This year, Isabel Serrano started her freshman year at GCU, studying biology with an emphasis in pre-med. Isabel is from Silverthorne, Colorado, but she was originally born in Tijuana, Mexico. During high school, she got the opportunity to join a club called Pre-Collegiate for first-generation students, which allows students to tour colleges in Arizona. It was through this program that she heard of GCU, and as soon as she visited the campus, she immediately fell in love.
“The first thing I noticed was the people,” she shares. “Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming. I loved that the school was private, Christian and affordable.” Isabel said that these things, combined with the price and the many opportunities available for students, motivated her to move out of state despite not knowing anybody at GCU. “I believe that God has better plans for us than the ones we plan ourselves,” she says.
Since coming to GCU, Isabel stated that the many people she’s met here have made a significant impact on her. She’s been involved with GCU’s HOSA club and has attended a suturing clinic, cupping clinic and a mass casualty triage clinic. In addition, she was selected to participate in HOSA’s clinical skills program to learn more about basic clinical skills, phlebotomy, CPR, first aid, medical terminology, suturing and EKG. This has given Isabel a major advantage in furthering her career because she is learning essential skills very early on as a freshman.
She spends the majority of her time studying in the union, working on homework and studying. However, she does make an effort to make her friends a priority and enjoys spending time with them and attending GCU events. She also attends club meetings for the HOSA club, Pre-Med Club, Forensic Science Society, Latino Student Union and Bible study. She said she attends these in order to “prepare for medical school as much as I can, so I always try to make it to events within these clubs in order to gain experience.”
When asked about the impact that the Honors College has had on her, she explained that it’s challenged her in new ways and has had a major impact on her time at GCU. She continued by saying it’s given her the ability to connect ethics and philosophy outside of the classroom. For instance, her first honors class challenged her to think outside the box, whether she was writing an essay, listening to her professor or analyzing a book. It’s given her the tools to dig past the surface level and has widened her eyes. She’s been able to apply these skills to her personal life while reading the Bible, talking with friends, working through conflict or even watching the news.
“My GCU experience has been wonderful and full of memorable moments,” Isabel says. “I have challenged myself by participating in the Honors Program.” By getting involved early on, Isabel has been able to achieve more than she thought she would and has been so blessed by the many friends and friendships she’s been able to develop over her first few months here.
In the future, Isabel plans to spend her summer traveling with her family as well as furthering her skills by becoming a certified nursing assistant. Further, she plans to shadow a stem cell physician, as she plans to research and dive deeper into current stem cell findings and research.
Post-GCU, she’s looking to attend Harvard Medical School or John Hopkins School of Medicine with the aim of becoming a medical scientist, or more specifically, a stem cell physician. She hopes to work on finding new ways to treat incurable diseases by using stem cells and plans to become a big part of the stem cell research community.
Overall, Isabel is very thankful to be at GCU and is especially thankful for the academic support of GCU such as Explore More sessions and the Academic and Career Excellence Center. She’s also thankful for the many people who have made an impact on her, whether it’s her friends, professors or fellow club members, because they’ve pushed her to achieve something she didn’t know she could.
To learn more about the resources and community Grand Canyon University’s Honors College provides to our motivated and ambitious students, visit our website or click the Request More Information button on this page to get started on your journey to find your purpose.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.