How has this scholarship assisted in your education?
As a first-generation college and medical student, this scholarship has enabled me to enjoy luxuries that no one in my family has ever been afforded. The privilege to relentlessly pursue this incredible career without the looming pressure of financing the journey has put me in such a strong position to succeed and highlights why this scholarship is so important to my education. Since the sixth grade, I was always employed in one way or another — contributing to the financial stability of my household was simply expected. I knew that committing to a part-time job in medical school would be practically impossible so that, in conjunction with a few career uncertainties, delayed my eventual matriculation. The financial support awarded to me through this scholarship has allowed me to remain completely focused and engulfed in my work as a full-time student for the first time in my entire life.
What are your career goals?
My career goals have always remained focused on medically underserved and marginalized communities. As a product of these communities, I have stood on the shoulders of many people who have sacrificed so much before me. My career aspirations revolve entirely around repaying these debts.
What extracurricular activities and hobbies do you enjoy?
Throughout my undergraduate career and even beyond it, I volunteered extensively with an organization called Troy Camp, where I served as the “Mad Scientist.” My position required that I use my wacky personality and captivating experiments to excite our inner-city students about the sort of potential the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields hold. I would love to continue this type of volunteering, and I look forward to doing so with the CALEB Science Club.
My hobbies include playing sports with my classmates, watching my favorite sports teams compete and cooking fun, exciting meals. At one point in my life, I was working part-time as a voice-over actor, and I would love to resurrect that passion in any way that is not only fun for me but also beneficial for others. I once voiced a few characters in a video game designed to help autistic children with social interactions.
What influenced your decision to attend the MU School of Medicine?
The most influential facet in my decision to attend MU was the university’s distinct and unwavering dedication to medically underserved communities. As the face of public medical education in the state of Missouri, Mizzou uses its platform incredibly well with an outright pledge to serve neglected citizens. This sort of dedication was very attractive to me. While researching the university, there was no shortage of ways for me to get involved in important volunteer work, and this fact was the largest driving force in finalizing my decision to attend MU. From a free medical clinic to weekly ways to get involved outside of medicine, I knew I could have the sort of impact I desired without spending time searching for opportunities.
The patient-based learning curriculum at MU is an additional reason that drew me to this school. As someone who once operated a tutoring company in Los Angeles, the idea of constantly collaborating with my peers to learn the dense material of medical school was very exciting. I spent many years developing ways to optimize teaching difficult material, and inserting myself into the PBL curriculum really is the ultimate test of what I have learned. It’s been a spectacular experience so far, and I look forward to so much more learning.