Students from the Stony Brook University School of Nursing and School of Health Professions recently met with the William Floyd High School Medical Club to discuss experiences pursuing careers in healthcare as a first-generation college student.
Nicole Kaloudis, a first-year physician assistant student, along with Kaitlyn Abramski, Stephanie Cano and Janet Mohsen, all seniors in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, spoke to 25 students at William Floyd on February 13.
The University and Hospital Community Relations Office at Stony Brook worked with science teacher and Medical Club advisor Terri Randall, an SBU Master of Arts in Teaching alumna, to plan the panel. The William Floyd High School Medical Club provides support and mentoring for students interested in healthcare professions.
The four Stony Brook students discussed their experiences as first-generation college students. Mohsen recounted how she had limited information in high school because her parents hadn’t gone to college.
“I struggled a lot in high school personally because I didn’t have the resources other students had,” she said. “My parents didn’t know anything about college. I didn’t know what the SAT was until like two months before I took it.”
Mohsen reassured students from similar backgrounds that it was possible to be successful.
“I graduated with just one AP class and I was able to get to this point,” she said. “You will make it.”
The students also offered advice and discussed the importance of exploring different STEM subjects in high school and keeping an open mind about their future goals.
“I kind of had a one-track mind that I would go to medical school,” Kaloudis said. “But then, when I got to college, I realized there were so many different professions that I could go into, and I ended up veering from the path I was on.”
All the panelists agreed it was important for high school students to get experience beyond the classroom.
“Being exposed in any way possible to a clinical environment [is important],” Mohsen said. “I volunteered with an ambulance corp and I would ride in the ambulance. I volunteered in a hospital. Just being in the environment showed that I could handle it.”
Throughout the year, the University and Hospital Community Relations Office coordinates on- and off-campus programming for students, educators and community groups. For more information, email Community Relations Representative Erika Karp at email@example.com.
— Erika Karp