Khadija and myself became involved with New Yorkers For Children, an organization dedicated to helping foster care youth successfully transition out of foster care after completing high school, in 2009. Upon expressing our interest in medicine to representatives at New Yorkers For Children, we were introduced to our mentor, Dr. Jennifer Mieres who provided guidance to both of us during our undergraduate educational journeys by giving us a tour of Hofstra Medical School and also providing individual financial support for me to study abroad in Chile. Five years later, Khadija and I reunited to present the 2014 Nicholas Scoppetta Child Welfare Award, to the President and CEO of North Shore L-I-J Health Systems, Michael J. Dowling who partnered with New Yorkers For Children in 2013 to establish Futures in Motion: Youth CAN! Youth CAN! is a 12-week training and career counseling program that prepares youth for sustainable employment. During the award presentation, Khadija and I also announced our acceptance into competitive premedical programs.
Khadija is now a PA candidate at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and I am now enrolled in the Premedical Post Baccalaureate Program at Sage College. Our drive to pursue a career path in medicine comes from our experience in care and a strong desire to reverse the poor health outcomes that particularly devastate minority communities worldwide. Over tears and the exchanging of our stories and journeys in the privacy of a restroom, I said to Khadija “I have a strong feeling this is only the beginning of our stories… ” She replied “It is…” This moment in our lives has only reassured us that dreams in fact do come true and that we shouldn’t be afraid to pursue our passion regardless of staggering statistics.