没有错过任何节拍, rising senior José Lizarraga Mazaba transitioned from the challenges of spring online classes to full-time summer study sessions preparing for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). He went directly from genomics annotations 而且 ethics readings for his Stritch classes right into hours of self-directed studies, practice tests 而且 meetings 与 a mentor in preparation for the test that will determine the next step in his unlikely journey to becoming a doctor.
“现在我21岁了, 我回顾高中时的自己,Lizarraga Mazaba说, 毕业于密尔沃基公立学校罗纳德·里根高中，主修什么 生物学 与 化学 而且 艺术 斯特里奇的未成年人. “当我上大二或大三的时候，我没想过自己会上大学. 从小到大，我没有一个长得像我的人能让我尊敬上大学的人. 那时候，我从没想过自己有一天会申请医学院. Now I’m sitting here – I don’t know if it’s by chance or by luck – 而且 I see myself 而且 my future differently.”
Lizarraga Mazaba和他的父母在他5岁的时候来到密尔沃基, 在提华纳留下了危险的局面, 墨西哥, 在美国为他们不断壮大的家庭寻找新生活.S. Lizarraga Mazaba vividly recalls details of his childhood 而且 the difficulties he experienced acclimating to his new home 而且 school in a language that did not come naturally to him. 翻译医学对话, pharmacy instructions 而且 laboratory test results for his family gave young Lizarraga Mazaba an early awareness of health disparities 而且 challenges faced by immigrant, 少数民族和贫困家庭. This gradual 而且 intimate awareness of these needs in his community helped form his early ambitions toward a career in medicine.
“即使有翻译, I could sense a disconnect between the physician 而且 my parents as it’s not ideal to communicate through a third p艺术y who is not personally invested in the outcomes of the conversations,Lizarraga Mazaba说. “从小到大，我见过的和我长得很像的医生很少，现在也仍然很少. I think the disconnect between certain communities such as the Latino 而且 African-American communities is real 而且 is the root of health disparities all over the U.S.尤其是在密尔沃基.”
A high school science teacher saw potential in Lizarraga Mazaba even before he saw it in himself 而且 persistently encouraged him to apply to a summer program for high school minority students at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Lizarraga Mazaba起初拒绝申请, lacking confidence that he would be able to overcome the odds stacked against him as a Dreamer. But his teacher’s conviction finally convinced him to submit his application at the last minute, 尽管他觉得自己被录取的希望不大.
“我的想法改变了，”Lizarraga Mazaba说. “一旦被录取，我就尽我所能地利用暑期学院的机会. 这些课程由医科学生授课. I formed a good relationship 与 the program manager 而且 she told me that she wanted to see an application from me the following summer to do research there.”
这引发了一系列的事件, involvements 而且 opportunities that would shape the vision Lizarraga Mazaba had for his future. The following summer after graduating from high school 而且 preparing for his freshman year at Stritch, Lizarraga Mazaba继续与威斯康星医学院保持联系, working on community-based clinical research 与 a mentor who would open doors for him to learn 而且 grow. 虽然一开始被巨大的经历和期望吓到了, Lizarraga Mazaba认为那个夏天是证明自己决心的时候, 选择长时间工作, 完成交给他的每一项任务，并在可能的情况下超越预期.
“从那时起，我开始相信自己，明白自己存在的意义, 尽管我的成长经历,Lizarraga Mazaba说.
他和导师的职业关系一直持续到今天, 与 Lizarraga Mazaba persistently keeping in contact 与 him to press him for more opportunities in the field. 如果邮件没有回复, Lizarraga Mazaba admits he will show up unexpectedly at the mentor’s office door to check in 而且 make himself available. 结果是, Lizarraga Mazaba受邀在一次会议上展示一张海报, 在两份专业刊物上发表研究成果, 并致力于为退伍军人开发一款危机干预手机应用. He said the mentor credited his contributions on the app project 与 improving their development timeline by as much as a year or two.
His varied research 而且 clinical opportunities in addition to the valuable relationships he has formed 与 experts in the field position him well as he fills out his medical school applications. 除了在克莱门特J. 密尔沃基的扎布洛基退伍军人医疗中心, Lizarraga Mazaba also served as a student intern for the All of Us research program 而且 as p艺术 of various teams doing research at both the Medical College 而且 the VA. Add that to endless hours spent in Stritch science classes 而且 labs, 而且 his resume is impressive.
“皇冠app的科学系是剑桥大学最强大的科学系之一,Lizarraga Mazaba说. “教练们都是一流的，他们为我的未来做了很好的准备.”
课堂之外，Lizarraga Mazaba在Stritch的经历包括参与 贷款存款比率倡议 (领导力发展, 第一代和少数民族学生的反思和服务), 方济各会服务学者辨别和服务计划, 专业前俱乐部和同伴辅导. These learning communities 而且 opportunities helped further shape Lizarraga Mazaba 而且 validate his career 而且 life choices.
“As an undergraduate, I have had several volunteering experiences, including at a soup kitchen (St. Ben’s Community Meal)就在我童年的家附近的一个社区。. “These experiences allowed me to go back 而且 see that although some progress has been made it is not nearly enough. Providing service to my community gave me the insight 而且 confidence to pursue a career in medicine as I was able to envision myself addressing these injustices.”
Lizarraga Mazaba正在等待他的MCAT成绩, which will lead to critical invitations for interviews 与 medical schools around the country. 他的教育之路，曾经看起来如此有限，现在又一次拓宽了.
他勇往直前, Lizarraga Mazaba非常清楚医学院考试所涉及的令人生畏的费用, 申请及相关旅行. After being furloughed from his job at the VA 而且 unable to apply for other jobs due to the limitations related to the COVID-19 p而且emic, Lizarraga Mazaba感到了经济上的拮据. As a first generation student 而且 Dreamer who does not qualify for federal financial aid extended to U.S. 公民, Lizarraga Mazaba felt fortunate when he received emergency funds from the Cardinal Stritch University 爱心传递基金，为需要额外帮助的学生提供资源.
对于像Lizarraga Mazaba这样有远大目标和光明未来的学生, a fund that helps them meet personal expenses can make the difference between continuing their education or having to take a break from their studies 而且 career preparation.
“基金的帮助来得正是时候，”Lizarraga Mazaba说. “我有几个月没有上班. 如果我有一份全职工作，我就不能为入学考试复习了. 我非常感谢这些捐款，我也非常感谢那些为基金会捐款的人.”
当他坚持他的研究和他的医疗事业的追求, Lizarraga Mazaba will soon be in a position to influence 而且 support others 而且 his community in the same way teachers, 监督者和其他许多人引导了他这段不太可能的旅程. 展望他的未来, 他决心不仅要实现自己的职业目标, 更重要的是为他的社区服务并成为导师, encourage 而且 empower other minority students to follow their dreams despite odds 而且 other circumstances stacked against them.