Health Careers Institute-AZ

A free educational opportunity for high school students, held in Glendale, AZ.

The 2024 Health Careers Institute for High School Students is a free educational opportunity for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to explore a variety of health professions. 

Sixty-four high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be selected through an application process. Applications can be submitted via Google Forms starting January 1 and are due April 1.

The Health Careers Institute for High School Students will be a live, in-person learning event on the Midwestern University campus. 

Want to see what you can expect from the Health Careers Institute? Check out this video about the Health Careers Institute program on the Glendale campus.

Meet Our Mentors

Meet the students helping inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Sofia Barajas (AZCOM 2027)

My name is Sofia, and I am a first-year Osteopathic medical student here at Midwestern University. I grew up in Surprise, Arizona, and graduated from Shadow Ridge High School. From there, I attended Arizona State University, where I majored in Medical Studies. Since I am the first person in my family to pursue a career in healthcare, navigating the application process was difficult. I am thankful to have found Midwestern University and all the amazing people here. A fun fact about me is that I am a second-generation Air Force member. Both of my parents are retired Air Force, and I am in the Air Force Reserve. After graduation, I will be serving active duty as a military physician. I have three dogs who are the best study buddies: Romeo, Lola, and Raven. When I am not studying, I love trying new foods and exploring new places.

Sofia Barajas posing in front of white pillars in her white coat

Declan Carr (AZCOM 2027)

Bio Coming Soon

Ethan Crowley (CDMA 2027)

Bio Coming Soon

Maguerite Djossou (AZCOM 2027)

Bio Coming Soon

Eric Dodson (MABS 2024)

Hi everyone! My name is Eric Dodson. I am a Master of Biomedical Sciences student applying to AZCOM. I am originally from Harriman, New York, where I worked as a paramedic and volunteered as a firefighter. I joined the Navy in 2008 as a Hospital Corpsman and served for 11 years. This took me all over the world, and I predominantly served as a medic for a Marine Corps Infantry unit. I completed my undergraduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Biobehavioral Health. I have almost 20 years of prehospital experience, and when COVID hit New York, I worked as an RN for the summer. Prior to coming to Arizona, I taught private swim lessons and was an Assistant Coach for the swim team. A fun fact about me is that I am passionate about teaching, and I teach prehospital trauma courses for three different companies.

Eric Dodson profile pic

Nicole Erjavic (AZCOM 2027)

Bio Coming Soon

Reaghan Fletcher (AZCOM 2027)

Bio Coming Soon

Jordyn Garland (AZCOM 2027)

Hi everyone! My name is Jordyn Garland, and I am in the AZCOM class of 2027. I am originally from Louisville, Kentucky, where I got an undergraduate degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. I came to Midwestern University and completed a Masters in Biomedical Sciences, and now attend medical school here with hopes of going into an ER residency. I have my EMT license and worked in the ER as a scribe. I have taught as a TA and tutor for biology, as well as most sciences for all grade levels. I am super excited to be doing this camp as someone who is a first-generation medical student who didn’t have much help getting here, so I am thrilled to help you all on your journey! Some fun facts about me are I am a Taekwondo instructor, and I work as a princess/superhero for kids' birthdays and events in Arizona on weekends!

Jordyn Garland

Anika Graack (AZCOM 2027)

Bio Coming Soon

Karen Helzner (MA 2024/AZCOM 2027)

Hi everyone! I’m a native of Arizona and completed high school at Corona del Sol in Tempe. I received my B.S. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and went on to further study Dietetics through an internship at Utah State University. I am a Registered Dietitian and Certified Health Coach, and throughout my 20 years of practice I’ve held various roles in Dietetics: clinical in-patient/outpatient care in hospitals and private practice, management and business development, medical sales and marketing, educator and fitness professional, behavioral health and eating disorders, and most recently, clinical oncology. After completing the Masters in Biomedical Science here at Midwestern University, I am pursuing my dream of becoming an Osteopathic Physician as an incoming student to AZCOM. I reside in Desert Ridge and am a mother of three who will be attending Pinnacle High School. I am looking forward to an unforgettable summer experience with you all!

