Los Angeles volunteer inspires youth
Helping youth develop leadership and wellness traits is a professional passion for Christine J. Oh, Ph.D. That same passion also inspires her role as an American Heart Association volunteer. Dr. Oh is a Project Director/Evaluator in the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and recently represented our Greater Los Angeles division at Leuzinger High School’s “Navigation to College/Field of Passion” event.
She shared her personal experience as a second generation Korean American who helps students build confidence in their ability to succeed. Dr. Oh says, “I tell young people to figure out their personal passion and to not let anything, including hardships, hold them back. Circumstances may be challenging, but we can move forward by developing our own support networks. That’s what I did.”
Dr. Oh is a Los Angeles native who was self-motivated towards higher education from a young age. Through her research, she sums up, “Connecting with peers and mentors help youth mediate and overcome the effects of even coming from an underserved background. With positive mentorship and guidance, I believe that the things that can take you down can ultimately lead you to your destiny – if you follow your passion.” She has done her post-graduate work from the University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Health and from the University of California, Los Angeles in the Graduate School of Education. She earned her Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine.
Her first connection with the AHA was while collecting data on youth tobacco prevention programs and playing a key evaluation role at the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Los Angeles County. Her experiences eventually led her to a membership on the Greater Los Angeles division’s 2020 Task Force. “It is great to give back to the community in this way,” Dr. Oh notes. “The AHA’s focus on empowering youth to make healthy lifestyle choices complements my interest in promoting student leadership through wellness and mental health. I have a passion for the next generation. What I have received, I will continually give back.”