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This month we are honoring genetic counseling students from Arcadia University in suburban Philadelphia. They are a group of inspiring and passionate men and women who always jump in to assist FORCE at important events whenever needed. FORCE is especially thankful to these remarkable genetic counselors in training for their help in providing an empowering experience for all attendees at the Philadelphia Joining FORCEs Conferences. Fill out our VolunteerFORCE application to help make a difference, too!
For the past two years, genetic counseling students from Arcadia University were honored to attend and volunteer at the National FORCE Conference in Philadelphia, PA. The genetic counselors in training introduced speakers, moderated lectures, staffed FORCE fundraising tables and helped attendees navigate the conference.
Arcadia genetic counseling students were proud to lend a helping hand and appreciated the opportunity to engage in the community FORCE has built.
The relationship between the Arcadia Genetic Counseling program and FORCE began more than ten years ago, when Arcadia’s program director Kathleen Valverde met Sandy Cohen. Kathy Valverde understands and appreciates FORCE’s commitment to families because her mother was a BRCA carrier, and she herself underwent BRCA testing. “The services that FORCE provides for all BRCA families have created a community of support and hope, and we are honored to partner with this wonderful advocacy group,” she explained. For nearly ten years, Sandy Cohen and FORCE volunteers have been speaking annually to Arcadia’s first year genetic counseling students as part of their Cancer Genetics course. A large group of students attends FORCE’s Breast Cancer Awareness Night at the Philadelphia Union each fall, and in 2013 a group was thrilled to attend FORCE’s star-studded premiere of “Decoding Anne Parker” at the Ambler Theater.
The partnership between FORCE and Arcadia University’s genetic counseling students provides the students with firsthand understanding of life with a BRCA mutation. These experiences expand the students’ knowledge beyond the classroom and will help to inform their clinical practice.