For Students

What is Project PROMISE?

Project PROMISE is an internship experience designed for high school seniors who have a serious interest in a future career as a dentist, pharmacist, physical therapist, nurse practitioner, physician, or physician’s assistant. Twelve students will be selected for the 2017-2018 academic school year based on an application and interview process (6 in McDowell, 6 in Yancey/Mitchell).

Who Can Apply?

Project PROMISE is open to students participating in a school-sanctioned internship for course credit in Yancey, Mitchell and McDowell county schools. This program provides a minimum of 135 credit hours for one semester.

The students selected for this program will be rising high school seniors who are mature, focused, need minimal supervision, are responsible, dependable, have good oral and written communication skills, follow directions well, and have a good personality and attitude.

The Student Experience

Student interns have the opportunity to shadow dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, physicians, and other medical professionals and experience rotations in a variety of healthcare disciplines such as:

    • OBGYN             • Pediatrics           • Palliative Care      • Family Medicine        • Public health

    • Dentistry         • Geriatrics           • Physical therapy  • Pharmacotherapy     • Internal medicine

The rotations take place throughout Yancey, Mitchell, and McDowell counties in clinics, hospitals, private practices, and education centers.

In addition to scheduled rotations, each student will have the opportunity to participate in periodic MAHEC programs focused on academic enrichment, college planning, service learning opportunities, and special sessions on oral and written communication skills.

Each student is assigned a leadership mentor that provides guidance and coaching during the internship. Student orientation includes education and information on the program, diversity, online research skills, HIPAA, OSHA, professional etiquette, facility tours, and information about schedule and rotations.

Who is eligible?


  • Rising high school seniors
  • Demonstrated need**
  • Strong desire to pursue a healthcare career including but not limited to the following: dentist, pharmacist, physical therapist, physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner.
  • Minimum weighted GPA of 3.0
  • Student registered in Yancey or Mitchell county public schools
  • Excellent references, based on teacher recommendations
  • Active record of work and/or community services
  • Access to reliable transportation

Students interested in applying for the Project PROMISE Internship should contact their school guidance counselor or PROMISE directors.

**Demonstrated need is determined on an individual basis by criteria which include limited access to higher education and socioeconomic factors.

Students interested in applying for the Project PROMISE Internship should contact their school guidance counselor or PROMISE directors listed in the “Contact Us” section.

Mountain Heritage High School

Benny Varney,

Mitchell High School

Denise Murphy,

McDowell High School

Mary Finley,

 To download our brochure   click here

 To download an application   click here