Hometown: Miami, South Florida!
Why major in health science? I like Health Science because of the variety that it offers students in any field. The values and lessons that we are taught not only align with my own personal values, but they are ones that can be applied in almost any healthcare field! The major also provides me with a chance to meet others who are not necessarily following the same career path as me.
What is most interesting about health science? I mentioned the breadth of the major, but I also love the focus on diversity (not only of individuals, but also of professions and specialties) and interdisciplinary practice. There are so many options to choose from and so many paths to take, and being around so many different people can help you figure out what exactly you want to do once you’ve graduated. I also find it interesting how everything relates to each other, no matter the topic. For example, concepts learned in one class may be useful for other classes taken both within and outside of the major. It’s a major that’s both practical and enjoyable!
Why did you choose UF? I wanted to stay in-state for undergrad, and UF seemed like an amazing institution with so many options— I knew I would never get bored here! There is always so much to do and so many ways to get involved here. I especially love how the school constantly has new events or opportunities, if you just search for them!
What experience at UF has been most influential? Honestly, being accepted into the College of Public Health and Health Profession’s Bachelor of Health Science program. I was able to finally shift gears into doing things that excited me with like-minded peers and knowledgeable professors. I have actually had the chance to get to know so many of my undergraduate professors, which is something I never thought would happen. When I was in high school, my school counselor would constantly tell us how professors wouldn’t remember us after our courses ended or how they wouldn’t be willing to cater to your needs… the BHS program proved them so wrong! PHHP has such phenomenal faculty that are genuinely interested in getting to know students and helping us grow not only as future healthcare professionals, but as individuals as well. I was never anxious to talk to a professor after class, and office hours were never a bore!
Do you participate in extracurriculars? If so, which? During the past few years at UF, I have definitely hopped around and surveyed my fair share of extracurriculars (as everyone should!). To keep things brief, I would say that the extracurricular involvement that I am most proud of is being the Director of Public Relations for PHHP’s Lead Educate Advocate Philanthropy (L.E.A.P.) mentorship program. I joined the program as a mentor and decided to join the Executive Board during my Junior year… an amazing decision! I’ve had the opportunity to work with an amazing team of students, while guiding and giving a voice to members of our organization. I am also grateful to have joined the PHHP Diversity Caucus, a student-led group focused on diversity and inclusion within our College. We work to facilitate and advocate for open conversations to address injustice within our College, and I am proud to have been a founding part of this effort!
Did you have a chance to participate in any research while in college? What do you do? The BHS program definitely provides students with numerous opportunities to get involved with research, whether you apply to the BHS Honors Program or not. I was lucky to be able to conduct research within a lab, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering it! Doing so during a pandemic was a unique experience, but I feel that the lessons that I learned during the process definitely made any adversities worthwhile.
What are your professional goals? No matter what I do in the future, I want to benefit people of marginalized backgrounds with my work. As someone who comes from a highly marginalized background myself, I would hope to combine my personal, professional, and academic experiences in order to benefit others in ways that I would have also benefited from earlier in my life.
What do you like to do for fun? I usually spend my free time watching new shows or catching up on my favorite ones. Recently, I have begun to pick up some computer gaming as a hobby, which really helps me destress! I am also a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons and similar games involving roleplay and in-depth character creation and worldbuilding.
What advice do you have for prospective students? I would advise anyone reading this to make sure they don’t rush into things without thinking. Sometimes in this busy society of ours, we have the urge to rush, whether it be rushing to get ahead or rushing to finish before everyone else. No matter what, it WILL get done! There is no reason to rush into things when it’s always much more enjoyable to do things at your own pace and live fully in the moment. College is shorter than you think, so make it count but still have a good time!!