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

I graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

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?

Throughout high school and college, I developed a strong interest in science as I took more and more science courses. Even though I knew I was interested in this healthcare field by the time I entered my fourth year of undergrad, I did not know which career path to take. In order to narrow down which path would be the best fit for me, I began exploring various healthcare careers through volunteering, work experiences, and classes; however, I never felt very drawn to any of them. The search continued until my last quarter of undergrad, which is when I learned about genetic counseling, and something about it stuck with me.

After graduating, I started my role as an educational clinician, teaching students with learning challenges from all different backgrounds. As I worked with my students, I grew passionate about educating others and learned how to advocate for each of their needs. Although I loved watching my students grow in confidence as I worked with them, I still felt something was missing. I knew I wanted to use my science background and began
considering what career options I could pursue. Eventually, I encountered genetic counseling once again and decided to gain a better understanding of this career.

Through informational interviews and shadowing experiences, I discovered that genetic counseling was a unique intersection between my interests in education, advocacy, and genetics. I loved how I, as a genetic counselor, could empower individuals with control of their health information and walk alongside patients, rather than in front of them, through an uncertain journey.

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 the first person in my family to pursue higher education in the US has been a challenging yet rewarding experience for me. In my community, genetic counseling is commonly unheard of, so awareness of the field was another obstacle that I had to overcome. As a genetic counselor, my goal is to raise awareness of genetic counseling within minority communities as a career option and a resource for individuals with genetic conditions.

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

I’m most looking forward to learning about how to best support patients and creating safe spaces for them while they seek answers.

What is one fun and interesting fact about you?

I have two banana trees at home!