David said, “thank you so much for checking in on me. HCOP was essential in my college admissions process and without it I wouldn't be where I am. With great respect and honor to repay those who have given much, I'm happy to say that I will be graduating May 28th, 2015 from Harvard College with a degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology (Stem Cell Biology) with a secondary field in African Studies. After which I will take a gap year while I apply to medical school. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help HCARE.
- College Student Ambassador from William Floyd High School


Crystal said, "I'm currently working at the Stony Brook Veterans Home as a companion with the veterans and I've updated my CPR/Aed training at Suffolk Community College, I'm going for nursing and want to transfer to Stony Brook. I won the Senior umbrella merit award this summer for geriatrics as well."
- College Student Ambassador from Brentwood High School


Carmeline said, "I'm not doing medicine but I am doing actuarial science and mathematics. So it's still on the science and math path which is great. I'm graduating Suffolk with and honors distinction in May and transferring to Queens College for an actuarial science program. I also won a SUNY Chancellor Award."
- College Student Ambassador from Brentwood High School


Andrea said, "I graduated from Suffolk County Community College with my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. I was the Grant Campus commencement speaker out of the two other campuses we have. I had also taken part in speaking at my schools Student Orientation in January for the incoming Spring semester, which helped very much in my confidence for Sunday. I have received the Who's Who Amongst College Students Award which entails being involved in extracurricular activities at school as well as community service in my community. I will be deciding between attending SUNY Cortland or CUNY Queens college where I will work towards my bachelors degree in Physical Education to later become a Teacher. I have been working in the Brentwood School District since late January as a Teacher's Assistant to gain experience. Just to add onto my last email during my Spring break this semester I took an Alternative Spring Break trip with my schools rotary club I am a member of and we went to San Diego, California where we worked in Tijuana River Estuary getting rid of invasive species, serving dinner at a Residential Homeless Shelter by the name of Father Joes Village, and taking a couple of shifts at Feeding America which is an organization that deals with redistributed produce and food from local supermarkets in San Diego that have not yet gone bad to give out to local soup kitchens and families in need of food."
- College Student Ambassador from Brentwood High School


"HCOP for me was an exciting journey that motivated me and gave me hope of having a bright successful future. By showing us various aspects of the medical field I was able to learn that becoming a doctor isn't my only option. Being able to meet some of the professors and ask them questions was also helpful because it provided me with an insight of what college life would be like. I also liked the fact that we got to explore the campus because it made us aware of the resources Stony Brook has for their students. It was a wonderful program and I would go back and do it all over again. I met some great people there and even though I might not still keep in touch with many of them they are memories that I will never forget." 
- College Student Ambassador from Brentwood High School


"Volunteering with HCOP was an exceptionally rewarding experience that advanced my development and growth as a human being as well as cultivated essential foundations in leadership, communication, and teamwork. Having volunteered with HCOP for three summers, I could not begin to express my sheer gratitude for the program, the people involved, and the opportunity I was given as a counselor for students. Of the multitude of lessons learned, one stood out among them – the fact that any activity, from a simple blindfolded peanut butter sandwich game to saving a life, requires clear and effective communication and teamwork between individuals. As a laboratory technologist and an EMT professional, I believe this to be vital in providing successful treatment and quality care to patients. Lastly, I had the pleasure of working with a group of individuals whose dedication and commitment to HCOP’S cause was truly inspiring. This reality was reflected in the faces of all the students who had the privilege of participating in their lectures and activities. I found their guidance profoundly inspirational and will attempt to apply what I’ve learned in all aspects of life. My memory of HCOP will always be held in high esteem, for it enriched my life and solidified my dedication to the health profession.
- College Student Program Mentor


Yomally recounted that the Health Careers Opportunity Program was an unforgettable experience like no other, and that she remembers being lost at this point in my life as a pregnant teenager with low self-esteem.  Currently she is a senior at Stony Brook University majoring in Health Sciences and minoring in Biology.  She wrote the following:

