The following letter appeared in the Fall 2009 Reflections Alumni Magazine.
Looking back now, it wasn’t just ‘the college experience.’ It was, in fact, uniquely SVSU. I can now look back and see an evolution of personal growth. Each of the following three experiences served as a catalyst that opened doors to additional amazing opportunities.
During my first semester, a Global Cultures sociology class opened my eyes to both the beauty and complex challenges in the world. That sociology class motivated me to volunteer in Haiti the following summer. It was what I saw in Haiti, as well as the beautiful people I met there, which first inspired me to go into medicine. I’ve since returned to Haiti and participated in a similar program in Ecuador. Indeed, my international travels have provided me with some of my greatest memories and most essential life lessons.
SVSU’s biochemistry degree program placed me in the company of a world-class staff of chemistry professors, who professionally and personally mentored me in so many important ways. Completing my Honors thesis in that field provided me with a deep sense of personal pride and allowed me to attend an American Chemical Society conference in New Orleans. It was a both professional milestone and a personal reawakening, as New Orleans was a city in need a rebuilding that reinforced my commitment to service.
Finally, the Roberts Fellowship Program opened my eyes to ever-lasting memories of an adventure in Asia, brilliant friends, and the comprehension of what makes a genuine leader. The idea that good leaders are so vital to our society today inspired me explore public service by pursuing an internship in Michigan Governor Granholm’s Office. Of course, it was my college experiences that made me such a competitive applicant.
These examples, and undoubtedly many more SVSU memories, don’t just fill up a resume; they’ve also shaped who I am today. In addition to incredible friendships and a deep well of knowledge, it is the sum total of my college experiences that I will carry with me to medical school. The best part is that I never have to remember to take them with me; they’ve been incorporated into the core of who I am all along the way.