Mi Futuro’s Musetta Perezarce creates a prescription for success

“She is my hero, and (to) a lot of people in this county. She fights tirelessly and deserves recognition. She is the face of love,” said a fan who nominated Perezarce for the award but asked to remain anonymous.

Jen Titus, a health and science teacher at Casa Grande High in Petaluma, has taken many students to Mi Futuro symposia and brought health professionals into her classrooms with the organization. She called Perezarce “a firecracker”.

“She has something in mind and she figures out how to do it, no matter how busy she is, and she always is. She always has time to help,” Titus said. step in to help and if not, she knows someone who can.”

Ignite, rekindle the passion

The 42-year-old nurse taps into her vast network of friends, associates and colleagues to organize the annual one-day symposium, which brings together more than 400 students and professionals each year in a fun and informative atmosphere. Perezarce has also committed financial support from county medical facilities, including Kaiser, Sutter Health, St. Joseph Health, Petaluma Health Care District, Sonoma County and Latino Service Providers.

During the pandemic, Mi Futuro events moved online, but the organization is still based at Sonoma State University, where Perezarce earned her nursing degree after completing the SRJC program.

Kaiser pediatrician Dr. James Pyskaty has attended four in-person symposia and mentored a young woman from a low-income family who was a first-generation college student and is now a graduate student on her way to becoming a nurse. practitioner.

Also with Mi Futuro, he had students practice resuscitating a newborn in distress using a dummy, providing some fun and hands-on experience.

“There were a lot of opportunities for comedy in that age group,” he said. “I assisted them and immersed them on the spot without them having skills in complex medical resuscitation. It was about 25% comedy and 75% real medicine.

Perezarce also aims to rekindle the passions of his fellow healthcare workers whose demanding jobs might take them away from the mission-based enthusiasm that inspired them to get into the field. Pyskaty said it’s a testament to his gift for connecting people that Perezarce has brought together so many medical professionals under one mission at a time, a rarity outside of their own workplace.

Making the experience fun is part of the winning formula for keeping students engaged and enthusiastic.

Daisy Cardenas, 27 and working on a master’s degree in counseling psychology, said many students, like her, face a host of barriers to higher education. These may be family demands, insufficient financial resources or a lack of awareness of what is available, the barriers she faced as the daughter of immigrant parents who were unable to access Higher Education.

Through Mi Futuro, she said, “There are so many different organizations or agencies that share resources on scholarships, financial aid, and things that can support these students,” Cardenas said, who sits on the planning committee of Mi Futuro. “It is very rewarding and very important to allow students who may come from underrepresented communities to attend events like Mi Futuro to see that there are healthcare professionals in the community who are like them and share similar experiences. It creates motivation and inspiration.

Personal experience

Perhaps one of the reasons Perezarce is so passionate about her mission is that the challenges so many of her students face are all too familiar.

During her early years, she lived in a crowded house in Monterey with several uncles, a grandmother and two cousins, as well as her sister and mother, who struggled without the support of the girls’ father.

There was open drug and alcohol use in the house. After a traumatic confrontation in which the 8-year-old stood up to a drunk and physically abusive uncle, her mother moved with the girls to a friend’s house in San Jose to get back on her feet. This family was also dysfunctional, adding to the instability and trauma of Perezarce and his sister.

Perezarce’s mother met a new boyfriend at community college where she was studying computer programming. They got married and moved to Santa Rosa with the two daughters and her disabled son. They bought a nice house at Wikiup, but the two adults were often away, going to jobs in the East Bay.

Musetta found himself with little supervision or support. At the same time, she stepped in to help her sister, who became suicidal and, in her early twenties, was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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About Alex S. Crone

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