Desalyn Johnson, ’23, was inspired to pursue a career in medicine by her family’s legacy of service and sacrifice. She is able too do so thanks, in part, to scholarship support.
My father served his country in the military. My mother served her students in the classroom. My sister served her patients in a global pandemic. Amid their sacrifices, I saw the determination and compassion with which they graciously served. Their examples inspired me to pursue a career of service.
As a pediatrician, I will have the privilege of cultivating the foundation of my patients’ health as they begin their life’s journey. I will also advocate for my patients by discussing the specific ailments that debilitate our communities and advocate for effective solutions.
The fact UAB is one of the Top 12 NIH-funded public medical schools enables me to continue in my pursuit of public health research, community engagement, and service. However, what inspires me even more is the fervor with which UAB administration pursues inclusion, equity, and diversity.
This desire for inclusion encourages me to share my family’s story. My grandfather had to stop school in the 4th grade to help take care of his sick mother and sharecrop the land. My parents both served in the U.S. Army and were one of the first in their family to attend college.
When I consider the various obstacles my family overcame, I am reminded of the strength from which I came. This lights a passion within me to continue my own pursuits, not for my own benefit, but for that of others. I am proud to purposefully dedicate myself to the same highly regarded principles of those before me.
Your support fuels the motivation that comes from the memory of those who came before me, and the desire to pave an even better way for those that will come after me. Thank you.