Marla, the future Doctora

Storyteller: Marla (she/her/hers), 22, Texas

From the mere age of four, stepping into a classroom meant I was able to learn, grow, and shape my future. Although any four year old isn't quite aware of it at the time, I was, and I had my parents and grandparents to thank for that. Growing up in a rural small town on the border of south Texas, my family wanted nothing but my education to be the goal and biggest aspiration in my life, something they weren't able to do but saw the potential in me. Being that I was in the Gifted and Talented group all throughout my schooling, I noticed my love for all the subjects, but more so, science. Because of my own family's medical history, the day I had walked into my very first classroom at the age of four, I knew I wanted to take part in being a doctor that could help diabetic patients like my grandparents one day, be the cardiologist that would see individuals with underlying health conditions and prevent their heart problems unlike my grandparents never had, and be the public health servant for my small town to implement changes in multiple fashions and initiatives like my town needed when I was growing up. Of course, at the time I didn't quite put in out into words like such, but I knew it was school that would lead me to achieve anything I wanted (those were the things I wanted and still do) and science would get me there. All throughout elementary, there was no science project that wouldn't get me excited to create in the classroom or at home- I wanted to build volcanos, create toaster ovens out of simple materials, grow beans, and more. In middle school, I learned the periodic table by heart, start attending labs to learn the scientific methods, and began learning about chemical compounds. In high school, I squealed with joy at the sight of my anatomy and physiology dissection day, solving equations in AP Chemistry, and learning all about the biological kingdoms in AP Biology. There was nothing taught in all those years that didn't confirm my passions, however, it was tough as years went by. Science, although my favorite, didn't come quite easy to me as topics grew harder and our schools became smaller. During high school, I had to buckle down and try my hardest, implementing my love of English and ease with mathematics when it came to any of the sciences I was studying (a huge foreshadowing to me for college). I knew that while I wasn't the best, I had to try and find any possible way to not only understand but excel in the material. By implementing my other core subjects' tactics, I was able to grow with the science material and truly embody that if you love something, nothing will get in the way of your dreams of accomplishing the goals that come with it. My days in primary schooling led me to become a first generation college graduate with a B.S. in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology, as a pre-medical student. I have a long ways to go with my dream of becoming a pediatric physician dedicating my methods to preventative medicine, but it's nothing short of a reflection of how I got to fall in love with the sciences in the first place. College was almost a repetition of that struggle and learning curve with all the sciences I had to take, but I'm craving more, because not only do I love a challenge, but science is truly everywhere and we all need it, especially all the little four year olds about to enter a classroom for the first time and decide they want to be a future Doctora.

Marla the future Doctora

Stepping into a classroom meant I was able to learn, grow, and shape my future.