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Insights

Often, the hardest colleges to get into are the ones who give you the most support and make sure that you succeed. I wish I worked harder to get better grades so I would've had more opportunities and choices. It seems crazy but I would do the math to figure out the lowest grade I could get to pass certain classes. Scary, but true. I'm embarrassed to look at some of my grades. I should have been more responsible and accountable. I regret not taking my future into my own hands.

Kim Nelson (Sandhoff) '97

East Carolina University

Exercise Physiology (BS/MS)


Kim Nelson graduated from PCHS in 1997 and from East Carolina University (ECU) in 2001 and 2004 with degrees in Exercise Physiology. She worked in research at ECU with overweight children and looked at ethnic differences in physiological responses to exercise. ECU has an elite program for that field of study so there was a lot of amazing exposure, including Gatorade studies, olympic athletes, and working with firemen and police. She thought that she wanted to teach in college but ended up moving to Houston, Texas and worked at Johnson Space Center in a biochemistry lab developing bone models and then for Baylor College of Medicine at the Children's Nutrition Research Center, a USDA building. At the same time, she trained soccer teams. After having kids, Kim stayed home with them and is now a photographer. Photography is technical and creative just like research and a lot of the organization and math skills she earned have helped her run her own business.

Other Advice/Information

I loved Anatomy and Physiology at PCHS. It was all about the teacher. It's most important to find an inspiring and passionate teacher regardless of the subject. Even if it's not something you're interested in, you can learn a lot about how you want to affect people from the teacher. Work and volunteer to learn what makes you feel good. Talk to your teachers and ask them questions about how they got to where they are.

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