NM Discovery Program Northwest Chapter

Discovery Program Northwest Chapter

NM Discovery Program Northwest Chapter

The Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program aims to create a pathway for the next generation of NM leaders by drawing on the talents of our incredible team of health care professionals to provide STEM career exposure. Throughout the one-year program, students will be exposed to a broad range of health care careers through activities including tours, guest speakers, group discussion and hands-on projects. In addition, the program fosters character and professional development, cultivates life skills, provides community service and leadership experience, and offers mentorship and networking opportunities.

The NM Discovery Program Northwest Chapter is open to high school students who meet the below eligibility criteria and who reside in McHenry County. Meetings are held once a month at Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital, Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital with occasional opportunities to visit other NM locations. Generally, meetings are held during the school year on Saturdays from 9 am-12 pm. All participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from each meeting. Please note that meeting dates, times and topics are subject to change.


Applicants must:

  • Be at least 15 years of age
  • Be a resident of McHenry County
  • Be entering sophomore, junior or senior year of high school
  • Have an academic GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 GPA scale or 3.8 on a 5.0 GPA scale
  • Commit to the one-year program, including attendance at all Discovery Program meetings and community service activities. No more than two excused absences are permitted.
  • Commit to abide by all Discovery Program guidelines and policies
  • Submit the completed application to the appropriate chapter

Application Requirements

Incomplete applications, applications sent piecemeal in multiple emails, or applications directed to the wrong location will not be reviewed. Applicants must submit the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Personal statement: Describe why you are interested in discovering careers in healthcare.
    • Statement must meet the following criteria:
      • Typed in essay format
      • 300-500 words
      • Grammatically correct
      • Name and school at the top of every page submitted as a Word or PDF document.
  • Essay question: You are required to spend the next year of your life in either the past or the future. What year would you travel to and why?
    • Statement must meet the following criteria:
      • Typed in essay format
      • 300-500 words
      • Grammatically correct
      • Name and school at the top of every page submitted as a Word or PDF document.
  • Academic recommendation
    • Submit one (1) letter of recommendation
    • Must be from an academic reference (teacher, counselor, principal)
    • Letter of recommendation can be sent with the application or directly from the school via email to NMDiscoveryProgramNorthwest@nm.org
  • Official school transcripts
    • Must be signed, sealed and sent from the school. If the transcript is submitted by mail, it must be postdated prior to the application deadline. Your school may also submit your transcript through a third-party processing company or by email to NMDiscoveryProgramNorthwest@nm.org by the application deadline.
    • Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted and will render your application incomplete.
  • Proof of participation in free/discounted lunch program, if applicable
    • If you participate in a free/discounted lunch program, please attach proof of participation to your application. If accepted into the program, your participation fee will be waived.
    • Must be attached and submitted via your application email unless your school policy restricts it, then they can be submitted by email to NMDiscoveryProgramNorthwest@nm.org
  • Completed application with essay and personal statement need to be submitted in one email to NMDiscoveryProgramNorthwest@nm.org
    • Academic recommendation and fee waiver need to be submitted with the completed application unless your school policy restricts it, then they can be submitted by email to NMDiscoveryProgramNorthwest@nm.org
    • Official transcripts may be submitted by the school to the following address – if third-party processing or email is not available:

      Northwestern Medicine
      Attn: Meghan Netzband
      External & Community Affairs
      385 Millennium Drive
      Crystal Lake, IL 60012

Participation Requirements

In addition to the application requirements, those applicants accepted into the Discovery Program will be required to submit the following before/at orientation.

Do not send with application

  • Program fee once accepted: $50 (includes all NM-sponsored activities and a t-shirt)
    • Check or money order only (no cash)
    • Fee waived with proof of free/reduced lunch program when submitted via application email
  • Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program Northwest Chapter Guide Signature Page
    • Signed by both the participant and parent/guardian/legal representative
  • Northwestern Medicine Discovery Program Northwest Chapter Consent Form
    • Signed by participant’s parent/guardian/legal representative


Only complete applications will be reviewed

  • All parts of the application should be submitted together via email. No Google Docs or photos of documents will be accepted.
    1. Written application
    2. Personal statement
    3. Essay question
    4. Proof of participation in free/discounted lunch program
    5. Letter of recommendation
    6. Official school transcript


Applications will not be reviewed for the following reasons:

  • Application is not received by the deadline
  • Application is incomplete or sent piecemeal
  • Applicant does not follow the directions

Application Deadline

Fall 2020


All complete applications are carefully reviewed by a committee. Applicants can expect to hear from the Discovery Program regarding participation by October 2020 via email.

Due to the volume of applications received, we are unable to notify students and school staff that we have received their email. For confirmation that your email was received, we recommend that you set the option of "Request a Delivery Receipt" on your email.


For questions about the application process, please contact Meghan Netzband at 815.788.5857 or Meghan.Netzband@nm.org