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Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Anu moved to the United States in 1997 after her family won the VISA lottery. Despite the many obstacles young people face when immigrating to a new country, Anu was determined to pursue her lifelong dream to practice medicine.
Anu’s chance finally arrived when she was accepted into NYAM’s Junior Fellows Program in 2003. At the time, she was an eighth grader at the Robert H. Goddard Middle School 202 in Ozone Park, Queens. Her school’s science and humanities teachers nominated her for the program, recognizing her academic abilities and sincere interest in the health professions.
As a Junior Fellow, Anu learned how to conduct secondary research, evaluate information, and present research findings. She chose to research sickle cell anemia, using resources from the NYAM library to conduct her research and assemble a poster to present at the end of the school year.
“I was learning about using reliable sources, and became really interested in working with all this information,” Anu said. “I felt I understood what I was doing and it had a purpose.”
After presenting her research and graduating from the Junior Fellows Program, Anu joined the NYAM Scholars Program for Junior Fellows alumni. Scholars attend seminars and visit medical facilities such as Weill Cornell Medical College and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. They also have the opportunity to participate in laboratory experiences and interact with leaders in public health, medicine, science, and research.
“I loved the idea of working in an academic setting and with patients,” Anu said of the visit to Weill Cornell. “I felt like this was something really meaningful. It was so inspiring. I went home and told my mom that this is exactly what I want to do.”
And that is exactly what she did, pursuing her studies at Johns Hopkins University in the Public Health Studies program. She graduated in 2011 and is now enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program at Bryn Mawr College. Her current career goal is to get her MD degree and run a nonprofit in the health care/public health sector.
“I want to give back in some way,” Anu said. “I like public health, working with people, and hope to make a difference wherever I go. I know what it means to have other people help you because they want to.”
Over a ten-month course of study, approximately 100 minority 8th and 9th grade students in The Junior Fellows Program advance their skills in online technology, identify concrete strategies for improving health and preventing illness, and understand the research process and the nature of scientific inquiry. Junior Fellows attend seminars with health professionals, medical students and scientists, visit New York City academic medical centers where they participate in hands-on activities, and receive instruction in NYAM's world-renowned medical library on how to conduct secondary research using published and online resources. Each Junior Fellow selects a research question often related to a public health issue that may have affected a family member or friend. Each June, Junior Fellows present their findings in a poster session at NYAM to staff, health professionals, and community members. This approach of project-based learning under the guidance of health professionals and NYAM staff helps foster relationships with adult role models.
Please consider making a gift in support of NYAM’s Junior Fellows.
Posted on January 16, 2013
Andrew J. Martin
Director of Communications
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10029
Reporters: to arrange interviews with NYAM medical and urban health experts, contact
Andrew J. Martin, Director of Communications
212-822-7285 / email@example.com
This report identifies opportunities that build on both the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) and New York’s ongoing efforts toward improving the health of its 19 million residents.
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