ultimately shaped his community activist aspirations. While at Pomona, Richard was the director of a hospital organization, Health Bridges, that enrolls uninsured patients in the emergency department with temporary insurance and provides interpreter services hospital-wide. After graduating, he worked at City of Hope Medical Center as a Clinical Research Assistant and had the chance to help Spanish-speaking patients navigate their chemotherapy treatments throughout COVID-19. Richard is excited to meet PRIME-US friends and make positive impacts. In his free time, he loves to eat yummy food, play soccer, and dance.


Kweku Djan

Kweku DjanKweku is a first-generation Ghanaian-American who was born and raised in Sacramento, California. In high school, his participation in an international studies program opened his eyes to the historic and contemporary roots of global health inequities. He then attended Yale University and graduated with a degree in Sociology with a concentration in Society and Health. Through his coursework and volunteer experiences, he grew more passionate about addressing racial and economic disparities in a domestic context. In his sophomore summer, Kweku helped conduct a research project investigating the prevalence of asymptomatic malaria in Kumasi, Ghana. The next summer, he interned at the CDC, where he explored the barriers and facilitators to HIV PrEP uptake among the US Latinx population. After graduation, he worked at the National Institutes of Health conducting clinical research on childhood obesity. He is excited to dive into community health in the Bay Area through the PRIME-US program.


Hannah El-Sabrout

Hannah El-SabroutHannah grew up in San Diego, California and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Human Biology and Society, and a concentration in Medicine and Public Health. Through this major, she began to think critically about the intersections of health and society and became passionate about engaging with under-resourced populations to extend healthcare access throughout the community. As an undergraduate, Hannah also taught CPR and first aid at local health fairs, served on the American Heart Association advocacy subcommittee, mentored at-risk youth, and connected patients with free/low-cost social resources. After graduating, she worked in pediatric clinics to investigate the relationship between physician communication methods and vaccination hesitancy and assisted with federally funded research to better understand the risk factors associated with cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease in refugees. Hannah hopes to continue working alongside underserved populations to address the social determinants of health and is honored to be a part of PRIME-US!


Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall Taylor Hall was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She was a Posse Scholar at Boston University where she majored in Neuroscience. While at BU, she cultivated her desire to become a physician. After graduating in 2019, Taylor joined AmeriCorps and worked at Grady Memorial Hospital, to contribute to initiatives that promoted better health outcomes for under-resourced communities. During the pandemic, Taylor saw that there was an immense need for more grassroots initiatives that aimed to increase access to food/health resources among Atlanta citizens. During this time, she planned COVID-19 testing events and various other outreach events for the Atlanta community. After her AmeriCorps year concluded, she became a Senior Research Interviewer for a COVID-19 prevention network research study while she applied to medical school. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, trying new foods and spending time with family and friends.


Brandon Ho

Brandon Ho Brandon was born in Los Angeles and raised in Northern California. In high school, Brandon coached youth basketball and soccer which sparked his passion for education and mentorship. Brandon graduated from UCLA where he majored in Biology and minored in Biomedical Research. At UCLA, Brandon was able to continue his passion for teaching as a Peer Learning Facilitator for the Academic Advancement Program, providing mentoring and academic support to first-generation students. While volunteering at FQHCs in his community and Los Angeles, Brandon gained a strong understanding of the disparities in the healthcare system and helped implement programs focused on the social determinants of health and preventive care. He is excited to join PRIME-US and work towards determining the sources of health inequities and applying innovative solutions to alleviate them. In his free time, Brandon loves to play basketball, try new recipes, and spend time with family and friends.


