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Going to college is a tremendous opportunity with tons of benefits, but let’s be honest, it might not be the best option for everyone right out of high school.

VCU Pathways provides individuals not ready (or maybe uninterested) in attending college an opportunity for employment and career exploration at a healthcare organization. The Pathways Team will work with you to secure an entry level position, then work with you to pursue higher education.


Our Mission is to develop high-quality healthcare professionals through workforce development initiatives targeted residents living in the Richmond area.

Our Program provides workforce training to residents interested in entering a career in the healthcare industry. Participants receive:

  • In-and Out-of-the-Classroom Experiences Focused on Job Readiness
  • Career Exploration
  • Team Building
  • Shadowing Opportunities

Our Goal is for participants to transition into full-time employees as a healthcare professional, and utilize employee benefits, including tuition assistance to pursue postsecondary education.

(please be advised: participation into the program does not guarantee employment)

Program Process

1. Apply

Submit an application.

2. Information Session

After applying, you’ll be invited to an Information Session to learn more about the program and meet the Pathways Team.

3. Welcome Event (High School Seniors Only)

This is a one-time event lasting approximately an hour. You are encouraged to invite anyone you consider important to your success (i.e. a parent, guardian, sibling, mentor, etc.). During that time, the program director will go over: expectations for the program, a detailed timeline for workshops, and the program’s expected outcomes and goals. You will also have an opportunity to fellowship with other cohort members.

4. Workshops

All Pathways participants are required to attend all workshops. Sessions last about 2-3 hours. Possible Workshop Topics Include: 

  • First Impressions/Application Submission
  • Goal Setting/Mock-Interviews
  • Conflict Resolution/Crucial Conversations
  • Work Readiness/VCU Health Expectations
  • Financial Literacy

5. Ongoing Support

Receive continued support throughout the hiring process and during employment. You will be required to meet with a Job Coach during your weekly for your first 3-weeks. After your first 3-weeks, you will meet with once a month until the completion of your first year.

Our Team

Porsha Bennett
(804) 317-5376

Dr. Karen Hill, PhD R.N.
Program Manager-Clinical Positions/Career Counseling Nurse
(804) 659-1493

Denisha Scott, M.Ed.
Program Manager-Non Clinical Positions
(804) 840-1949

Kim Pohlig
Administrative Assistant

Please email Kim Pohlig to schedule a meeting with a team member.