By Eugene Buenaventura. Published Thursday, March 28th, 2013

For the past week, Alexa Celerian and a group of students from the University of Washington have spent their spring break at the Community Health of Central Washington, shadowing doctors.

Celerian is a native of Yakima, and a 2009 Davis High School graduate.

She says her choice to pursue a career in healthcare stemmed from her mother, who’s a doctor, and growing up with the people in the Yakima Valley.

“A lot of them are not very aware of some of the resources they have in the community,” said Celerian, “That really got me interested in learning more about what’s available so that I can share it with them.”

The program is a week-long mini-internship held every Spring.

About six students are selected from a pool of applicants — they then spend their spring break in Yakima.

The clinic says it’s offered the program here for the past ten years.

One of their main reasons for starting it was to help expose students, especially those from larger communities, to the way healthcare works in smaller towns like Yakima.

“Our smaller areas tend to be really medically underserved, and so it’s kind of a pipeline if you will of recruiting people who get this initial glimpse,” said Assistant Program Director April Yates Hardy.

“It’s funny because all the patients know all the doctors, the doctors can actually remember their patients,” said UW student, Linda Yang, “I’m not even sure who my doctor is back home. ”

Alexa Celerian says she hopes to land a permanent job in Yakima, because for her, this town will always be home.

“I really like this community, it’s really tight knit and I think it’s a great place,” said Celerian.

Celerian says she will be attending Pacific Northwest University in Yakima for medical school this August.