I will never forget being in my grade 10 chemistry class and realizing that I wanted to pursue a career in chemistry. I finally figured out what career I wanted to pursue but was concerned that the world of science wouldn’t accept a woman of color. It really troubled me. My Dad was a carpenter and my Mom was a dressmaker. Both had no connection to the health care industry. My Aunt was an accomplished Registered Nurse and I had her as a great example of success in the health care industry. I didn’t feel lost but I needed direction. I was determined to find my way in the world of health care.
My high chemistry exam scores caught the attention of my teacher and she enrolled in a mentorship program in Toronto, Canada. My mentor was a pharmaceutical lab technician. I would meet my mentor, ask questions and discuss plans for the future. This program was very similar to the MIMS program in Oakland, California.
The MIMS (Mentoring in Medicine and Science) Program is a non-profit organization in Oakland, California with a mission to increase the number of underrepresented health professionals through mentoring, leadership development and career exposure. MIMS has worked with 150 health care professionals to mentor high school students who are pursuing careers in the health care industry.
Being a Biochemist, the MIMS program recently paired me with a high school student to share my experience in Diabetes and Cancer Research. Meet Naomi, a Grade 12 student who has a passion for nursing. After the death of her family member as a result of cancer and seeing the quality of care in her native country of Ghana, Naomi is determined to become a nurse to help others. Naomi would be the first nurse in her family. Naomi enrolled in the MIMS program to help her prepare for a career in health care. I met with Naomi to talk to her more about the impact of the MIMS program on her academic life. Watch the video below to hear what she had to say.
Sitting down with Naomi was like sitting in front of a mirror. She reminded me of myself, my love for science, medicine and the entire health care industry. The MIMS program is helping youth achieve their dreams by taking the time to give them the tools, skills and resources they need to succeed.
Thank you to the MIMS program for connecting me with Naomi. I look forward to witnessing Naomi accomplish her goal in health care. To learn more about the MIMS program visit their site here, http://www.mimscience.org