Full Name: Yves Gomes
Hometown: Silver Spring
School: University of Maryland
Program: School of Pharmacy
My family came to the US in 1994 as asylum seekers from Bangladesh and India, I was born in India. Our case lingered in the US for 12+ years until the court finally denied our request. My parents were ultimately deported in 2009 after our home was raided in the summer of 2008. I was a science nerd for as long as I can remember, but pharmacy appealed to me because it best intertwined my interests in biochemistry and community advocacy. I see the pharmacist as a person who can help patients who otherwise would not get access to healthcare, build resource networks to get the proper care they deserve.
My favorite hobbies are lifting weights and making food. In fact, the only reason I lift is so the food tastes better once I am hungry.
What advice would you give to future undocumented students applying to graduate programs?
Personally, I think if you want to do medicine or pharmacy, participate in whatever you are passionate about- it does not necessarily have to be related to science. For a career in research, definitely pursue as much research and clinical experience as you can. Don't let an average GPA deter you from applying to schools of your choice- be confident. My GPA in college was a 3.3. Find community among other undocumented students who want similar goals as you (PhDreamers is a good place to start) and support each other. Also, pool your resources with friends to purchase used or second hand study materials, especially if you don't want to take an overpriced class.Lastly, own your struggle and experience being undocumented and how it translates into your passion for whatever program you want to pursue. It is the reason you are unique from so many other students applying. Also, being upfront with your status will allow you to identify which schools are actually worth your time and will help you establish conversations on how the school should better accommodate your unique needs.