Class of 2026


Hector Acosta

I was raised in the agricultural community of Kerman, California. I grew up the son of Mexican immigrants from Ixtlan Del Rio, Nayarit. My parents instilled core values such as hard work, selflessness, and kindness in me. Like most of my family, my father works as a field worker to help make the Central Valley the most agriculturally rich region in the nation. At the age of 15, I also began to work in the fields. I witnessed firsthand the health disparities farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley face. Their struggles to receive equitable healthcare inspired me to pursue a career in medicine and become an advocate for them. This propelled me to graduate from Kerman High School in 2017 and graduate from UCLA with a major in Biology in 2021.

Furthermore, the lack of diversity within medicine has motivated me to pursue a role as a mentor to help other underrepresented minorities become physicians. The goal is to have a more diverse physician workforce that better represents our demographics. In the future I hope to return to the Central Valley to be a physician leader, advocate, and mentor for my historically underserved community. Outside of medicine, I enjoy playing sports with friends, watching anime, playing with my dogs, playing video games, and spending time with my loved ones.


Jagjot Dosanjh

Jagjot was raised on a raisin farm near Caruthers, California in a joint immigrant Punjabi household. His interest in medicine grew after first-hand witnessing the inequities of rural living affect his family, which eventually led to the terminal illness of a family member. He later joined the Doctor’s Academy at Sunnyside High School to confirm his interest and learn more about medicine. Jagjot attended college at UCLA and majored in psychobiology. During his gap years, he worked as a behavior technician for children with autism and as a community health worker with the COVID-19 Equity Project. He looks forward to being a medical student in SJV PRIME and joining a group of like-minded peers. Jagjot plans to return to the San Joaquin Valley to practice medicine and help eliminate health inequities. He also plans to mentor students who wish to pursue medical school. His main interests in medicine are orthopedic surgery, cardiology, and psychiatry. Outside of school, Jagjot enjoys playing basketball, hiking, spending time with family, and relaxing with his golden retriever.


Viangkaeo Lee

Viangkaeo Lee was born in the Wat Thamkrabok Hmong refugee camp in Thailand. At the age of seven, she immigrated to Merced, California, with her family as part of the last wave of Hmong refugees to resettle in the United States. For Viangkaeo and her family as Hmong refugees, farm work was the only way to make ends meet. From Merced to Turlock to Los Banos and Fresno, Viangkaeo grew up spending her weekends at various fields, picking strawberries, tomatoes, and figs alongside her parents and siblings.

Growing up in a medically underserved and under-resourced area, Viangkaeo witnessed health and healthcare disparities and inequities at play when she took on the role of caretaker and interpreter for her ailing father, who suffered from end-stage renal disease. The experiences she had motivated her to pursue medicine in order to positively impact underserved communities and those often left behind by our healthcare system.

While attending Merced High School, Viangkaeo founded the first ever pre-medical club on campus to support and encourage students interested in the medical field. Following high school, Viangkaeo attended the University of California, Merced, where she majored in Biological Sciences and dedicated her free time to mentoring high school students, volunteering at the hospital, researching kidney diseases, and helping the local Hmong community. Viangkaeo is excited to be part of SJV PRIME, where she is committed to giving back to and advancing the health of the community that raised her.


Kenneth (Ken) Fox

Kenneth Fox grew up surrounded by orchards on the outskirts of Clovis, California. He attended high school at Clovis High as his father did before him. Working as a waterpark lifeguard throughout high school served as the first catalyst to his interest and ultimate love of medicine. After high school he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. His military experience and travels put into perspective how underserved his home community is, inspiring him to return home and pursue a career in medicine where he could help address those disparities. He attended numerous community colleges before ultimately transferring and graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. When he’s not in school or working Kenneth can be found exploring new places with his wife and dog. He enjoys playing sports, backpacking, and trying new foods.


Neytali Kanwar

Neytali grew up in West Fresno as the daughter of immigrant Truck Driver father and Sales Associate mother. Instilled with values of hard work and perseverance by her parents, she attended Central High School East before becoming first generation Fresno State graduate.

Attaining education locally, Neytali has seen Fresno grow with increasingly diverse population. Unfortunately, the social barriers and disparities have increased proportionally, rendering her hometown with poor access to healthcare. These barriers and her community-based experiences have shaped her path towards medicine. Working at a rural town of Hanford as an Emergency Medicine scribe, she translated for local Punjabi speaking farmers. Using her love for art, she connected with bed bound hospital patients by sending them hand crafted greeting cards. At local hospice, she sold water colored art to visitors to raise donations for individuals with low socioeconomic background.

She is humbled to be part of SJV PRIME that will keep her grounded to her roots. She believes SJV PRIME education will provide her with tools and knowledge to help alleviate these disparities. Neytali is looking forward to train at her hometown as a medical student and foster a long-term relationship with the people she wants to serve as a physician.


Myrka Macedo

Myrka Macedo is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and was raised in Sanger, CA. She attended Edison High School and later went to Fresno State where she double majored in Chemistry and Biology. In her free time, Myrka enjoys spending time with her maltipoo Togepi, binge watching Netflix shows, and weightlifting.

During and after attending Fresno State, Myrka immersed herself in activities that would help her gain a better understanding of the needs of the Central Valley. This included volunteering with free mobile clinics, conducting clinical and public health research, and interpreting for refugees seeking asylum. Most recently Myrka worked as an Emergency Department Technician at Valley Children’s, was a research assistant for the COVID-19 Equity Project, and Internal President for MiMentor. Myrka is looking forward to returning to the Central Valley and completing her education among the community that she was raised in. 


