In a recent interview, we had the privilege to speak with Grafira Jean Baptiste, a dedicated student from our Mentoring in Medicine Summer of Science Service and Scholarship Program. Grafira’s journey is nothing short of inspiring, and her commitment to her academic and personal goals is truly remarkable.
Hello, my name is Graphira Jean-Baptiste. I am currently a post-baccalaureate student applying to get a masters in biochemistry to get a better understanding of the inner mechanisms of the human body. My ultimate goal is to use my knowledge in biochemistry to become a pediatrician, one whose focus is on health disparities in minority communities, especially Haitian communities
Daniel: Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Daniel, and today we’re shining a spotlight on one of our star students, Grafira Jean Baptiste. Grafira, could you start by telling us about your family background and upbringing?
Grafira: Of course, Daniel. I come from a humble background. My parents are immigrants from Haiti, and we initially lived in a two-bedroom apartment. My parents worked tirelessly to provide us with the best opportunities, even taking out loans and seeking help from friends to buy a house when I was nine.
Values: Hard Work and Education
Grafira: I learned the importance of hard work and education from my parents. They stressed that these values are key to success. Even when our family grew, my parents never wavered in their commitment to our education. This foundation has shaped my perspective on life.
Daniel: Grafira, what are your academic interests, and why did you choose them?
Grafira: I’ve always loved science, and I developed a passion for chemistry and biochemistry. I’m particularly intrigued by how chemicals interact in our bodies and how diseases manifest. My interest in medicine was sparked during a program in Manhattan that focused on health disparities. I’m motivated to address these disparities, especially within the Haitian community.
Daniel: Aside from your academic pursuits, do you have any hobbies or interests?
Grafira: Absolutely. I’m an artist, and I love to paint and draw. Art is my sanctuary, a place of peace and inspiration.
Daniel: What are your long-term goals, Grafira?
Grafira: My primary goal is to become a pediatrician. I’m passionate about working with children, and I want to make a difference in their lives. I also aim to address healthcare disparities, both within the Haitian community in the U.S. and in Haiti itself.
Highlights of the Summer of Science Program
Daniel: Can you share some highlights of your experience in the Summer of Science Program?
Grafira: One highlight was learning about anemia, which expanded my knowledge. I also gained valuable skills, like using Scratch for animation, creating a research poster, and mastering pivot tables.
Contributions to Personal and Academic Growth
Daniel: How has this program contributed to your personal and academic growth?
Grafira: I learned to take initiative, overcome fear, and become more organized. These skills have shaped my academic journey and will serve me well in the future.
Skills and Knowledge Gained
Daniel: What specific skills or knowledge areas do you believe will set you apart from other applicants?
Grafira: My graphic design skills, pivot table proficiency, and animation skills using Scratch are unique and will make me stand out. I’m also working on a research paper, which will further demonstrate my dedication.
Application of Program Experience
Daniel: How do you see the skills gained in this program contributing to your long-term goals?
Grafira: Graphic design will help me advertise my projects effectively. Pivot tables and data analysis will be invaluable in research and patient care. Animation skills will allow me to convey messages in a fun and engaging way.
Advice for Future Participants
Daniel: What advice would you give to students looking to join the Summer of Science Program?
Grafira: Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to speak up, and take initiative. Embrace the learning process, and remember that every journey begins with a single step.
Daniel: Thank you so much, Grafira, for sharing your remarkable journey with us. Your determination and passion are truly inspiring.
Grafira: Thank you for the opportunity. I’m always ready to share my experiences and insights.