College: Lehman College
For the first 18 years of my life in Bangladesh, my father made my decisions for me: what and where I should study, who my teachers should be, and even, whom I should befriend. I have relied on his valuable guidance. However, that changed after we moved to the U.S. in 2010. My father was no longer able to offer me the same advice because of his unfamiliarity with the educational system and aspects of culture. For the first time, I decided to rely on my abilities and to consider my own path. This was a significant moment in my life. The idea of emerging from my father’s shadow was appealing, but it also took me out of my comfort zone. I had to trust my judgment and use my past experiences to guide me.
Growing up in Bangladesh, one of my main concerns was women’s health. Since my teenage years, I have always thought about how to provide more competent and compassionate care for women. In Bangladesh, the general scarcity of doctors, and people’s narrow mindedness toward women and “womanly” diseases, often leads women to suffer unnecessarily. Due to the scarcity of female doctors especially, most women don't receive adequate treatment, which leads to serious health issues over time. Furthermore, in Bangladeshi schools, teachers hesitate to talk about bodily processes, leaving young girls struggling to gain perspective about the changes in their body. Likewise, many even believe that to go to the hospital for delivery is shameful, making infant mortality another major health issue. These are the primary reasons I want to become a doctor. My goal is to build a health education network so people can have better access to health, and ultimately better lives and communities. I not only want to provide treatment, but also to inform people so they can make healthy decisions. I want to help to address these problems by creating a network of doctors in the U.S. and Bangladesh who can cooperate so that medical knowledge can be more effectively shared. Above all, I want to help to change the approach to women’s health by providing information to women, as well as to men, so that in countries like Bangladesh, we can begin to make women's health a priority.
So far, my decision to assume this responsibility has had positive effects. I am a sophomore at CUNY Lehman College where I'm earning a bachelor's degree in Biology. This transition has allowed me to shape my individuality and to discover that I have the courage to decide many aspects of my life. The belief that I can make positive things happen is constant inspiration in the development of my autonomy. Being a NYNY fellow is the first step towards implementing my dreams. Through all the aspects of this program, such as being exposed to different career opportunities, learning how to network efficiently, and one-on-one mentoring, I am eager to be more assertive, and develop myself professionally. The program has allowed me to interact with people outside my community who have similar ambitions and aspirations. The mentor coaches will be a great help in enriching my knowledge and giving me the technical support I need to grow. At the end of my journey with NYNY, I really hope to give back to my peers and my community more than I was given.