Posted on April 24, 2018 by Jana Schwartz

High school students and their parents gather for orientation to get valuable information on what to expect for the six-week enrichment summer program.

High school students from across San Antonio gathered early this month for the Pathway to Health Professions (PHP) orientation. PHP is a program under the UTSA Policy Studies Center that provides high school students and pre-health profession college students with an education program that will assist them in becoming competitive applicants to health professional schools and programs. The orientation provides valuable information for students participating in PHP and insight into what to expect this summer as they participate in this six-week experience.

"I want to be a dentist," says high school sophomore, Mary Ramirez. “ It's really going to help me understand what it's going to take to achieve my dreams in the dentistry field.”

Students selected to participate in the PHP program were chosen because of their applications, outstanding recommendation letters and their captivating personal statements. Many of the participants selected are first generation students and being selected for this program truly is an incredible leap in the right direction for their future and the hopes of their families.

“My daughter wants to get a headstart in the nursing profession,” says Marco Zapata, father of PHP student. “I know it's hard to get into [nursing] programs, but I believe she can do it! Pathway to Health Professions is really going to help prepare my daughter into becoming who she wants to be.”

PHP's mission is not only to prepare them for a future in the healthcare field, but readies them by offering them standardized test preparation, application tutorials, financial literacy workshops and simulated interviews. Students will collaborate across multiple networks to expand their curiosity around healthcare and demonstrate the identity of a health professional.

“The Pathway program helps students become competitive applicants when they apply health professions schools,” says Natalia Garcia, Senior Program Coordinator of Pathway to Health Professions. “It is truly wonderful to see the students, parents, and UTSA come together in order for our Pathway students to achieve this goal. We are excited to start our third summer academic enrichment program soon!”

PHP also helps students with the financial skills they will need to finance their education, along with credit and debt management. This program helps strengthen their professional portfolio, but more importantly, gets them on a track for long term success.

“The Pathway is not an ordinary summer experience,” says Dr. Miguel Bedolla, Director of Pathway to Health Professions. “This program is actually intended to be a six-year, academic enrichment experience. PHP is designed to help each student mature from a high school student into a competitive applicant for the health professional school or program of their choice by the time they are ready to graduate from college.”

The Pathway to Health Professions summer program will occur June 11 to July 20. To learn more about the Pathway to Health Professions program please visit their website and the Pathway to Health Professions Facebook pages.

— by Brenda Peña, MPA

— Jana Schwartz