Sebastian Garcia-Medina: Leaving Behind Violence for Higher Education

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If something doesn’t work, Sebastian Garcia-Medina finds an alternative way to make it work.

It’s this kind of resourcefulness that he learned from his father, who helped his family leave behind violence in Bogota, Columbia, and move to the U.S. in search of higher education.

In Wisconsin, as a first-generation immigrant, Garcia-Medina found his passion in the medical sciences and aiding the underserved populations.

After taking a year to work at the Mayo Clinic, Garcia-Medina is now continuing his path toward medicine and science by pursuing a master’s degree in Cleveland, Ohio.

To further his experience and education, Garcia-Medina applied for the Éxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program.

The Éxito! program, led by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez at UT Health San Antonio with support from the National Cancer Institute, recruits 25 master’s-level students and professionals each year for a five-day summer institute and optional internships to promote doctoral degrees and careers in Latino cancer. A recent study found significant increases in summer institute participants’ confidence to apply to a doctoral program and academic self-efficacy.

“I am grateful for the incredible opportunity to learn from great speakers and peers at the [Éxito!] summer institute,” said Garcia-Medina. “By providing experienced speakers and like-minded peers, Éxito!  has encouraged me to follow my dreams and pursue a doctoral degree.

He urged Latinos to apply to participate in the program.

Éxito!, in a short time of a week, provides you with inspiration to continue your educational goals. It will also provide you with the tools to better prepare you for the transition into a doctoral program.”

Editor’s Note: This is the story of a graduate of the 2018 Èxito! Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training program at UT Health San Antonio, the headquarters of the Salud America! program. Apply now for Èxito! 2019.

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28

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of Latino kids suffer four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACES).

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