I wanted to go into health care but I didn’t have any connections; I didn’t know how to reach my goals....
The Pathways programs made a huge difference for me.

Bryant Phan

Graduate Student in Public Health

As a first-generation college student, navigating the education system on my own would have been difficult. I wanted to go into health care but I didn’t have any connections; I didn’t know how to reach my goals.

When I was about 12 years old, I went to the hospital to translate for my grandmother, who didn’t speak English. She had a lot of pain but the physicians just wrote it off. I decided that I needed to be that person for my community – someone who understands, who pays attention.

The Pathways programs made a huge difference for me. In middle school, I had a HEAL internship and got to shadow doctors. In high school, I was in CHAMPS at Children’s Hospital. I learned lab techniques that most of my peers learn about much later. I observed surgeries with the anesthesiology department. It was amazing.

These kinds of programs and mentors dedicated to underserved community members are really important. They can help you find your way through the system, help you find out what you’re passionate about.

I’m currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health at Columbia University, and I’d like to become a health care administrator.