BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local nonprofit Garden Pathways is partnering with Adventist Health Bakersfield to implement a new laser tattoo removal program.

The organization said the goal of the program, which launches Tuesday, is to help former gang members, individuals with past negative lifestyles and victims of human trafficking start a new chapter, remove barriers to employment and improved quality of life.

“Many individuals that seek help from Garden Pathways are people who come from a history of gang involvement, incarceration, and other societal barriers,” said Chief Operating Officer Juan Avila. “After completing our comprehensive mentoring programs, they receive a new outlook on life and strive for long-term positive change. Yet, many still face rejection from employment due to the visible tattoos on their face, hands, and neck. With the implementation of our laser tattoo removal program, Garden Pathways hopes to create better job and educational opportunities and transform lives from the inside out by removing regretful and hindering tattoos.”

The laser tattoo removal program is made possible through a 2018 grant from The Bolt of Hope program, which is funded and managed by Bolthouse Properties. The program identifies local organizations who are currently working to improve the lives and futures of families in difficult and underserved parts of Kern County.

Garden Pathways said the tattoo removal program, which utilizes the Astanza Duality laser, was supposed to start in 2020 but got postponed to this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Adventist Health Bakersfield said it is excited to be able to partner with the nonprofit for this program. 

“Our mission at Adventist Health is to live God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness, and hope. This program inspires those having tattoos removed and our dedicated team providing this service,” said Community Partnership Executive Kiyoshi Tomono.