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Pierse Gray Coen

MCC Dual Enrollment program leads to Harvard for student

As a child, Pierse Gray Coen always said she wanted to become a doctor. But while some children’s dreams and aspirations change, Coen’s didn’t.

“I was always one of those kids who said ‘I want to be a doctor.’ Eventually, as I got older, that feeling didn’t go away,” she said.

Coen will be one step closer to her goal of becoming a surgeon when she begins her college career at Harvard University this fall, studying premedicine.

Coen has been preparing for a medical career for a while. She took Certified Nursing Assistant Career Academy and Healthcare Career Academy offered by Metropolitan Community College through her high school.

“Fremont High School has dual enrollment so I could take those classes during my regular school day and get half off,” Coen said. “I took them as a junior and seniors in the class said it was super beneficial.”

The career academies allow students a first-hand look at different career fields and hands-on learning opportunities.

Coen had always had her mind set on an Ivy League college as well. When she found out she was accepted into Harvard, she said it was a huge relief after a long wait.

“I was at work and I opened up the email there. I applied back in October but they don’t release it until March. The suspense was already killing me. I said ‘OK I can’t wait any longer.’”

Coen said she plans to become a trauma surgeon.

“When I was younger, my grandpa was sick. I always heard my mom talking about the procedures and I thought that sounded interesting. I have a strong passion for human anatomy and physiology,” Coen said.

To finish her preparations, Coen will spend the summer working, saving up money and taking five placement tests for Harvard classes. She is also planning on majoring in Spanish, so she will be brushing up on the language.

Grey said that leading up to acceptance at Harvard, there were rough times. She is so happy that everything has led to the path she is on now.

“I wanted something good to come out of that and prove that I can do it,” Coen said.

To learn more about MCC’s Career Academies, visit