El Paso, Texas – Texas Tech Health El Paso and The University of Texas at El Paso today announced the second cohort for MedFuture, a joint initiative creating pathways for qualified students to be admitted right out of high school to attend college and medical school in their hometown of El Paso.

Adolpho and Debbie Telles announced at the event a $50,000 gift for the Adolpho R. and Deborah L. Telles Family Scholarship, which will be matched by the KPMG Foundation to double its impact to $100,000. As a retired partner of accounting firm KPMG, Adolpho Telles benefits from the foundation's matching gift program.

The Telles Family scholarships will be awarded both to current medical students and MedFuture students during their time at the Foster School of Medicine, continuing the mission to grow our own future health care leaders.

The MedFuture partnership annually recognizes five accomplished high school seniors who have an interest in science and medicine — and a strong commitment to serve our Borderplex region upon graduating. Selected students are admitted to UTEP, and as program participants, receive conditional acceptance to Texas Tech Health El Paso’s Foster School of Medicine upon completion of their undergraduate degree at UTEP.

"We're thrilled to continue our partnership with UTEP as we welcome our new, second cohort,” said Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A., president of Texas Tech Health El Paso and dean of the Foster School of Medicine. “This initiative provides an educational pathway for talented and highly competitive local students aspiring to attend medical school and serve patients in their hometown. MedFuture will help us address the physician shortage in our Borderplex while tackling the health care challenges faced by our residents."

“Our first group of MedFuture students is well on their way towards earning a degree and I’m proud to be welcoming our second group,” said Heather Wilson, Ph.D., president of UTEP. “With the rigorous education and research opportunities available to them at UTEP and the great experience they’ll get at the Foster School of Medicine, I know they will become unstoppable doctors changing health care in our community.”

Meet Our Second MedFuture Cohort

A joint committee of faculty and staff from UTEP and Texas Tech Health El Paso selected the five highly qualified students for admission to both UTEP and the Foster School of Medicine. They are:• Lonzo Shelley, Pebble Hills High School• Rayce Shamaley Korz, El Paso High School• Grethel Olvera, Harmony Science Academy• Gerardo Garcia, Santa Teresa High School• Crystal Armenta, Clint Early College Academy

Korz said he knows underserved communities experience more negative health outcomes, and that fuels his desire to become a doctor.

“As a doctor, I know there will be members of my community counting on my dedication, and because of that, I'll be a vocal leader and use my knowledge to help them,” Korz said.

While completing their baccalaureate degrees at UTEP, MedFuture students receive strong, foundational pre-med support and enroll in the UTEP PREP summer program to set a solid foundation for their college career.

The concept of MedFuture evolved from existing student pathway programs at the Foster School of Medicine, including Medventure for Your Future, focused on an exploration of health care careers for middle school students; MedCamp, a summer program for high school students; and the Texas Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP).

MedFuture is also supported by a grant from the Electric Company Charitable Foundation, which had members present Friday. Last year, the ECCF’s grant supported these students with MCAT prep, mentorship and science and math study courses. These initiatives, along with MedFuture and student scholarships, have been funded by the ECCF again this year.

The foundation believes growing our own health care heroes benefits from an early start, so it supports Texas Tech Health El Paso’s summer medical camps for high schoolers and the MedVenture program for middle school students. These popular programs are designed to spark the curiosity of youngsters and inspire them to pursue health care careers.

The MedFuture initiative is the first of its kind in West Texas, with collaboration from two independent universities on one path to a medical education. Its groundbreaking programming will not only cultivate a deeper interest and understanding of the field, but has the potential to change the life trajectories of local students and their families as they embark on a path to high-income careers in medicine here in our Borderplex.

Adolpho and Debbie Telles: Champions of Community and Education

Adolpho and Debbie Telles are long-time El Paso residents and passionate community advocates with a storied history of giving back to our Borderplex. Their commitment to supporting education and community development has made a significant impact on countless lives.

Understanding the transformative power of education, the Telles family has established several scholarship funds in our region, including one for accounting majors.

“Education has made a tremendous difference in our lives, and we want to help others achieve their dreams,” Adolpho shared. These scholarships have provided critical support to students, enabling them to pursue higher education and achieve their career goals. Adolpho credits his education with helping him succeed during his decades-long career at accounting firm KPMG.

“It's crucial to have goals and dreams, and knowing there's a way to attain them is important. Scholarships help fill the financial gaps for students,” he said.

Both Adolpho and Debbie are proud to support the dreams of these future students, because one day they’ll help ensure the health of our community.

“Health care is critical. We need it,” Adolpho said. “We need to help people have a meaningful, successful life, and health care is part of that.”

Debbie echoed this sentiment, noting the importance of exposing students to real-world health care challenges.

“We have a huge community with a lot of needs. Disease doesn't respect borders, and these students are exposed to that,” she said. “They’re getting an experience here they can't get at any other medical program.”

While the fruits of the MedFuture program are still a few years away, the Telles family and our Borderplex can look at Promise Bood, M.D., goddaughter of Adolpho and a resident in Texas Tech Health El Paso’s OB/GYN department. Dr. Bood, a native of Alamogordo, New Mexico, participated in a program similar to MedFuture at the University of New Mexico and its medical school.

“I was fortunate to be a part of that program because it offered support and guidance in terms of counseling and letting us know what the expectations were, what kind of classes we needed to take,” Dr. Bood said.

Dr. Bood also had words of encouragement for the MedFuture cohorts.

“You've already gone through the process, and congratulations for being accepted into this amazing program,” she said. “That was step No. 1, and step No. 2 is continuing your commitment to pursue not only knowledge in terms of science, but also your understanding of cultural competencies, understanding health discrepancies and barriers your community faces, and thinking about what you can do to address these discrepancies and improve your community.”

About Texas Tech Health El Paso

Texas Tech Health El Paso is the only health sciences center on the U.S.-Mexico border and serves 108 counties in West Texas that have been historically underserved. It’s a designated Title V Hispanic-Serving Institution, preparing the next generation of health care heroes, 48% of whom identify as Hispanic and are often first-generation students.

Established as an independent university in 2013, Texas Tech Health El Paso is a proudly diverse and uniquely innovative destination for education and research.

With a mission of eliminating health care barriers and creating life-changing educational opportunities for Borderplex residents, Texas Tech Health El Paso has graduated over 2,400 doctors, nurses and researchers over the past decade, and will add dentists to its alumni beginning in 2025. For more information, visit ttuhscepimpact.org.

About The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso is America’s leading Hispanic-serving university. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 84% of its 24,000 students are Hispanic, and half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 171 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top-tier research university in America.