Elizabeth Hoang

Elizabeth Hoang Elizabeth is from San Jose, CA, where her parents immigrated during the Vietnam War. At a young age, she witnessed health disparities and knew she wanted to become a doctor. Elizabeth became a Gates Millennium Scholar and the first in her family to graduate from college. At UCLA, she studied Physiological Sciences and Global Health. She was heavily involved in addressing student health issues, working with foster care youth, and cultivating healthy body image in Los Angeles. After graduating, Elizabeth worked for two years as a pediatric scribe and a clinical research intern. She aims to increase the representation of underserved communities in research while practicing culturally competent medicine. Elizabeth enjoys being outdoors, running, and weightlifting. With her yoga instructor certification, she hopes to teach prenatal or therapeutic yoga for chronic pain and various medical conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. She is thrilled to join the PRIME-US family!


Cecilia Hurtado

Cecilia HurtadoCecilia grew up in Ontario, California and graduated from Williams College with a BA in Chemistry and concentration in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. A first-generation college graduate and Mexican-American, she is passionate about mentorship and community-building. At Williams, she coordinated a service-focused orientation program, supported students through the Math and Science Resource Center, and volunteered with anti-racist activist organizations. Since graduating, she conducted research in cancer therapeutics and cardiac imaging modalities. In 2020, she completed the UCSF Postbaccalaureate Program. Since then, she worked with her community’s public health department to support Latinx and immigrant folks through COVID-19 outreach and relief efforts. Having witnessed her community and family’s distrust of the healthcare system, she hopes to partner with and advocate alongside historically underserved patient communities to increase the accessibility of preventive care and novel therapies. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, cooking, and trying new foods with friends.


Yemi Lawrence

Yemi Lawrence Yemi was born in a small village south of Lagos, Nigeria and migrated to the United States when she was 6 years old. She was raised in Sacramento, California and received her baccalaureate in Global Disease Biology from the University of California, Davis. At Davis, she was involved in a student run clinic focused on Black health and providing accessible healthcare services. Her global experiences in Peru and Nigeria also strengthened her desire to provide care in underserved communities and address access to care disparities. Yemi is excited to join the PRIME-US program to continue this goal. Post-graduation, she worked for the California’s State Water Board, in the Office of Information, Management and Analysis Unit. She then transitioned to UC Davis Health as a Junior Specialist researching cellular therapy for Neuroblastoma and developing a registry for QI initiatives. In her free time, Yemi enjoys Ultimate, hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Helene Miles

Helene Miles Helene (pronounced Huh-lay-nuh) was raised in Venice, California where she grew up speaking both English and Norwegian. Inspired by her father’s work as a firefighter, Helene became an ocean lifeguard at Venice Beach after high school. She completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology with a concentration in Global Health and the Environment at Washington University in St. Louis. At Wash University, Helene continued her first-responder work by becoming an EMT and volunteering with her university’s Emergency Support Team. She also pursued microbiology research in a women’s-health infectious disease lab at Washington University medical campus and anthropological research for an international menstrual health project based in Iganga, Uganda. Helene is passionate about black medical history and furthering its exposure. She is committed to working with and learning from the urban underserved communities in San Francisco while concurrently dismantling systemic racism. Helene loves the outdoors and is honored to be joining the PRIME-US family!


Kelvin L. Moore, Jr.

Kelvin L. Moore, Jr. Kelvin has lived many places but considers South Carolina home as it holds generations of familial history. He entered Brown University as a Public Health and Biology major with a particular interest in the humanist and social justice aspects of medicine. While at Brown, Kelvin served as an LGBTQ sexual health advocate and spent much of his time investigating social barriers to HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake in LGBTQ youth. Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, Kelvin moved to San Francisco where his work focused on improving health outcomes in the setting of HIV and reducing PrEP access disparities for queer and trans people of color living in San Francisco. He is particularly interested in mending the gaps in clinical operations and public health initiatives as a means to cultivate care that meets our most vulnerable communities where they currently are. He is an aspiring physician-leader and is excited to continue honing his skills as he learns from his UCSF family and future patients.


