What are your short-term (in the next 18 months) and long-term goals for giving and what steps are you taking right now to ensure your success? Are there barriers to your success? If so, are they financial, physical, social/emotional, technical, cultural, and/or political? Please explain. Finally, how can AU support you in achieving your goals for giving?
Upon reading Giving 2.0 I have realized that there are many more ways in which I can incorporate giving back with my own strategic plan. In the next eighteen months, I hope my accomplishment will not only prepare me for the rigors of medical school, but for the rigors of life.
According to Laura Arrillaga-Andereesen, the author or Giving 2.0, money or expertise isn’t the only thing that people can offer. In fact, one of the greatest and simplest things we can all give is our time. Prior to learning this, I was under the misconception that giving my time wouldn’t be valuable due to the fact that I was just a student in my undergraduate years. However, becoming a mentor this year through the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program has showed me how just sharing past experiences can be beneficial.
After attending the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) in Atlanta, Georgia last April I was motivated to starts a Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS) chapter at American University. The main reason why I’m currently working to start the chapter is to help create an environment at American University that helps promote minorities pursuing pre-medical studies.
Some of my other short-term goals are to get an internship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and to complete research in a laboratory. In both aspects, I originally thought about what I would get out of these experiences, as opposed to how contributing my time will help others researching.
My ultimate long-term for giving is to become a pediatric oncologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital not only would I have the ability to help sick children, but I would also be able to help children regardless of whether their parents can afford medical care. Again, Giving 2.0, has caused me to start rethinking of how I could do more with my long term goals to change the world. After becoming an established, I starting to believe that I may way to open a clinic or create a foundation of some sort in order to promote health.
There are a few things that I would have previously considered possible barriers to my success, but I am more confident that working hard for my short-term goals will allow me to avoid these barriers from affecting me. For instance, many students entering medical school already have some sort of student debt. Therefore, for many students the burden of obtaining more student debt can possibly deter a person from getting a career in medicine. Thankfully my scholarship will remove the burden on undergraduate student debt. Lastly, a barrier that may have once stood my way of becoming a doctor is the fact that African-American/Black women are minorities in medicine. For some, that may be a source of intimidation, but at this point in my life I have seen and talked with so many Black doctors that I don’t allow the fact that Blacks are underrepresented in medicine to prevent me from this career path. In fact, this barrier has had the opposite affect on me, and is a source of motivation for me.
American University can support me in achieving my goals by continuing the many support centers on campus. Thus far, I have benefitted from American University services such as the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program, Academic Support Center, Career Center, Office of Merit Awards, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs. All of these resources provided by American University are helping guide me through the process of success while giving back to others.