Never in my life would I have thought to travel across the world to Uganda. When applying for a scholarship through CFHI, I discussed the financial burden that traveling would place on me. As a child of immigrants and a full-time student, I didn’t have money lying around to pick up my life and travel. I went to free public schools for my education and did not have extra income to spend on an internship. I was planning to do something local with my time. I never knew I’d have the opportunity to travel to the African Continent.
When I applied for the scholarship, I did not think I would receive it. Growing up I suffered in my Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) classes and shuddered when thinking about a career in medicine. I had teachers who made me feel inadequate and created a mindset for myself that told me I couldn’t do it. It wasn’t until I was in community college that I felt my career change. I applied for the Emergency Medical Technician Program at City College of San Francisco and got in! Here in this program, I learned basic life skills in medicine and how to save/help others. It was so inspiring and helped empower me to believe in myself. I volunteered all over San Francisco, with the fire department and at SF General. It taught me to be brave.
This experience so far has shown me that no matter where you are from, you too can make a difference. My co-hort is a mixed bunch, students everywhere from Ivy Leagues to the public UC’s can learn and contribute from the communities around them.