Austin O'Callaghan Langhoff

Austin was born in northern California and frequently visited the Central Valley while growing up. After high school, he moved to attend California State University, Fresno where he majored in Biology and became the first in his family to earn a college degree. His interests outside of medicine include playing basketball, hiking, and exercising. His passion for medicine was reaffirmed during his work as a medical assistant for an interventional cardiologist and an emergency medicine scribe at Community Regional Medical Center. Additionally, he became involved in community outreach events that provided health care to local underserved communities. Through these experiences, he understood the severity of the physician shortage in the San Joaquin Valley and became motivated to give back to the community he has called home for so long.


Alan Pham

Alan was born in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Fresno at the age of 4. As a child of two Vietnam war refugees, he was heavily inspired by his parents’ work ethic and had a deep appreciation for the Fresno community that welcomed them with open arms. This work ethic stayed with him as he attended Clovis North High School to eventually graduate from Fresno State as a President’s Scholar with a degree in Biology.
Alan was first exposed to medicine at a young age when he experienced health issues and underwent surgery at Childrens Hospital Central Valley. His early experiences as a patient left him with a deep appreciation for the compassionate care provided to him by the hospital staff who he regarded as heroes. This passion in medicine was soon reaffirmed throughout college where he worked as a scribe at a cardiology clinic and spent time volunteering at the Cancer Institute at Clovis Community Medical Center. He is extremely excited to be a part of this year's SJV PRIME cohort and hopes to be able to carry these experiences with him throughout his medical journey to one day better serve the valley.


Seshaan Ratnam

Seshaan was raised in Fresno, Ca for the majority of his life after his parents immigrated to the Central Valley from Sri Lanka. He attended Clovis North High School and began his college education at Clovis Community College. He later transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles where he received his bachelor's degree in Psychology.

Growing up, Seshaan witnessed the barriers affecting healthcare that disproportionately affected the Central Valley. From the lack of primary care physicians to the growing opioid crisis, Seshaan knew he wanted to return to the Valley that had done so much for him and his family. He utilized his experience as a yoga/mindfulness instructor, and training in Success Over Addiction and Relapse (S.O.A.R) to work with different community-based organizations in the Central Valley. He was able to provide mental health and addiction resources to marginalized communities lacking access to healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seshaan is excited to be a part of the SJV PRIME Program where he hopes to gain valuable experiences and training from both his community and his fellow peers. He hopes to improve health equity, promote patient advocacy, and destigmatize mental health and substance use disorders within the Central Valley. 


Mina Sarofim

Mina Sarofim was born in Cairo, Egypt and immigrated to the US with his family in 2011. His interest in service and healthcare began with his first job working as a lifeguard in his high school, where he continued to work during summers of his undergraduate education as well. He enjoyed training to be a first responder and the responsibility that came with it. Mina attended UC Merced and graduated with a B.S. in Human Biology in 2021. During his time at UC Merced, Mina learned more about the physician shortage in the area and committed to becoming a physician in the Valley. Seeing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Central Valley while volunteering and scribing in the Emergency Department encouraged Mina to volunteer in several vaccination clinics throughout the region during his gap year. His goal is to become an excellent and compassionate clinician and is excited to be training at UCSF and the SJV PRIME program. Mina's interests outside of school include spending time with family, playing and watching soccer/basketball, swimming, and going to the beach. During the pandemic, he spent much of his free time playing video games to keep up with friends as well.


Maria (Denalene) Tiu

Maria Denalene Tiu was born and raised in Fresno as the daughter of hard-working immigrant parents from the Philippines. She attended University High School and continued her education at UCSD. There, she earned a B.S. in human biology with a minor in psychology. She also did research on the gut microbiome and earned a M.S. in biology. She is passionate about working with children with disabilities and has frequently volunteered in special education classes in both Fresno and San Diego. In her free time, she loves to sing, crochet, and spend time with her loved ones and dogs.

Denalene was first exposed to the health field when she was volunteering in her mother's dental office in Reedley. She saw first-hand the health disparities that exist in the Central Valley, particularly the lack of primary care physicians that were able to refer young patients to dentists. While she was teaching patients how to brush their teeth, she realized the importance of connecting with the community to prevent negative health outcomes. As part of the SJV-PRIME program, she hopes to learn more about the health inequities that exist in the Central Valley to better advocate and care for local patients.


Lillian Vang

Lillian Vang is a first-generation Hmong-American born and raised in Fresno, California. She attended Clovis East High School and later graduated from CSU, Fresno, in 2020 under the Smittcamp Family Honors College with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Child and Family Science and Physical Science. Lillian's interest in STEM first began in high school. However, it was not until she shadowed a Pediatrician in Italy that she was drawn particularly to medicine. Lillian then began working as a medical scribe for the Saint Agnes Emergency Department, where she was first exposed to the health inequities and disparities that plagued the Central Valley. The issues of the physician shortage and the need for more diverse and culturally sensitive care are what initially compelled her to return to the Central Valley. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lillian sought out additional opportunities where she could help alleviate the pressures placed on hospitals and Emergency Departments. As a result, she began working as a medical assistant for the COVID-19 Equity Project with UCSF-Fresno. Here, she began to understand the importance of equitable and accessible healthcare as she saw firsthand its impact on marginalized and disadvantaged communities. These experiences and her cultural identity as a Hmong-American have piqued her passion for medicine. She aspires to not only return to the Central Valley as a physician but as an advocate, leader, and educator.