Ways to Expose Your Kids to Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M)

In light of the recent news, I would like to “Pay it Forward” by sharing some key information. My mother did a great job of keeping my sisters and I exposed to health sciences throughout middle and high school. From there I managed to discover college summer programs on my own. Please review the list of programs that may help your child stay focused and interested in STEM/health science fields. Currently, there is a high demand for minority females to enter these fields. I am from North Carolina so a few programs are only for NC residents.

  1. Area Health Education Center (AHEC)- Various programs for middle and high school students. Events are held on weekends throughout the school year and summer programs include stipends upon completion.
  2. Imhotep Academy- A year round enrichment program for under-served middle school students.
  3. North Carolina Health Careers Access Program (NC HCAP)- Various enrichment programs offered to pre-college students on weekends and in the summer.
  4. Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)- This is predominately for undergraduates of 4 year institutions or post-baccalaureate students.
  5. Focus on Your Future- A one week experience at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago designed for underrepresented minorities in college.
  6. Improving Diversity in Optometric Careers (I-DOC)- A three day experience at the Ohio State University College of Optometry designed to increase minority presence in Optometry school.
  7. Medical Education Development (MED) program- A summer opportunity for disadvantaged students who have completed a certain amount of college science coursework.
  8. National Science Foundation Special Programs for Graduate Students- If you are seeking funding for your research initiative.

If you know of any other program that could benefit students then please share in the comments.

It’s BERday!!!

What a wonderful weekend it has been thus far! Thank you all for the happy wishes and calls I received. I just wanted to share several links to businesses that offer FREEBIES just for being born!!! I discovered a few of these deals years ago and people are always asking me to give them a list. So here it goes:

No purchase necessary but you will need to sign up for a rewards account at least 30 days before your birthday. Your reward is any free item so make it count. Can I get a VENTI please?

You get a free beverage just for enrolling. The other terms of their rewards program are quite convoluted as not all DD locations participate (a good amount). The week of your birthday you will receive an email with a beverage coupon for redemption. It worked last year so I’ll try it again this year. No purchase necessary.

A free sub and drink each year. I signed up for this one the day before and got it the next day. No purchase necessary.

Free quest dip upon sign up and a free burrito on birthday. No purchase necessary for their new rewards program. Must download app on mobile phone.

I scream, you scream, we all scream… ICE CREAM! But only one free small scoop. I usually get an email every year weeks before my birthday but nothing this year. Hmmm???

Free cup cake after sign up and on BD. No purchase required.

Any regular (7″) Wich free and a free beverage with sign up. It’s okay to redeem on the same day. No purchase necessary.

Sign up for rewards card and earn a makeup related birthday gift. Usually some kind of small travel item. This year I received a mini lip gloss/ blush duo…love it!

Now this site is already magical on any regular day. Have you heard of Ebates? It is an awesome place to score some cash back on your purchases. Online shopping is one of my preferred ways to shop. For three main reasons, I usually find better deals than in store, larger inventory options, and free shipping to my door. Plus you earn an additional 15% back on every purchase during the ENTIRE WEEK of your BD.

Go ahead and try it out here! You’ll earn $10 after your first purchase of $25 or more. I mean you were gonna spend it anyways. So just go for it.

Although some of these deals expire a day or two after your birthday, most of them last the whole month. I recommend spacing your freebies out so you can maximize your celebratory time.


It is application season for Optometry school. YAY! If you would like to donate to help me offset the high fees then please visit paypal.me/missberlady. Any donation no matter how small will greatly aid me in this journey. Thanks for subscribing and I LOVE YOU ALL!


As I sit here contemplating ways to get out of these two exams I have tomorrow, I can’t help but to feel a little pissed off. Many people do not fully understand the whole concept of being a pre-health professional student. There are so many flippin hoops to jump through it just makes you sick! I know I will be a doctor one day but how much longer? I can’t see myself doing anything else. Not that I won’t be good at another career but I simply won’t be satisfied knowing that I am wasting my potential. Having to work at least 35 hours/week, volunteer, and attend advance classes part-time is starting to take a toll on me. My colleagues share my sentiments of general irritation with the whole process. I have given a great part of the last 4 years towards my dream and I want it to pay off. I miss having a social life and this has been a very lonely process.

On the other hand, there are moments where I understand I’m exactly where I need to be. I was teaching a patient how to remove and insert hard contact lenses last week. She became very frustrated with the process and started to cry. Although, I had a study group session planned within the next 20 minutes, I decide to be there for her. I took her aside into a private room and just held her while she cried. Afterwards, we got back to the process and she was able to get the hang of it right away. And it’s moments like those that I realize I will be a phenomenal doctor.

Okay my rant is over for now. Back to the chamber of insomnia.