Lorenzo Jiyuen Rael

Lorenzo Jiyuen Rael Lorenzo grew up in Oakland, California and graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana(’21). He received a B.S. in Psychology and a Minor in Chemistry. During high school through college, Lorenzo worked as a Youth Developer at his local recreation center in Oakland, where he played the role of instructor, role model, and friend. In fact, his experiences as a Youth Developer motivated him to major in Psychology and his experience instructing inspired him to be a Biochemistry Supplementary Instructor for his college peers. The bulk of his research in college focused on the undertreatment of depression in African Americans, and he remains focused on combating health inequities in the future. Lorenzo is very excited to be a part of PRIME-US, where he can serve the communities in his back yard while learning from others. In his free time Lorenzo enjoys cooking, skiing, and listening to Queen.


Mukund Raguram

Mukund Raguram Mukund grew up in Hagatna, Guam, and Portland, Oregon. He attended UC Berkeley for college, graduating with majors in cell biology and Spanish literature. As a student, Mukund volunteered at drop-in centers and free clinics serving Berkeley’s homeless community and developed a long-standing interest in homeless advocacy. After graduation, Mukund became deeply involved with subsidized housing navigation and its intersection with health for people experiencing chronic homelessness. In 2020, he was a founding member of Berkeley’s first street medicine program, promoting radically accessible primary care, psychiatry, and addiction medicine in Berkeley’s encampments. Mukund is committed to continuing innovation in the service of vulnerable communities and is honored to be a part of PRIME-US. In his free time, Mukund is an avid visual astronomer and deep-sky astrophotographer.


Pablo Suarez

Pablo SuarezPablo was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. From his experience with family separation due to an unjust immigration system, he grew a passion for equity and advocacy centered on immigrant and undocumented communities. He graduated from Yale in 2019 with a degree in Biology. At Yale, he interpreted for HAVEN, a free clinic providing healthcare services to uninsured/undocumented families. He also served as a counselor for STARS research program mentoring underrepresented students in STEM. After graduating, he conducted research on autoimmune neuromuscular diseases, and later received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English in Brazil. Since his early return due to COVID, Pablo has researched health disparities of uterine fibroids in women of color by developing more equitable and inclusive research models. In PRIME-US, he hopes to continue to tackle social disparities with a community-based approach and looks forward to sharing his love for Latinx dancing, languages, sight-seeing, and fitness with his peers.


Jared Yalung

Jared YalungJared is a first-generation Filipino American raised in Newark, CA. His undergraduate studies’ focus on cura personalis, or “care of the whole person,” fueled his passion for social justice while studying nursing at the University of San Francisco. During college, he served at the student-run clinic Mabuhay Health Center (MHC) to uplift the underserved Filipino community of SF. The consequences of health disparities seen at MHC were equally visible in the inpatient setting during his varied nursing experiences, inspiring him to pursue medicine and be better poised to champion the health of vulnerable communities. During his post-baccalaureate program at Scripps College, Jared was awarded a Fulbright research award to the Philippines and worked as a rapid response RN for a COVID-19 isolation unit run by the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After returning home, Jared worked as a public health RN at Stanford to reduce the incidence of COVID-19 within the community. Jared loves to cook, work out, listen to 80s music, and spend time with his maltese, Coco.


Yensy Zetino

Yensy ZetinoYensy was born in El Salvador and raised in the Bay Area and Stockton, CA. Through her experience as an undocumented Latinx and witnessing the challenges faced in low-income immigrant communities, she developed an interest in the intersection of health and social identities. While at UC Berkeley, she volunteered as a community health worker at the Berkeley Free Clinic and gained exposure to the health inequities in low-income individuals and communities of color. Yensy graduated with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Gender and Women’s Studies. After graduating, she became a clinical research coordinator at UCSF, where she was involved in research aimed at understanding the risks of brain injury in babies with congenital heart disease. In 2020, Yensy completed the UCSF’s Post Baccalaureate Program, and, most recently, she joined the care coordinating team at the UCSF Human Rights Clinic. She is passionate about advocacy and health equity, with particular interests in immigrant health, LGBTQ+ health, and mental health. She looks forward to sharing these passions with her PRIME-US familia