November 2008
Introductory Issue
Welcome to Pathways!
HCC officers
Our goal is to serve as a resource for you as you navigate the pathway through school and, ultimately, to a health career. Each month, you'll receive career and college planning tips, advice and resources to help you make your health career dreams a reality.

Motivational Minute
You Are What You Believe

By Joe Love

The most important quality you can ever develop is having belief in yourself. The belief that you can, without a shadow of a doubt achieve success in every area of your life.

Virtually every person has the capacity to do wonderful things with his or her life. But the greatest single obstacle for most people is self-doubt. Many people wish they could accomplish certain things but lack the belief that they can actually do it.

The Universal Law of Belief says that whatever we believe, with feeling, becomes our reality. We don't believe what we see; instead, we see what we believe.

The most common and also the most harmful beliefs are the ones that are self-limiting. You might believe that you can't achieve something because you don't have enough money or education, or because you are the wrong sex, race, or age. Most of these beliefs are not true, but they will hold you back nonetheless.

You have no limitations on your potential except for those that you believe you have. Successful people have the unwavering belief that they can accomplish anything that they really want in life.

From this day forward, see yourself as the very best you can be, and refuse to accept any limitations on your possibilities. Once you develop that belief in yourself, and you act in accordance with your beliefs, your future will be unlimited.

Source: Goal Setting Guide
In This Issue
Motivational Minute
Health Careers 101
Ask Mrs. Rivera
Join our Mailing List!
From the Director
HCC officersWe are excited to provide this e-newsletter as a resource for students as well as to those individuals assisting them with their career preparation. There can never be too many people helping them navigate the path to a successful future.  Each month, we hope to provide  valuable information and resources, and we encourage students to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

Patrena N. Benton, Ph.D.
The North Carolina Health Careers Access Program (NC-HCAP) is located at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Established in 1971 by Dr. Cecil G. Sheps, we work to increase the number of underrepresented minorities or economically and/or educationally disadvantaged students who are educated, trained and employed in the health professions.

For more than 35 years, we have provided thousands of students with a variety of programs and activities to raise their awareness of opportunities available within the health professions and to increase their competitiveness as a health professional school applicant.

We're always here to assist you. Simply contact us at:

(919) 966-2264
[email protected]
 Health Careers 101
HCC officersFascinated by C.S.I.?
Have you been hooked by crime scene investigation shows on TV? Do you love watching detectives in Miami, NYC and Las Vegas solve bizarre crimes using the science of forensics? If so, then a career in forensic science might be for you.

Forensic Science
Forensic scientists investigate crime, fire, accident and explosion scenes, looking for evidence to explain what happened. They may analyze DNA, hair, fingerprints, bullets, insects, dental records, and chemicals to solve a crime.

Salary: $70,000 or more
Education: You will need a master's or doctorate degree in your area of specialization.
Related Careers: Forensic dentistry, forensic pathologist, forensic science technician, forensic photographer, forensic computing and computer security, hospital scientist, research scientist, police officer, analytical chemist, forensic archaeologist
Hot Link: American Academy of Forensic Sciences

Source: NC-HCAP Health Careers Information & Enrichment Workshop manual
JENNIFER THREATT: Once aspiring attorney now on track toward medical career

Jennifer Threatt is a communication studies major who grew up wanting to be a lawyer. Somehow, the Charlotte native is now completing medical school applications.

She never seriously considered a medical career until her junior year in high school when she participated in a program offered by the Charlotte Area Health Education Center (AHEC) which inspired her to pursue an internship with a local pediatrician, and ultimately, changed her career aspirations.

Once at UNC, Threatt followed up on her interest in medicine and participated in NC-HCAP's Science Enrichment Preparation (SEP) Program, which she says gave her the confidence to tackle her medical ambitions.

"If I had not paricipated in SEP, I might not be on the [pre-med] track," said Threatt. "I am advocating that program as much as possible."

Looking back on her college experiences, Threatt has great advice for students considering a health career. She cautions that majoring in chemistry or biology is not the only way to get to medical school, and that students need to find a major they truly enjoy. She also suggests taking advantage of all resources available to students.
Question of the Month
Do you have a college or career planning question you'd like to ask? If so, email Mrs. Rivera at [email protected] Each month, at least one question will be answered right here in Pathways.

Question: I want to be an anesthesiologist. What do colleges look at most? What one thing do they pay attention to when we apply?
Senior, Winston-Salem, NC


Because colleges are multidimensional, they tend to want students who are, too. Although each university has its own specific admissions requirements, there are some general criteria they all want students to meet.

1. Academic achievement: Take the most challenging course work that you can handle and obtain the highest GPA possible.
2. SAT/ACT scores: Prepare early, taking advantage of any test-prep courses offered at your school, and allow time to retake the test, if necessary.
3. Letter(s) of recommendation: Request letters early from teachers and guidance counselors that give evidence of integrity, special skill, and positive character traits.
4. Personal statement/essay: Make sure your essay is thoughtful and personal, providing insight into your unique personality, values, and goals. It should demonstrate careful and well-constructed writing.
5. Extracurricular activities/community service: It's good to participate in extracurricular activities, but be selective and don't overcommit. Join groups that will provide leadership experience and volunteer with community organizations that will expose you to health careers and demonstrate concern for other people.
6. Anything special that makes the student stand out from the rest of the applicants!
Include honors, awards, evidence of unusual talent or experience, or anything else that makes you unique. Overall, colleges are seeking students who will be active contributing members of the student body.

For specific admissions criteria, visit the Web site of your college of choice.

Enrichment Programs
For information about additional health professions enrichment programs, activities, and summer camps in your local area, contact the NC Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) in your area.

Financial Aid
For information to help you plan, apply, and pay for college, contact The College Foundation of North Carolina.

Health Careers
Explore a wide variety of health careers at or

North Carolina Colleges and Universities
Learn more about North Carolina's 16 public universities, visit the UNC system Web site
  Meet Mrs. Rivera
As the pre-college coordinator, Mrs. Koyah Rivera is responsible for planning, developing and implementing pre-college outreach initiatives across North Carolina.

Before joining NC-HCAP, Ms. Rivera was employed as a college admissions counselor at Shaw University in Raleigh. She has served as a Language Arts teacher for Wake County Public Schools and TV news producer/writer at two NBC TV stations. She is also the founder/executive director/TV host of Beyond Gifted, Inc., a non-profit organization which produces the "Beyond Gifted" television program to assist K-12 students in developing post-secondary plans to reach school and life success. She received dual B.A. degrees in communications and English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.