AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Touched by an AHEC: Stories from 100 Counties
Peres-da-Silva Family

Ashwin Peres-da-Silva,
health careers student,
with an instructor.

Durham County | Wake AHEC

Peres-da-Silva family, health careers program participants

A vital part of Wake AHEC’s Health Careers program’s success comes not from only our staff and mentors but from the students and families who participate in these activities. Wake AHEC has been privileged to play a role in the lives of three children in the Peres-da-Silva family.

The eldest son, Prateek, began participating in Wake AHEC programs in 2003 and attended more than 200 hours of programming. He is currently a senior resident student at the NC School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, and is applying to some of the most prestigious colleges in the country, including Harvard and Yale and has noted his participation in Wake AHEC programs on his application.

The two younger Peres-da-Silva children are currently involved with Health Careers programs at Wake AHEC.  Ashwin, the younger son and a junior resident student at the NC School of Science and Mathematics, participated in the first Mini-Medical School series offered by Wake AHEC in 2007. He also completed the Clinical Learning Experience in 2006 and was paired up with a pediatric orthopedist for three weeks. He described the experience as the most exciting experience of his life.

The daughter, Nalini, is old enough now to attend Health Career programs and spent the last two summers at a Health Careers Day Camp and most of the Saturday Academy Workshops. She has already become a staple at all of the Health Career events just like her two older brothers.

“Wake AHEC has been (and continues to be) one of the most defining experiences for our children,” said Anil Peres-da-Silva. “It has exposed them to new careers and concepts at an early age…and our children have a greater chance for success as adults if they start young and stay interested and motivated.”

Being part of any student’s life is indeed special but having the privilege to play a role in three students’ lives from one family is a true testament of how getting students interested in health careers at an early age can lead to a bright future and encourage other students to become a part of such programs as well.