Currently in my third and last year of my undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, and my goal is to become the first physician in my family. At the young age of 15, I realized my dream after my mother was diagnosed with malignant breast cancer. There are many things that I aspire to achieve along my medical journey, including contributing to the 2% of black female physicians in America by ensuring that those that look like me have a trusted medical professional that they can confide in when things get rough. Along with my academics, my hobbies include reading, writing, singing, dancing, and hanging out with my friends and family.
Kelviyana how has the pandemic impacted your career?
The COVID19 pandemic has impacted my academic career significantly. In addition to ultimately shifting to an online format, finding a quiet and distraction-free place to study has been difficult.
Kelviyana, can you please share with our readers how you stay self-motivated during these difficult times?
Well, I make sure to take heed to my body’s needs by resting, wearing my face masks, and drinking tea in the mornings and evenings. Every now and then, I try to get a quick workout in for stress relief. Above all, I feed my faith and not fear of the unknown by reading scriptures, attending church, and small groups online.
Do you often succeed in achieving your goals?
Not in the way that I plan to achieve them, but God always makes way.
Please tell us your experience with having a supportive mother.
My supportive mother is the reason I am where I am and who I am today! The support she has shown me did not seem like an obligation or a job of hers, but it was love from which support stems. No matter what I wanted to sign up for or what school I wanted to attend, or what club I wanted to start, my mother has always been on the phone with me or in the offices with me, protecting and guiding me with supportive hands. She made sure there was never a time that I felt alone in anything I have set my mind to, but she always made sure I was doing it for myself. Having a supportive mother builds a sense of worth like no other.
What are some of your most significant accomplishments?
My greatest accomplishment was being a successful caretaker for my mom during her cancer experience, as she is now six years cancer-free. After that, I graduated high school in 2018 with a 7.88 GPA and an Associate of Arts degree from college. Going into my bachelor’s at 18-years-old, I was accepted to a Top 10 University where I started my own student organization to promote affordable and healthy lifestyles across marginalized communities.
What advice would you give someone who would like to embark on your expertise?
First and foremost, do not ever let anyone tell you that you are doing it for the wrong reasons! As long as you do it for yourself, that’s all that matters. Second, expect the unexpected and stop planning everything to the tee. Things always fall into place. Unfortunately, the medical field is all about competition. Still, as long as you do not get swallowed up in a brawl, you’ll find it is the most meaningful experience of a lifetime. Take chances and do not check off the boxes; make new ones!
What sense of purpose have you drawn from your culture or your community?
I have gained a sense of belonging wherever I go because I worked to get there. I am working towards something bigger than me and more significant than my story. I am working on making sure young black girls see that there is always more to become in life.
What else can we expect from you in 2021?
Expect the unexpected! Ha-ha! I plan to wow the world and myself in the process of my transition into my post-graduation life. I will be taking two gap years before matriculating into medical school to study for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and gain further real-world experience to mature before the struggles that come with medical school. During these years, I hope to start my own tea house doing community outreach for young women and men to learn how to practice proper etiquette while still being true to themselves, traveling, and learning more about myself without the pressure of graded assignments. 2021 will be my year of transition. Very exciting!
Follow me on my Instagram, where I am documenting my journey to the M.D.
All images provided by Kelviyana Walker