My mom was an RN. She passed away recently from colon cancer.
She was in hospice for a few days before she passed away, and this was all happening during the pandemic, so it was really difficult. They actually did allow my brother, dad, and me to come in and visit my mom while she was asleep.
For me, the fact that the team was able to acknowledge that we needed to be a part of this was huge. I don’t think I could’ve gotten through this experience without being by her side.
I really want to be able to give that back to someone. I want to be able to communicate with not only patients but their families, because that was a huge thing for me.
I’ve struggled a lot with my mental health, with anxiety and depression. I feel like so much in healthcare is about educating patients — understanding my anxiety and depression, and having my parents educated about it, relieved a lot of the anxiety.
My brother did a HEAL summer internship when he was a junior, so I guess HEAL stood out to me in the way that it encourages diversity and allows you to explore all these different healthcare careers. I really wanted to be able to have that chance to explore my interests.
Now that I have a more clear idea of what I want to do, it’s going to make college and whatever happens afterward seem more tangible. Even the application process, knowing what colleges I want to apply to, and if I want to go into a nursing program, which is my goal right now. HEAL gave me a lot of tools that will help me not only now but also in the future, because I’m able to look at what I want to do and find what it will take to get there.
I feel like my cohort from my internship is kind of like a community. We all support one another. You learn so much not only about healthcare, but about yourself.
It’s a really beautiful experience.