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Student Voices, College Preparation Program

Evie Owens

  • Rare insight into the medical profession

    Evie Owens

    Evie Owens remembers when her beloved grandmother lost a difficult battle with pancreatic cancer.  She decided a career in medicine was a way to help others avoid that kind of pain. But how can you be sure about your choices, when you’re only a junior in high school?

    Owens decided to enroll in Northwestern University’s College Preparation Program (CPP), a program that lets high school students, if accepted, take real Northwestern college credit courses. She chose the intensive IN FOCUS seminar on medicine.

    “I’ve always been interested in science, and right now I’m taking AP biology,” she says. “I thought, ‘what better way to explore this broad field?’ It ended up being an amazing experience that redefined how I think about the medical profession.”

    An immersive experience

    The seminar involved daily class time, readings, discussion, guest speakers and weekly papers on medical topics that required using the university library for research. The program provided insights about medical school and included trips to Chicago’s Museum of Surgical Science and the anatomy lab at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Owens not only experienced college-level work, she discovered what working in medicine might be like.

    “You really get into the medical professional’s mindset,” she says. “It changed how I view medicine, and Professor Rodriguez changed my assumptions about what college professors are like. She had a great relationship with students.”

    A warm welcome

    Owens commuted to class from her home in Winnetka, Illinois, but she was “warmly welcomed” into the CPP group living on campus.

    “I felt like I was attending Northwestern,” she says. “I hung out with my class mates around campus. Everyone was intelligent, nice and friendly. It’s fun, but the focus is on learning. I’m much less worried about what it will be like when I do go to college.”

    Owens is working through the college application process — Northwestern is among her top choices — and continues to explore her options. But for now, thanks to the seminar, pre-med remains a strong area of interest.