My experiences as a Black, first-generation Guyanese American woman hailing from an underprivileged community in Brooklyn, NY, have intimately influenced my career goals. Given the challenges I have endured and the experiences of those in my community, it was apparent that social identities can ultimately impact quality of life, and access to health. I chose to attend Ithaca College because I was eager to be a student in an institution that is committed to evolving with the rapidly developing field of health. The Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education has been a critical factor in my development during my time at Ithaca College, and has taught me valuable lessons about serving others, and committing myself to a lifetime of learning. As a future healthcare practitioner, I hope to combine my passion for social justice and public and community health in an effort to both identify, and meet the needs of my patients. By doing so, I hope to improve both access to health and access to healthcare for my patients, and also empower them to be proactive in their health.
As the founder of the organization Melanin in Medicine, I have been able to support other first generation students of color who are navigating life at a predominantly White institution. I am thankful for supportive Ithaca College faculty, staff and students, who are helping to shape the newest generation of innovative leaders in healthcare.