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Brian Ibarra – March 2013 Scholar of the Month

CHCI-United Health Foundation Scholar Intern

Hometown: El Paso, TX

Degree: B.S., Biology

School: University of El Paso, El Paso

My name is Brian Ibarra and I am a student at The University of Texas at El Paso. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences/Biochemistry, with a focus on Pre-Medical studies. I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, which is known for having a binational culture as it holds strong bonds with Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. I graduated from an Early College High School which prepared me in every aspect for the path I am now taking. Being part of this competitive program gave me insight on how the Hispanic culture is striving to reach higher standards and raising a generation of successful leaders.

During high school I held memberships to various organizations; however, there were certain that submerged me into acknowledging the needs of the young Hispanic community in my city. I was a member of the Robotics club in which I was able to give presentations to elementary level children. Witnessing how young children have hungry minds motivated me to do something to empower their dreams to achieve a successful future. Being part of Future Business Leaders of America in my local chapter provided me the awareness on how we desperately need the voice of Hispanics in leadership.

Due to the fact that I am a Pre-Medical student, I manage to volunteer at the children’s hospital and university medical center. Volunteering at these institutions has helped me understand that our heritage is becoming more present professionally in places were other ethnicities dominated the career fields. Alongside volunteering for medical institutions, I was granted an internship with my brother’s doctor who is a Pediatric Neurologist. The doctor himself is from Hispanic heritage and has inspired me to become a Pediatric Neurologist myself. My brother suffers from a rare type of Epilepsy consequently from an undertreated flu. From this internship I learned that this profession is in high demand in my community being that this illness is high in numbers both in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, however, children who suffer from this illness lack the medical resources a child from El Paso would have.

From these experiences I have built my goals professionally and personally. One of them being to achieve a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences/Biochemistry, thus entering medical school. Despite the long years I will be preparing myself to become a Pediatric Neurologist, I am certain that I will not regret them as will be rewarded by knowing that I am contributing to my community, my people, my Hispanic heritage. Even though I have struggled to become the person I am now and the place I stand, I am confident that accomplishing my dreams and goals to empower Hispanic young people won’t be part of those hardships.

Over the years I have grown a passion for people in need, especially the ones that carry the same heritage as I do. With the help of this scholarship I will be able to carry on my dreams of researching and helping children who suffer from neurological disorders. There are no more words to define the honor and gratitude I feel of being a 2012 CHCI Scholar. With the help of organizations like CHCI, Hispanics and Latinos will pursue their dreams with eagerness and expose their great achievements and goals.