Jamin Jensen (AZCOM 2027)

Bio Coming Soon

Cristina Ou (AZCOM 2027)

Hello, my name is Cristina Ou (Oh) and I will be finishing up my first year at Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine (AZCOM). I grew up in San Jose, CA but have lived in Arizona now for almost half of my life. I received my undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University and worked as an MRI/X-ray tech before applying to medical school. I enjoy dancing and doing dance fitness specifically. In my spare time, you will catch me with my family, enjoying some sun or just making memories. One piece of advice I will give is to find your people in the program or school you choose. You will make lifelong friends that will enhance your academic life and make it that much more enjoyable. Also, take time for yourself and continue to do the things you love, it is so important to stay grounded.

Cristina Ou

Ashley Parker (AZCOM 2027)

Hi friends! My name is Ashley Parker. I am a first-year medical student here at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern. I grew up in Georgia until high school and then moved to Michigan where I attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for undergrad. As I grew up dancing and was a cheerleader in high school, I was fortunate to continue my passion as a member of the U of M All-Girl Competitive Cheerleading team as Vice President. After college, I took a couple of gap years working in Dermatology as a medical assistant and scribe before getting accepted to Midwestern. In my free time, I love playing with my dog, Luna Rae, and taking her on walks. Fun fact- I entered her into a dog fashion show last year and she won first place! I am so excited to be a mentor for this program and help you along your medical journey. It is a long and incredibly rewarding path that can become stressful at times. The advice I would give someone beginning their journey would be to prioritize your mental health and don’t forget to take time for yourself! Surround yourself with a positive group of friends who will uplift you when times get tough. You got this!

Ashley Parker in white coat

Annie Phan (AZCOM 2027)

Greetings, my name is Annie Phan, and I am excited to meet you all! I am a first-year Osteopathic medical student at Midwestern University. I am from Orange County, California, and completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. After graduating, I worked as a Diabetes Health Coach and a Medical Assistant in various specialties, including OB/GYN, ENT, and General Surgery. I moved to Arizona two years ago for the Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences program. My hobbies include some weightlifting, hiking, and tennis. Fun facts about me are that I am trilingual in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, and have the sweetest but brattiest mutt named Adora. I am grateful for what Midwestern University has offered to me as a student in preparation for becoming a future physician. I cannot wait to share my experiences with you!

Annie Phan with white coat

Serene Puri (AZCOM 2027)

My name is Serene Puri, and I am a rising second-year medical student at AZCOM! I grew up in LA, but have been living in the Phoenix area for over 10 years. I graduated with a B.S. in Human Nutrition from Barrett, The Honors College, at Arizona State University, and now have aspirations of being a Pediatrician. Prior to coming to medical school, I worked as a middle school teacher in Phoenix, and it was one of the highlights of my life so far. Outside of the many hours I spend studying and learning medicine, my biggest passion is dance! I am a classically trained Indian dancer in a style called Kathak, and I love practicing and teaching dance classes. I also love to cook, crochet, and spend time with my family. I am so excited to be mentoring for this summer program and can’t wait for the memories we will make!

Ellen Ruan (AZCOM 2027)

Hi everyone! I am just now finishing my first year as a medical student in AZCOM. I am from Phoenix, Arizona. I actually participated in this same program when I was in high school, so I am super excited to be back! I went to ASU and majored in both biology and data science. I took a gap year and worked as a medical assistant at a pediatric clinic. In my free time, I like to crochet, play tennis, and go on hikes with my dog! One piece of advice that I have is to keep an open mind and enjoy the moment! Don’t forget to spend time to do the things that you like!

Ellen Raun

Margaux Sarno (CDMA 2027)

Hi everyone! My name is Margaux Sarno, and I am a first-year dental student here at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine. I grew up in Prescott, Arizona, and attended Northern Arizona University, where I received my bachelor's degree in Biomedical Science with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and two dogs, Koa and Kio. I also love spending time outdoors, going hiking, playing pickleball, volleyball, and visiting the lake! I am so excited to be part of this program, helping high school students find their interest in medicine and guiding them along their lifelong journey into healthcare. A piece of advice that I would give is, don’t give up! The journey is long and hard, and there will be many challenges along the way, but it is so worth it in the end!

Margaux Sarno in white coat

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