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.
Catrina Rosa, a class of 2007 graduate from West Hall High School, is currently working in Atlanta as a commercial interior designer at an international architecture and design firm, tvsdesign. Catrina had this to say about her experiences… Growing up, I was always encouraged by my parents to follow my dreams and to reach for the stars. At such a young age, I was fortunate enough to have gained exposure in the creative arts, my dad an artist by profession and my mother the Principal at McEver Arts Academy, a charter school for the arts. I am so grateful both my parents are such big supporters of the arts and ultimately of the decision I made for my career path – interior design. My dream of becoming a well-established, professional interior designer began as I became deeply involved in WHHS rigorous art program and was solidified when I was given the opportunity to participate in Honors Mentorship Program where I was able to explore my interests and really begin to understand the interior design profession. It is very simple – HMP provided me an unforgettable experience of exploration, rigor and guidance which ultimately helped shape me and my future. Seven years ago, I completed my honors mentorship at Angela Cain Interiors, a small high-end residential design firm in Duluth where I was introduced to the design profession. At Angela Cain Interiors, I learned a lot about design and about myself. It was my experience working at Angela Cain Interiors that helped carve a path to my next chapter in life. Although I learned very quickly that residential design wasn’t my forte, I discovered a more specific interest, commercial interior design, through the help of Mrs. Laurie Ecke. She gave me one task – To find one firm in Atlanta that would be my dream job. I researched commercial interior design firms in Atlanta and Mrs. Ecke helped set-up an office tour at Hirsch Bedner and Associates. Little did I know, that I’d leave HBA feeling determined and inspired to one day work at HBA as a professional interior designer. The guidance and exposure that was provided by the honors mentorship program and Mrs. Ecke was incredibly helpful and definitely contributed to where I am today. After high school graduation, I went off to college at the University of Georgia for the ultimate college experience (including football) and to study interior design. Lamar Dodd School of Art, a state-of-the-art facility, was exceptional and truthfully a great education. I got the best of both worlds – my studio art classes along with my interior design studio classes where I developed my skills and knowledge of design and continued to grow my passion for art. As a requirement for graduation, I was to complete either a study abroad program or an 8-week internship before graduation. Being that we were experiencing an economic recession, I valued an eight-week internship with real-life work experience over studying design in Italy. Believe it or not, I was given the opportunity to complete an internship at Hirsch Bedner and Associates, the top hospitality interior design firm in the world, at the Santa Monica office out in California. It was so surreal when I heard back from HBA and was offered an internship – it really was a dream come true! Since joining tvsdesign in 2011, I have had the opportunity to gain experience across several market segments. My experience has been diverse working on both international and domestic projects at both large and small scale including mall developments, aquariums, showrooms, and restaurants. This past Spring I was successful in passing all three of my certification exams and am officially a registered interior designer. Recently, I received a nationally recognized award – the 2014 HIP award for “rising young professional” in the interior design profession and was published in the August issue of the Interior Design Magazine. Great job Catrina! Continue to make your mark on the world!
Kelli attended North Georgia College & State University, now University of North Georgia, and received her Associates of Science in Nursing and minored in Nursing Leadership. She is now pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Nursing at the University of North Georgia and plans to graduate in August of 2015. Afterward, she plans on pursuing her master’s degree in nursing. While in college, she was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and was a mentor to new nursing students. She was so very fortunate to receive the Johnson & Johnson Nursing Scholarship for two years of her schooling and she is forever grateful for such a generous corporation. She was also was fortunate to participate in a nurse extern program, during the summer between her junior and senior year in college, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in the Intensive Care Unit. Additionally while she was in college, she worked as a critical care technician at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. She is currently employed in the Intensive Care Unit at Northeast Georgia Medical Center as a registered nurse. She absolutely loves it and learns something new each day! The opportunity to participate in the Honor’s Mentorship program proved her interest in healthcare and provided her with the knowledge of the large number of opportunities within the field of nursing. She encourages any high schooler to get involved with HMP because it truly guides student’s interests and fosters career opportunities and development! Great job Kelli! We are proud of your accomplishments!