Born and raised in the South Bronx, NYC, I grew up in a community plagued with crime and poverty. Tragedies in my life sparked a desire to make a difference in my community. I live by the words “You are a fighter and you will make it.” It’s important for children in my community to have role models and I hope that I will be able to inspire and influence them just like other doctors inspired me.
At age of 5, I envisioned myself becoming a doctor but wasn’t sure what kind of doctor I’d become until several tragedies occurred in my life. When I was 11 years old, I witnessed my mother’s attempt to commit suicide. At 17, I became a teen mom to a precious baby boy, whose life was tragically taken away at four months. Six years later, my youngest sister was shot and killed while riding in a friend’s car. These tragedies caused me to question the doctors about their medical explanations, and it sparked a desire to make a difference in my community. During these times, I was advised by the physicians to become a doctor and put my passion of caring for people to work. Years later I met ER Physician Dr. Sampson Davis from the Three Doctors Foundation, and realized their stories were nearly identical — the poverty, the obstacles, the desire for change.
I bought his first book and it felt like my whole life story was pretty much laid out in that book. Dr. Davis’ story inspired me, but the idea of becoming a doctor seemed like an unrealistic opportunity. I didn’t have any money for medical school. At least that’s the way it seemed until I met the relative of a family friend, who was studying medicine in Cuba on a scholarship. I applied and was later awarded a full scholarship to study medicine at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba. Nearly a decade later after graduating from Hunter College, completing medical school in Cuba, and learning to speak Spanish fluently, I completed my residency as an Emergency Medicine Resident Physician at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center — the same place Dr. Davis started his career. And now as Emergency Physician in Brooklyn, New York, I now have the opportunity to give back to my community. Because of my experience and international exposure, I am now ready to offer medical help and advice to people around the world.
“You are a fighter and you will make it.”