Student Spotlight: Vanessa Flores
My name is Vanessa Flores and I am a senior in the Bachelor of Health Science Program (BHS) program. Upon graduation, I plan on attending pharmacy school to become a clinical pharmacist. I’ve always shown interest in health diseases and knowing that a Pharmacist is be able to know what medicine can effectively help a patient with their health problems is very appealing to me. I always dreamt of being in the health field, and after realizing that I wanted patient interaction on a daily basis without being very hands on I knew Pharmacy was the career for me. Pharmacists are the only health professionals that you can visit or ask any questions to for free. You do not need to check with your insurance plan nor even make an appointment. You can simply call or walk into your local pharmacy to speak to a pharmacist. And that to me is so fulfilling because a pharmacist is able to have such an immediate impact on a patient.
I chose to major in Health Science because a mentor of mine was in the program and introduced me to the program and all it had to offer. The bachelor of Health Science is a great program because I am able to learn so much about the health field while taking the prerequisite classes for pharmacy school. Our curriculum is very diverse as we learn about various important topics such as public health, pathophysiology, the U.S. health care system and much more. In addition, the program is very selective thus creating a smaller graduating class allowing students to get to know each other on a more personal level. This was important to me because it allowed me to truly get to know my peers and get involved within the BHS program. I am involved in two BHS organizations, the L.E.A.P mentorship program and the Health Professions College Council. L.E.A.P is a great organization because it allowed me the opportunity to be a mentor to an underclassman who was not only interested in applying into the BHS program but also interested in pharmacy. I truly enjoy being a L.E.A.P mentor and a valuable resource of advice to my mentee, who is choosing the same major and career path as I had chosen. And in this upcoming school year, I will be serving as the Treasurer for the Health Professions College Council, which I am really excited about. As we are the college’s council and will be involved in creating events to promote the BHS program to underclassmen while also creating fun activities to allow students in the BHS program to get to know each other better. Being a Health Science major has given me many invaluable experiences and I am so thankful to be a part of this program.
My other involvements include being a research volunteer in a lab at the McKnight Brain Institute, that studies biomarkers that indicate someone has suffered from neurological damage due to a traumatic brain injury. I also am involved in Cupcakes for a Cure, which is a non-profit organization on campus that raises funds to completely donate to families who have children with pediatric cancer at UF Health’s Pediatric Hospital. I am the Volunteer Coordinator and set up volunteering events for members to visit the children in the hospital and participate in fun activities such as arts and crafts. I am also involved in, A Reason to Give, which is an on campus organization that meets every Sunday to make and distribute bagged lunches to the GRACE project homeless community in Gainesville. I am also a member of the Pre-Professional Service Organization, which is the oldest pre-health organization on UF’s campus. I have been a member since freshman year and have served a Health Phase Director and will be serving as Secretary in the upcoming school year. PSO is a great organization because it encompasses all the health professions and provides its members opportunities to meet fellow pre-health students. And create informative meetings that provide members important tips for becoming a successful graduate school applicant. I am very passionate about being involved and love to spend my free time in various organizations. And if not, you can usually find me with my roommates and our new puppy whom we love to take everywhere with us!
My parents have been my biggest inspiration and supporters throughout my life. And I attribute all my success to them. They immigrated to the United States from Nicaragua and had to start anew. With only a few dollars in their pockets they have been able to work hard and strive to become successful professionals in their respective fields. My mother is a pharmacist. And my father is an IT analyst with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. I have seen both my parents work very hard to give my brother and I a better life than the one they had. Therefore, I always try to give my best in all that I do because I truly appreciate being given the opportunity to pursue my dreams with the full-fledged support of my wonderful parents.