Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I graduated from San Francisco State University in 2019 with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Health Education. During undergrad, I interned for a genetic counselor, worked as an undergraduate researcher at UCSF studying endometriosis, an assistant director of a woman’s center, a sexual health educator on campus, and interned for NuRx which is a mobile health platform that provides delivery services for birth control and/or PrEP medication.
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 have always been fascinated by ethics, patient advocacy, and narrative medicine. I was lucky to have someone who told me about genetic counseling my freshman year of college, fueling a passion to be a part of the conversation to ensure we are making the right ethical choices within the field of genetics. My greatest aspiration is to provide autonomy and dignity to those historically denied the most innate, human choices by providing safe inclusive testing to vulnerable populations. Genetic counseling promotes bodily autonomy by providing more choices for people to understand their body, familial health, and family building that is the best for them and their lifestyle. Genetic counseling is where I belong.
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?
Being biracial and a woman in STEM, I struggled finding my sense of belonging. Most people in undergraduate Biology majors aim to pursue either medical school or a PhD in research, and I fit into neither of those two. I questioned whether I belonged in science and I constantly faced imposters syndrome, but with great mentorship, I discovered confidence and acceptance within myself.
Once you decided to pursue a Genetic Counseling degree, how did you know that KGI was the right school for you?
The most important part in selecting my top choice program was finding an approachable faculty that aligned with my goals to promote diversity and inclusivity within the field. KGI was supportive and immediately welcoming. I didn’t feel as though I was sitting in a stressful interview, but rather enjoying a great conversation. I already felt part of the KGI family and didn’t want the interview to be over!
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies at KGI?
I am most looking forward to learning and absorbing as much knowledge as I can from my diverse classmates! I know I have so much to learn and I can’t wait to find out more about myself throughout this process.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
Most summers, I travel with my grandma to a different country. She is getting older but loves traveling! We make a funny duo. Most recently, I saved up money to go backpacking throughout Southeast Asia after I graduated undergrad and now have been to 14 countries by the age of 22. My favorite place I’ve been to was Indonesia.