Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?

I received my undergraduate degree from Kansas Wesleyan University, majoring in Biomedical Chemistry and minoring in Psychology. I graduated in May of 2022 and went straight into graduate school at KGI in the Fall of 2022.

What first got you interested in the healthcare field as a career choice? There are a lot of career options in the field -nursing, physician assistant, etc., what made you decide that genetic counseling was the right practice area/career choice for you?

I always knew I wanted to go into healthcare from a young age, and as I got older, I explored so many different fields. However, I didn’t feel like any of those career options were a good fit for me. I was introduced to genetic counseling after a family member met with one, and I knew this career was perfect for me. I love this field because we get the best of both worlds: we get to learn all about genetics and then apply it to patient facing interactions. One of my favorite parts about genetic counseling is that we also become educators to our patients, in addition to counselors.

What type of obstacles have you had to overcome on the road to getting your education and in particular in pursuing your Genetic Counseling degree?

One obstacle in particular that I have faced in pursuit of my education is financial. I come from a low middle-class background, so to pay for my education, I applied to many scholarships and student loans. In college, I worked, in addition to being a full-time student-athlete, so I could pay for housing and other incidental expenses. For graduate school preparation, applications are certainly expensive, so taking that on was also difficult during college. I continue to work part-time in graduate school to assist with the financial burden. Overall, it definitely has been a wild ride trying to maneuver the financial aspect of education, but I am so grateful that it has worked out for me, as I know that this is such a privilege and the majority of individuals do
not receive it.

What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?

I am most excited about the relationships I get to build during my studies and in the genetic counseling field in general. Another one of my favorite aspects of genetic counseling is how close it can bring individuals. I am one of twenty in my cohort, and we are already all so close to one another. Having that support means so much when going through such a rigorous program. Furthermore, the relationships we build with our professors also make it easy to be successful in this program because we know that we have faculty in our corner. Lastly, I am
excited to engage in clinical rotations during our second year because we get to build relationships with patients, something that attracted me to this field, to begin with.

What is one fun and interesting fact about you?

One fun fact about me is that I played soccer for 13 years of my life, and I played at the collegiate level for 2 of those years.