When Casey Collins first arrived in Chapel Hill, he was certain that he wanted to pursue a career in medicine. He spent his first two years doing exactly what you might expect — acing advanced science courses, conducting research in a stem cell lab, and working towards a publication in a scientific magazine.
Working in a lab left him feeling isolated, so Casey started thinking about other ways to explore his passion for science and medicine. After spending a summer in Ecuador researching the impact of a national health care reform, Casey developed a series of new, diverging interests.
During his junior year, Casey spent a semester in Washington, DC studying public policy and working with a non-profit organization serving refugees and immigrants. He honed his research and language skills interviewing children who had entered the United States illegally.
The experience stoked Casey’s interest in law and immigration issues. It led to a local internship at RTI International researching the prevalence of labor trafficking in North Carolina.
Casey, a senior from Charlotte, is now preparing to pursue a law degree when he graduates in May. He’s enthralled by the opportunity to make a tangible and positive impact on the lives of immigrants.
Becoming an immigration attorney is a path Casey never expected when he arrived in Chapel Hill four years ago, but he couldn’t be happier. And he knows that Honors Carolina has prepared him to thrive in the future, no matter what opportunities present themselves.
Casey’s advice: “Trust that things will work out if you follow your passions. Do what you find challenging and exciting, and don’t necessarily worry about where it’s going to lead you.”
Casey admits his path was sporadic and non-linear, but following his whims helped him discover his true calling. “It’s been a great experience. I’ll never look back and wish I had taken more risks or done anything differently.”