Megan Eisler, a Verrazano student planning to pursue a double major in Psychology and Nursing, was selected as a New York Needs You (NYNY) Fellow for 2011. Megan now serves as a student representative of NYNY, and below she shares more about the program, the opportunities it provides, and how it has impacted her academic and professional life.
New York Needs You is a two-year career development program whose vision is to prepare low-income first-generation college students to realize their college and career potential. The mission is to close the opportunity gap through intensive career development and leadership training that includes life planning, community leadership projects, as well as core skills for success which will enable ambitious first generation college students to realize their career aspirations. With commitment to personal growth and development, NYNY offers countless benefits that aid in building the core strengths needed to compete in today’s competitive job market. Some benefits offered include over 800 hours of one-on-one mentorship with guidance and support; networking with over 200+ mentors per workshop as well as other industry specialists; access to two internships at prestigious companies and organizations within the time of the program, and a $2,500 professional development grant.
As a 2011 fellow, I can say with confidence that NYNY has motivated and inspired me to do more than I have ever dreamed. In the beginning of the program my mind was set on becoming a registered nurse and nothing or anyone could persuade me otherwise; that is, until the first workshop when I began networking with other fellows, mentors, and industry specialists. At one workshop I was introduced to a physician. I was amazed she was only 28, had already graduated medical school, works through the week at Mount Sinai hospital, and even owns her own clinical practice. As I Iearned more about her profession I was intrigued by how fulfilling a career as a physician would be so I immediately began research on medical schools, physicians, and physician specialists. Additionally, I was given a great opportunity through my mentor coach to speak with her roommate, one who is a doctor and the other a nurse, about their careers. As I gained insight on both professions I was conflicted as to which career path to follow. My mentor coach guided me in the path of the profession which suited my personal situation, being a single mother of two young children, including helping me map out the time frame needed to fulfill the educational requirements for each profession, the financial costs of each, as well as incorporating my personal situation with my educational needs. I concluded that the most realistic and successful path would be to obtain my master’s degree in nursing and later apply for medical school.
New York Needs You has opened opportunities I could only have dreamed of before. In January, I will intern in a pediatric clinical practice gaining experience and skills that will assist in my growth as a healthcare professional. Additionally, I anticipate securing a summer internship at one of the major New York City hospitals which will allow me to gain insight on which area of specialty I will choose for my career. With the guidance and support of the mentor coaches, volunteers, and staff at NYNY, I know I will gain knowledge and experience that will assist in the development of my career as a nurse practitioner and physician. Thanks to this program, my family and I have nothing but a bright future ahead of us.