"Back in 2010 I was sixteen, pregnant, and in high school. Being in an abusive relationship and isolated from the world was horrible. I had low self-esteem and I wasn’t sure on whether I wanted an academic life beyond high school. It was a real bad time in my life and it’s not the kind of stress I should have been dealing with at the time. I remember one day, I saw a flyer for the Health Careers Opportunity Program. After I read it I asked my teacher if he could write a letter of recommendation for me. I still remember him telling me “You’re pregnant. They won’t accept you.” I was distraught, but I went with my gut and I took a risk. I called Dr. Carlos Vidal and I asked him if my circumstance would withhold me from being part of what appeared to be the experience of a lifetime. Before he even responded I remember promising him that I would never miss a day and I would never be late. I wanted it that bad and to my surprise he said “Sure, apply. We will be doing interviews soon.” Being accepted rather than rejected allowed me to view the world from a more positive perspective. So, the interview process proceeded and time went by and then I got a letter in the mail. You’ve been accepted. Congratulations. I was completely befuddled. I interned and you know what? It was the best summer of my life. I made friends who were proactive to my situation rather than reactive. I was never treated as if I had a disability, I was a normal teenager with some limitations. Some people live their whole lives never wanting to take risks because they are afraid of the outcome. You cannot live your whole life in fear as the outcome isn’t always as bad as it seems. When asking, what have you got to lose? Love what you do and those around you. Thank you Dr. Vidal."
- College Student Ambassador from Brentwood High School


 "I would like to thank you for your lesson on polysomnography, to remind you, I was the student who sat on the first seat in the front row of the classroom. Your lesson was very informative and the details on the importance of sleep were great. Once again thank you for taking your time to visit our HCARE program."


"(HCARE) gave me guidance in what the next step was going to be.  The program took care of us, the students, and I wanted to give back.  I decided that I was going to be a caregiver.  I wanted to be a part of what I experience, regardless of the position."
– 2010 Ambassador from Brentwood High School


"The (HCARE) program has broadened my view of medicine.  It has shown me endless possibilities.  I am now a double major in Biology and Psychology and I am working my way toward medical school to become an Orthopedic Surgeon.  (HCARE) has helped me realize that I truly do have a strong passion for medicine."
 – 2010 Ambassador from William Floyd High School


"HCARE has changed my view on many things.  I've learned and experienced many new things; I would definately recommend this (program) to a friend." 
 – 2013 Ambassador from William Floyd High School


"Had an amazing time at HCARE.  I learned a lot about Stony Brook (University) and career choices.  Stony Brook is now #1 on my list of colleges to apply to!  Thank you for everything." 
 – 2013 Ambassador from William Floyd High School


"Great hands on lab, excellent teachers, and an overall wonderful learning experience." 
 – 2013 Ambassador from Brentwood High School


“From the beginning I knew this would be one of the best opportunities I have had in my life. And to be completely honest, I would come to this program even if we didn’t get paid.”
  – 2012 Summer Academy Graduate from Amityville High School


“The Health Careers Opportunities Program has changed who I am and who I will be in the future.”
 – 2012 Summer Academy Graduate from William Floyd High School


“It’s been such a great experience and extremely educational. I’m so glad I got accepted. It’s been such a productive six weeks for me. I’d do it again if I could. The amount of stuff we learned and got to do and see is a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone at my age. HCOP has made me definitely want to go into the medical field.”
 – 2012 Summer Academy Graduate from Brentwood High School


“Remember that HARD WORK is always REWARDED.”
 – 2012 Summer Academy Graduate from Brentwood High School


“HCOP has opened my eyes to towards the importance of communication skills, team building (interacting) and the diversity the world has to offer.” 
 – 2011 Summer Academy Graduate from Brentwood High School


“This program encourages me to move forward and strive for my goals.  I am amazed to know that there are many jobs that I can get as a nurse.” 
– 2011 Summer Academy Graduate from Amityville High School


“HCOP is not only about work and lectures but an idea of seeing that you’re not the only person who has an interest in treating and taking care of people.” 
 – 2011 Summer Academy Graduate from William Floyd High School


“I’ve grown as a person.  To be able to communicate and interact with other schools and other people just to focus on one goal is something everyone should go through" 
– 2011 Summer Academy Graduate from Wyandanch High School


"The HCOP program helped me to solidify my decision of becomming a PA and I am grateful for being part of the HCOP program.  Thank you for everything."
– 2010 Summer Academy Graduate


"I can definitely vouch that HCOP was definitely integral in helping me get into Harvard and providing a motivation to continue with my hopes of becomming a doctor."
– 2010 Summer Academy Graduate from William Floyd High School


"Someday I would like to transfer to Stony Brook.  I want to become an Occupational Therapist."
– 2010 Summer Academy Graduate