Stephanie Ihezie ’15
Course 9: Brain and Cognitive Science + Course 21M: Theater Arts (minor)
I speak 7 different languages! Okay, not really…yet, but wouldn’t that be cool if I could? Aside from my main career goal to become a doctor, some of my life goals include: becoming a Jeopardy champion, learning a certain number of languages throughout my life but the most critical ones before I hit 30, and traveling to 5 countries in all continents that aren’t North America, Australia, and Antarctica. It brings me great happiness to learn about new cultures and embrace people who may initially seem different from me. I want to be a doctor because I want to help heal the hurt people feel. A full explanation of this would require a conversation with me. In the meantime, I have a great love for theater and enjoy shows /series like Boys Before Flowers, Deception, and Switched at Birth. I like volunteering and Wikipedia-ing and plan to take both to the next level. Most importantly, there is nothing that I love more and want more of than God.
Verónica Toro ’16
Course 20: Biological Engineering
I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. My favorite place to be at is the beach and I will never get used to the crazy Boston weather (especially rowing with the Women’s Open Weight Crew team when it is 30 degrees outside). Besides going to the beach, I really enjoy helping others and especially working with children. Because of this, I am a reading tutor for the MIT ReachOut program at the Cambridge Community Center, I am a big sister for Big Sister of Greater Boston and I am a mentor for MIT Best Buddies. In the future I want to become an orthopedic pediatric surgeon (I work building synthetic bone scaffolds at MGH!) At MIT I find that my biggest support system is the Association of Puerto Rican Students (I am their social chair and they are like my family :)) so I believe that peer support is super important and thus I fully endorse MIT MAPS mission of providing guidance from minority pre-meds to minority prs-meds. besides being Vice-President of MAPS, I am the MedLinks resident director for Simmons and I am Vice-President of Colleges Against Cancer. I hope that as an executive member I will be able to make MAPS a bigger organization on campus so that we may encourage many other minority students to pursue their goals in the field of medicine.
Jaqueline “Jamir” Thompson ’16
Course 3: Material Science and Engineering
I was born in Maryland and raised in San Antonio, TX. On campus, I am the PreCollege Initiative Chair of the National Society of Black Engineers and participate in the Black Women’s Alliance and the Black Students’ Union. As you can see I am the only engineering major on the executive board; I believe that an engineering background gives a problem-solving mindset that I believe can be interfaced with medicine. I have always been interested in looking inside things, seeing how they work, and learning how to fix them. Currently I am interested in emergency medicine and orthopedic surgery. I hope that as a MITMAPS member I can encourage and help foster minority students on campus to pursue their medical goals.
Chimdimma “Amma” Okwara ’16
Course 9: Brain and Cognitive Science + Chemistry (minor)
I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. On campus, I play on the Varsity Women’s Soccer team. I am also a part of various clubs including the African Students’ Association, Black Women’s Alliance, and BrainTrust. I am affiliated with the Sigma Kappa sorority, and also serve on the Baker House Executive Committee as Social Chair. I have wanted to be a doctor since I was in lower school. The appeal of directly saving a life really appeals to me, especially in the global health context. Everyone should have a right to health care; it is integral in leading a fulfilling life. My life goal is to join Doctors Without Borders to deliver medical care to those lacking the proper resources.
Itoro Atakpa ’17
Course 9: Brain and Cognitive Science
I am from Atlanta, Georgia. I research in John Gabrieli’s lab and tutor at the Cambridge Community Center, and I am starting an organization to help educate the homeless. I am intrigued by the brain and mental health, and I hope to contribute meaningful research to the field of neurodegenerative diseases. I also like twizzlers, Batman, and heated debates…