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Health Occupations and Professions Exploration (HOPE) Summer Interns

In summer 2021, Healthy Kids partnered with the Health Occupations and Professions Exploration (HOPE) interns participating in the UW Health Pathways Career summer internship.

Health Occupations and Professions Exploration (HOPE) provides career pathways education and guidance to students seeking careers in healthcare. Their mission is to help high school students from underrepresented backgrounds find their path into a fulfilling career in healthcare.


Projects included a look at Mobility Justice and the ways that neighborhoods are designed making it easy or hard to get around. The interns conducted a photo mapping project documenting the ease and safety of walking and biking in their neighborhood, and the design of a blog post highlighting their summer experience.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the HOPE team redesigned internship experiences to be suitable for virtual settings, creating a variety of activities into digital modules that can be completed synchronously or asynchronously—by students, at anytime, anywhere.

We were proud to get to work with the HOPE interns. Here are some of their stories, hopes, and experiences in their own words!

If you'd like to learn more about HOPE, please visit

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Homework Help

Limitless Options to Help Others

Ever since I was little and discovered my love for helping others, I’ve been interested in healthcare careers. But I had no idea what exactly I wanted to do when I grew up!

This summer, I was introduced to the Health Occupations and Professions Exploration internship, and one of the projects we’re working on is a mobility justice project with the Healthy Kids Collaborative.


When Julia Stanley, the program manager, came to talk about her work as a social worker, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew very little about social workers so I was keen to learn about them. Julia was kind enough to tell us her story and how she got to working for the Healthy Kids Collaborative, and explained the project we’d be helping them with. We’d be taking pictures around our neighborhoods to show how mobility justice affects our community.

I had no idea that being a social worker could involve such important issues! I know that I want to make a difference someday, and although I’m still not sure on how I’ll do that, Julia and the Healthy Kids Collaborative have shown me that there are limitless options when it comes to helping others!

-Molly*, HOPE Intern Summer 2021

Nurse with older man

Exploring Careers

I got into this internship hoping to learn and explore health care career options. I don’t know what I want to be in the future just yet, that’s why I want to explore my options and find my interests. Here are 5 careers I am hoping I get know more about this summer:

1. Medical Interpreter


I want to learn more about medical interpreters because I am already bilingual and it’d be really good if I helped others using my bilingual skills. My mom explained to me that interpreters help patients and healthcare staff by translating to them. I think it’d be a nice and easy job for me because I already translate for some of my family members and help them with their paperwork when it is in english.


2. Social worker


I believe social workers are an important part of the health care community. I would love to help people and families with their personal problems.


3. Pharmacist


Many members in my family have been pharmacists. I want to see more of the life of pharmacists and the aspects of their job. I know that they prescribe medications and help and advise patients on using them. I would like to learn more deeply on how they know what medications to prescribe and how they figure out how the medications will affect their patients. 


4. Registered Nurse


When I was little, I wanted to be a nurse because I thought it was a cool job and I wanted to help others who were sick to feel better. Now that I have the opportunity to learn more about healthcare care careers, I would like to learn more about registered nurses like my younger self wanted to.


5. Counseling Psychologist


I’ve been really interested in psychology lately and I was thinking about maybe becoming a psychologist until I found out about counseling psychologists. I love helping others with their personal problems and issues and I think counseling psychology would be great for me.

Those were the 5 healthcare careers I would like to explore in UW Health HOPE. Thank you for reading!

-Silvia*, HOPE Intern Summer 2021

Nurse and Patient

Jumpstart Your Healthcare Career Path During The Summer 

Late this spring, I received an email from my Pathways coordinator asking if I was interested in a Health Occupations Professions Exploration (HOPE) internship. I had joined the Health Sciences Pathway at my high school because I wanted to expand my horizons and show that I was dedicated to a career path in healthcare.


The HOPE internship offered an opportunity to explore healthcare careers and engage in a project for the Madison community. Besides this, the opportunity offered .25 credits or 45 volunteering hours—half of what is needed to graduate. 


I immediately emailed the coordinator back; of course I wanted this experience! 


The first week of the program introduced a project with Healthy Kids Collaborative which would focus on mobility justice in our communities. We also dug deeper into careers of interest. I learned more about Certified Nursing Assistants, including that job demand is expected to grow 11% by 2026.


This program allowed me to deeply research healthcare careers of interest, as well as gave me the opportunity to aid my Madison community within a credited opportunity. If you are a future healthcare worker who cares about helping others, I can’t recommend this internship enough!

-Veronica*, HOPE Intern Summer 2021


Helping People is My Trophy

Putting smiles on other people’s faces feels like a trophy to me. 

Making people laugh feels even better than seeing your fav team win the FIFA World Cup



Hi, I’m Leeyan. I am an upcoming sophomore who is a number of different things—extroverted, perceptive, charming, and even the life of the party. But that’s surface information, deep inside I dream about making people laugh in hard times. I dream about helping people for a living.


Growing up, my family naturally guided me to this path. They inspire me and I adore them. My dad is a doctor who saves lives at work, my mom gave up her entire career just so she can always be there for us. My youngest sister is non-verbal and on the spectrum, and my other sister comes to me for advice or anything in the world. We all click together as best friends. 

Even the little things guided me too; my parents would help injured birds in our backyard, and even bake desserts to send to our neighbor. All of these acts made me feel like pure, shimmering gold.


This is exactly how my spark of determination for the medical field lit. Not only that, but I love to learning what’s inside of me and being detail-oriented makes this super easy. To connect, this is where the UW Health Hope Internship and being a part of a community project with the Healthy Kids Collaboration organization, comes to play.


Here, we are learning about so many healthcare careers and speaking with amazing guest speakers who care about interested youth. And not to mention, this internship stresses that we don’t have to have our dream job figured out — we are still very young, and there are so many options.


Take Julia Stanley from Healthy Kids Collaborative, she was so friendly and gave us a chance to change our own community through a project about mobility-justice! We are creating this to present to the City to capture the unsafe inequalities in Madison neighborhoods. I’m so excited for what is to come out of these experiences, and if you ever get the chance to participate in experiences like these… do it!

-Ari*, HOPE Intern Summer 2021

*Names have been changed to protect participants' identity.

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