As a child of Eritrean immigrants, I learned early on to cherish my education, especially since my parents, who grew up in the midst of a war, did not have such opportunities. Being an African American first-generation college student in the making is not only one of the most rewarding experiences I will have but also the most terrifying. From a young age, I pushed myself to value my education and take every opportunity that I could to advance it. Appreciating my parents’ academic and socioeconomic disadvantages has made me gasp every educational opportunity I have and direct my efforts into every challenge I undertake. Aside from my values, I have always hoped to have a career that would combine my desire to help others with my love of science. Upon learning that only 2% of practicing physicians in the United States are African American women, I recognized that I wanted my aspirations to join the medical field to be tightly woven with my passions: to serve my community and to inspire others in the process. The last two years have not been easy.
During the most important years of my high school career I lost my home to the wildfires that consumed much of my city; soon after, I lost my father, who battled brain cancer bravely for two years before he passed in April of 2018. While I struggled to gain my footing on a ground that was seemingly in shambles beneath me I never lost sight of my dreams. Although I have long hoped to become a doctor, it was my personal experiences and the knowledge that there is a lack of diversity in this field that expanded my motivation. I began to realize that I want to not only follow my passion for myself but also for those that come after me.
I want to show them that, regardless of their circumstances, a better life where they turn their own dreams into a reality, regardless of the struggles they face, is not only possible but something worth striving for. I now recognize that this desire I possess to succeed and inspire ultimately drives my passion for a higher education. (363) Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe I’ve always had a diverse cluster of intellectual interests; during junior year, I took Biology and realized my passion was the science of life. Our bodies’ intricacies form an infinite puzzle that never ceases to amaze me. When I look at a single cell under a microscope, I witness its unfathomable complexity. Every day my peers remind me that what makes them who they are isn’t just social upbringing but, as epigenetics states, the echoes of their ancestors. As my exposure to biology increased, my curiosity in how it can be applied to the health field was piqued.
Through organizations like Key Club, I dedicated my high school years to raising awareness of Pediatric Trauma and raising money to combat it. We held dozens of fundraisers to raise money for the Pediatric Trauma Program that went towards helping fund the education of medical professionals, educate communities, and buy medical equipment. We also held a city-wide Awareness Fair in an effort to teach easy ways families can prevent these types of traumas. Ultimately, my passion for biology began to blend with my passion for helping my community and from then on I began to take every opportunity I had to continue my passion outside and inside the classroom. I started my four year journey to raise money to provide maternal and neonatal tetanus shots for women and children in third world countries through organizations such as UNICEF.
Furthermore, in my junior year, I won a grant which allowed me to plan a bike safety fair with the fire department and hand out free helmets. I’ve taken a college medical terminology course where I had the privilege of learning not only the structure of common medical terms but also explored the human anatomy, diseases, procedures, and treatments. I got to explore different health related fields and strengthened my desire to join the medical field. I ultimately hope to follow my passion for science through a Biology degree that I will use to guide me in becoming a pediatrician. (336)
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