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2021 Minorities in STEM Scholarship Spotlight: Ashlyn E.

Avomeen is committed to supporting and helping to inspire the next generation of scientists and leaders in STEM. We’re privileged to have the opportunity to help ease some of the financial stress that comes with higher education. Our Women in STEM and Minorities in STEM Scholarship Program allows us to support undergraduates who are on their way to doing incredible things in STEM fields of study. In 2021, we were able to expand the annual scholarship program to offer additional scholarships to 2 amazing students, one who applied for Avomeen’s Women in STEM scholarship, and another who applied for Avomeen’s Minorities in STEM scholarship.  Today, we’re getting to know Ashlyn E., one of the the recipients of Avomeen’s 2021 Minorities in STEM Scholarship.

You’re currently a pre-pharmacy student pursuing a minor in Spanish. Did you consider any other professions or fields of study, and can you tell us more about why learning Spanish is important to supporting your goals?

I am a pre-pharmacy student, majoring in biomedical sciences and minoring in Spanish. When I first began my studies I was torn between pre-pharmacy and pre-medicine. What really made me stick with pharmacy was when I realized patients will see their pharmacist more often then their physician in a year, and there is a gap in the field where there is such a lack of communication and a relationship between pharmacists and patients. There is a significant opportunity for pharmacists to have a bigger impact on their patients, and end the pandemic that is the misuse of medications.

In order to be a successful communicator, a pharmacist must be able to translate complex medical information into forms that patients fully understand. Being from a community with a high percentage of Spanish-speakers, I think studying Spanish, the language and culture, is going to allow me to reach out to and serve all communities, which is my ultimate goal. I plan on studying other common languages and cultures as well in the near future.

Who and/or what has influenced your career path?

Growing up I had always looked up to my mother and admired her career as a nurse. Because of her example, I always felt being a woman in healthcare and STEM fields was possible for me. As I furthered my education I was able to shadow professionals in many fields, but one woman in particular showed me the multifaceted field that is pharmacy. She is the CEO of her own pharmacy practice, and has worked in many areas in the field herself. She built her pharmacy in an underserved community, and it has been especially telling through COVID just how impactful a local pharmacist can be on their community through trust and genuine relationships. I have been blessed with the intelligent and selfless women in my life as models.

We understand that you volunteer as a mentor to young African American and Latina girls whose families are impacted by medication abuse. Can you tell us more about your experience mentoring young women in your community?

Having had such great examples in life myself I knew it would be so rewarding to be an example for you g girls myself. Through my research experience in sociology as well as my own experience getting to know girls from underserved communities, their success is limited by their lack of opportunity and lack of information from people like me who have gone through paths they’d like to pursue. I went into mentoring with the expectation to teach the girls in my class a lot, which I do, but somedays I feel like I learn a lot from them. It is evident that people outside of low income communities have misconceptions about the people in them. Getting to know all types of communities helps anyone to have more sympathy and understanding and will one day help me be a great medium between health care and the world we serve.

What are your plans after you graduate?

After I graduate I plan on attending pharmacy school to pursue a PharmD/MBA dual degree.

Science is fun! We’re big fans of science and STEM jokes. Do you have a favorite joke you’d like to share?

Ever since online school teacher have been sending funny science memes to us. One of them said, “Why don’t ants get sick? Because they have anty-bodies”.

 

Ashlyn is in good company! Get to know the other 2021 STEM scholarship recipients:

Adi O., Women in STEM

Shagun S., Minorities in STEM

Lillian H., Women in STEM