Cool Kid Stephen Tadena volunteers at hospital while studying medicine

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Stephen Tadena volunteers long hours at Mission Hospital and plans to attend medical school to become a doctor in order to help others.

This week's Cool Kid has his eyes set on the future and making sure he can help others smile.

Stephen Tadena is a senior at Dana Hills High School in Dana Point. It was there where he got the idea of a career in medicine at the Health and Medical Occupations Academy.

"We take classes. You would be involved in the community. You would just basically learn the basics of what it would be like to be in the medical field," Stephen explained.

To get an even better idea of what it would be like to be in the medical field, Stephen took the next step: becoming a volunteer at Mission Hospital.

Immediately he found a simple way to help those who might be stressed as they arrived at the hospital.

"I guess it was just the first person I ever interacted with there at the hospital. I have a life philosophy that a smile can make the biggest difference," Stephen said.

Stephen puts in long hours as a volunteer and is never looking for payback.

"It's because I just want to. You know, it's not because I'm obligated to, it's not because I'm being made to. I don't even do it to put on my college apps. It's just because I want to do this," Stephen stated.

Stephen said he plans to attend college and eventually hopes to come full circle.

"Then I go on to medical school, then four years of medical school, then my three years of residency. And then I'm hoping to come back to Mission to be a doctor here," Stephen said.

Know an amazing young person making a difference in the community? Learn how to nominate them to be an ABC7 Cool Kid at

Related Topics:
societycool kidsnon-profitvolunteerismstudentsDana PointOrange County
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