Karen Chan graduated from Durango High School in spring 2009 and enrolled at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) that fall. Due to her mother’s cancer diagnosis, Karen was determined to pursue a degree in biology. During her freshman year, she worked two part- time jobs, drove back and forth from her mother’s hospital every day, but never missed a day of school. She joined the TRIO Student Support Services-Science, Technology,Engineering, and Math program (SSS-STEM), which became a pivotal changing point in her undergraduate career. She participated in numerous workshops from SSS-STEM and learned how to manage her time wisely, save for graduate school, and manage the stress of being a college student. She later signed up to tutor fellow TRIO participants in chemistry and calculus. Karen was active in chemistry club and loved to volunteer her time at the Discovery Children’s Museum. She had always wanted to share her passion and knowledge of sciences to people around her. As a compassionate student, she devoted her time in local hospitals and worked at different departments where she was needed.
Karen received multiple UNLV scholarships for recognition of her academic performance. She was also a recipient of the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship and Wells Fargo Scholarship. The support from TRIO had relieved Karen’s financial burden and allowed her to focus on school and successfully complete four years of undergraduate education without retaking a single course. The SSS-STEM office was one of Karen’s favorite hangout spots at UNLV because she enjoyed visiting her academic counselor’s office to share accomplishments and receive advice. She has been grateful from the services and support TRIO gave her throughout the years. Karen remains close with her academic counselor.
Karen states: “Although the first few years of college were difficult for me due to my mother’s cancer, I was able to find my purpose in biology because I realized I wanted to pursue a career in pharmacology. My dream is to help others learn more about their medications and to give them the support they need to live healthy lives.” Karen graduated from UNLV in the spring of 2013 and currently attends Roseman University of Health Sciences in Henderson, Nevada.