Congratulations to former HMP student, Sally Justus, who was featured in The Times recently. Sally mentored with Dr. Syed Shamshi and his colleagues in the cardiac field of healthcare while participating in the program. Sally graduated from Harvard University in 2015. Take a look at the wonderful article by The Times to see what Sally’s next step will be! The Times Article
Mariana Arcaraz – CHS Class of 2011
Mariana Arcaraz was born in Mexico City and grew up in Gainesville, GA. As a Chestatee High School student, she aspired to be an engineer just like her father and her grandfather. In her junior year of high school, she joined the Honors Mentorship Program and got a taste of the computer engineering career at Halski Systems, a local IT Managed Services and Cloud Solutions provider. While shadowing the company’s engineering team, she learned about computer hardware, circuit boards, routers, information technology, and how to assemble a computer from scratch. In addition to computer engineering, Halski Systems had a genuine interest in teaching her about the inner workings of the overall business, so they allowed her to shadow the finance team and the company leadership as well. Her favorite part about the mentorship was that the engineers sometimes took her to their client visits so she could see their solutions applied to real-world problems. Upon completing her internship, Mariana was very sure that engineering was her passion. In her last two years of high school, she met industrial engineers working in the manufacturing industry, healthcare industry, and the tech industry- all of which sparked her interest in the career. In 2011, Mariana graduated from Chestatee High School and began her undergraduate degree in industrial engineering at The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, GA. At Georgia Tech she was president of the Hispanic Recruitment Team, a mentor in the M&M mentoring program, an industrial engineering ambassador, a Goizueta Scholarship recipient, and a member of the Undergraduate Consulting Club. During her time at Georgia Tech, Mariana had a co-op at Delta Airlines’ Airport Engineering Continuous Improvement Team. Throughout the three semester long co-op, she worked on three major projects which aimed to make ground equipment allocation and airport processes more efficient. She was fortunate to have international business trips to London and Tokyo along with countless trips to a number of U.S. airports.
After graduating from Georgia Tech in 2015, Mariana moved to San Francisco, CA to work as a consultant for Accenture in the tech industry. She currently provides consulting services to Google, and as a one-year San Francisco resident, she loves to explore the eclectic city, take advantage of the scenic views and hiking trails around the Bay Area, and attend the semi-annual Corgi Conference at Ocean Beach.
From Mariana: “HMP gave me extremely valuable career opportunities and experiences early on in life to help me establish where my passions lie. I highly recommends it to all high school students!”
My story of how I became a midwife always begins with Hall County Honors Mentorship and a few, seemingly serendipitous, events. Looking back, it is easy to feel like midwifery was a true calling on my life. I participated in one of the first HMP classes with Ms. Ecke in 2007. At that time, my career goals were vague. I was interested in healthcare, wanted to work intimately with people, and had a particular enthusiasm for women and children’s health. I think I applied to the program with the intention to shadow a physician but after talking more with Ms. Ecke, it was clear that that did not exactly fit my interests. We discussed finding a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant to mentor me but I will always remember the afternoon Ms. Ecke called to tell me about a certified nurse-midwife who was willing to be my mentor. My mentorship was with the midwives at the Longstreet Clinic Ob/Gyn. There I was introduced to the midwifery model of care and discovered that I love caring for young families and listening to women’s stories. I worked with the midwives in the office most days and even got to experience my first births during the program. The work the midwives did at Longstreet felt immensely important and deeply influenced my career goals and the midwife I am today.
After I graduated from Johnson in 2008, I went to the University of Georgia where I majored in Child and Family Development. Studying early human development and family theory solidified my desire to pursue midwifery as my life’s work. I graduated from UGA in 2012 and moved to Nashville the same summer to begin the Nurse-Midwifery program at Vanderbilt University. Last December, I graduated from Vanderbilt and have since moved to Beaufort, South Carolina where I work at Beaufort Memorial Hospital as a Certified Nurse-Midwife. As a midwife, I care from women throughout the lifespan including well-woman visits, gynecology, prenatal care, and of course, catching babies. I still don’t believe that someone wants to pay me to do this job every day!
Hall County Mentorship enhanced my high school experience and allowed me to explore my passion, talent, and interests in a way not feasible in the regular classroom.