Full Name: Nancy Robles
Western University of Health Sciences
I was born in a rural agricultural area in Jalisco, Mexico where I grew up until the age of 12. There were no medical centers nearby and community members were forced to drive upwards of an hour to get to the closest clinic. The lack of available medical care left me with a sense of powerlessness and sparked my interest in medicine at an early age. This career goal was difficult for me to achieve in my native town of San Jacintito as we only had a primary school. As a result of the lack of resources in Mexico, my parents decided that it would be best for us to move to the United States.
Being an undocumented student was challenging because I was not eligible for financial aid and internships that many students receive or participate in. I felt powerless and believed that I could not apply to college. When I told my counselor and a close teacher about my status during my senior year, they lacked the information to guide me. However, one day, I met a mentor who worked at a program called UC Davis Talent Search. He was the first person to tell me that I could actually go to college. He provided me the necessary information and support during my college application process changing my life and teaching me the importance of mentorship. Inspired by my mentor, I chose to reach out to high school students in similar situations while I attended American River college as the Latinos Unidos club Co-chair and a member of the Puente program.
During my senior year at the University of California Davis, I had the opportunity to volunteer at Knights Landing student run clinic. I learned that there is a great need for doctors in rural areas. Growing up in a rural area, I know that our communities can feel isolated. I still remember the “thank you for taking care of me” after members from Knights Landing visited our clinic, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do for a living. I want to provide primary care to rural community members.
After graduating from UC Davis in 2012, there were times when I was almost convinced that I would not be able to attend medical school. After been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, I had hope that I had a better opportunity of gaining an acceptance to medical school. I decided that it was time to send my applications to medical schools in 2014. Pre-Health Dreamer's Medical Applicant Cohort provided me not only guidance and information, but with comprehensive support. Recently receiving an acceptance to medical school, I now know that my dream of pursuing medicine will no longer be just a dream, but a reality starting this Fall of 2015. I grew up feeling powerless seeing my family struggle to obtain health care because of lack or resources and health insurance. I cannot wait until the day I will be wearing my white coat, working as a family doctor. I am hopeful that I will be able to help ease other people’s feeling of powerless by providing health care and continue helping students to pursue their own passions.
I love outdoors and music
What advice would you give to future undocumented students applying to graduate programs?
From my past experiences, I learn that perseverance is key to success. You have to keep working towards your goals and finding new ways to achieve them. It is very important to believe in yourself and to find mentors who will help you get back on track when you feel lost. Don't be afraid to ask for help!