Yinka Edwards is a graduate of the YWLC program at Windsor High School. She has continued her education, graduating in 2011 from the University of Connecticut with a major in Physiology and Neurobiology and minor in Molecular and Cell Biology. She is currently a first year medical student at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and has been living in the greater Hartford area since she was in second grade. Her goal and desire is to use her medical degree to serve her community. She has taken the time to reflect on how YWLC impacted her life. Read about her experience below.
I was exhausted. The day had been filled with lectures, labs, exams and was far from over. I still had volleyball practice and homework that needed my attention. Yet, in the midst of the chaos was an oasis of camaraderie, empowerment, and personal growth. Welcome to the Young Women’s Leadership Corp (YWLC).
It actually does not seem that long ago (a little under 10 years) when I was engaging in discussions about the body, nutrition, finances, and careers; attending different workshops and conferences; and volunteering in the community. I guess when you are continually involved with things in line with achieving your goals, time seems to fly.
Since I was young, my dream has been to become a physician. No one in my family is a doctor. My dream stems from a passion for science. I have always loved learning about the intricacies of the human body; its fragility, its strength, and its capacity for self-repair. The possibility of using this knowledge to give back to my community and make people feel better was, and continues to be, thrilling and humbling.
I was very fortunate to attend the annual In the Company of Women luncheon with the YWLC the year Dr. Mae Jemison was the keynote speaker. The luncheon was a wonderful experience. Seeing such a large number of professional women from places I was familiar with was incredibly inspiring.
It is always empowering to see someone who looks like you succeeding in their field; especially in fields that are not diverse. So when I heard Dr. Jemison speak, I was immediately captivated. She told about her story as a little girl looking to the stars, dreaming big and achieving big.
The YWLC taught me that I have no limits; that I should constantly strive to be better and to do better. And I took this lesson with me…from high school, to college, all the way to my first year in medical school.
I am incredibly thankful for my experiences in the YWLC. The lessons I learned will continue to follow me and push me beyond my wildest dreams.Tweet