Andacia Rhyne’s interest in the health sciences was clear since she was a child. She was influenced by her pediatrician and other health professionals in her life, who treated their patients equally no matter what their socioeconomic background was. This sparked an interest in Andacia.
“As I got older, I started to pay more attention to the health disparities of people from lower income backgrounds. I feel like something such as money shouldn’t stop them from getting the care that they need.”
In middle school Andacia attended a nursing camp at Bon Secours which solidified her passion for the health sciences. Her interest in VCU’s program sprung from a family connection. Her sisters were a part of another DHSD program “From Jump Rope, to Stethoscope”. This led to her doing her own research into Pipeline programs and becoming interested in the Acceleration program during her sophomore year of high school.
Once she was eligible to apply during her senior year of high school, she knew it was the right path for her to figure out what she wanted to become.
“VCU nurtures their students. Most universities don’t have things like the Acceleration program. If they do, it’s after you’ve already started school and that doesn’t really help.”
The most inspiring moment for her was the student panel, where former students talked about their unique paths to their health sciences career. She credits the Acceleration program for broadening her perspective on the professional world of the health sciences and helping her narrow down what career she wanted to pursue during the next four years at VCU.
On her blog, she talks about the word “sacrifice” and how the Acceleration program helped her realize the true meaning.
“The word sacrifice is usually used with a negative connotation, but I feel it ultimately signifies a contribution to something. In my case, my sacrifices will serve as a contribution to my success at a huge university.”
Her future goals include pursuing a major in sociology at VCU and eventually going to a highly accredited professional school after graduation, whether that be for public health or medicine.