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Meet Peter Kalu, CNAHS Executive President



Meet Peter Kalu, the President of CNAHS’ (College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences) IGNITE student council. He’s a junior nursing major, chemistry minor from Bowie, Maryland byway of Nigeria. It’s only October and President Kalu along with his team have been improving facets of CNAHS. One development, in particular, is the CNAHS mentorship program, Health Connects, which began last year. Along with his position as CNAHS IGNITE President, he is a member of T.R.U.S.T: A STEM Society for Men, African Student Association, GlobeMed, and co-founder of P.I.M.P My GPA.

Jade: What is Health Connects?

Peter: Health Connects is a mentorship program that was created by DIVERGE, the student council before IGNITE. It was established to help ensure that incoming freshman who participated in the program could avoid as many pitfalls as possible. There were a large number of freshmen involved last year and we hope to increase that number in its second year by matching students by major and questions certain to find similar personalities or personalities that encourage others to grow because mentorship is about helping the mentee grow.

Jade: What makes Health Connects different from other mentoring programs on campus?

Peter: CNAHS students have a unique educational journey from all the other colleges on campus. It really takes a CNAHS student to know one. It is a school of pre-professionals and each major is very specific to a career. Thus, our mentoring program is more specialized than the campus-wide mentoring programs and it is meant to cater to our specific and unique needs.

Jade: How can a CNAHS student sign up to be in Health Connects?

Peter: For CNAHS  freshmen interested in receiving an upperclassmen mentor, you can apply here. For upperclassmen looking to mentor CNAHS freshman, you can apply here We also are working to not limit the program to only freshmen because the end of freshman year does not signify that the next three, four, or even five years it may take you to graduate [will be] easy. You still need guidance no matter where you are in life. That is why we want to include alumni in the mentorship program so that upperclassmen have guidance on things like preparing for life after college, how they found a job after college and what they wish they did differently. After a ship has sunk, everyone knows how the ship could have been saved and it up to the mentor to prevent their mentee’s ship from sinking as well.

Jade: How can CNAHS freshmen students benefit from having a mentor through this program?

Peter: The whole goal of this program is to match mentees with a good mentor. A good mentor will listen to the mentees ideas and concerns and give advice based on their experiences. They should be able to help the mentee see a different point of view and provide insight to assist in coming to important or big decisions. The biggest benefit, however, is an example of what a good mentor looks like, so the mentee can be a good mentor to someone else.

Jade: As President of CNAHS’s student council, what motivated you to run and how has winning presidency changed your life?

Peter: Last year, I joined DIVERGE student council as the Director of Communications because I just wanted to get more involved and see what the issues were in my school. I used the experience to in a sense shadow the president at the time, Ashley Grey. I saw how she handled different situations and how she lifted CNAHS to new heights. People actually knew what “that big gray building across from the radio station” was. I ran for office because I wanted to continue uplifting CNAHS. Not only did I want to make sure we were not forgotten as a school, but I also wanted to make the internal aspect of CNAHS better. For CNAHS students, because they’re in pre-professional programs, do not spend much time getting to know those who are in other colleges such as COAS, SOC, CEA, etc.. Many students cannot name even one student in each major CNAHS has to offer even though there are only nine undergraduate majors.

In terms of changing my life, while many were on vacation, I spent a lot of my summer working with my different directors to plan programs, community service, looking for scholarships, etc., to ensure that when Freshman Week came around we were ready for the year. Outside of that, there have been a lot of paperwork and signatures involved but I am confident that as the school year progresses, I will be able to balance my Presidency with my classes.

Jade: What are your career goals and how has being a Howard student helped you on your path to achieving them?

Peter: After Howard, I plan to go to medical school to be an anesthesiologist, sub-specializing in pain management. I know that being at Howard has allowed me the flexibility to go about my journey to medical school the way I want. I am a nursing Major, Chemistry Minor. My path is considered a nontraditional path to medical school and at many other schools, it would be impossible to finish in 4 years like I still plan to do. The Howard finesse is a real thing and it has allowed me to beat the system in many cases especially last year when I registered for 21-22 credits despite the resistance I got from the advisors in CNAHS.

Jade: What advice do you have for incoming Bison?

Peter: Be yourself! People love coming to the Mecca and trying to use it as an opportunity to create a new image for themselves. There is nothing wrong with trying to change how you are viewed by others but hopefully, that is not the sole reason why you traveled so many miles to the nation’s capital. You hopefully came to get an education that you will use to continue shaping the world and making a difference in the lives of the people you will serve.  It is going to be an interesting experience at Howard, just make the most of it and don’t allow the A building to get you too worked up before that big test.

You can catch Peter on campus this school year. If you see him, don’t be afraid to say hi! If you’re a CNAHS student, root for your President. He’s got a lot in store for us.  Be sure to keep up with Peter on Twitter!

Jade Carson is a 20-something year old, Maternal and Child Health major, Sociology minor at Howard University. The Brooklyn native is thrilled to explore life beyond the Big Apple for the next four years. As an aspiring certified doula, Jade is not only looking forward to learning more about the esoteric land of the medical field but is also hoping to shake off her two-year-long writer's block in hopes of completing her first full-length novel. You can read the young author's published work on Wattpad as well friending her on Instagram and Twitter at @jadecarsonxo.
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