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Feature in The Daily Herald

Well today officially makes 1 month until I start medical school.

As each day goes by and my first day of medical school gets closer I continue to feel increasingly thankful for the opportunity to train to be a medical doctor. I am just excited for all that is to come and the dreams that will be turned into reality. I know this month is going to fly by and before I know it I will be sitting in Harvard Medical School for orientation and receiving my white coat!

But truly, what I most look forward to is the impact I will be able to have on my community. It is a huge reason for why I am on this path and it fuels much of what I do. And that is why I was so touched by the following news:

Article in The Daily Herald

I am so honored to have been featured in my island's newspaper. The article was released on June 8th and spotlighted on the front page. It shared my acceptance to Harvard Med and a bit of my story with the whole island.

This is so meaningful to me for many reasons. Firstly because when I moved from St. Maarten one of my main goals was to make my island proud. There were so many nights where I cried myself to sleep, questioning why I left my home, my family, my paradise. This only made me want to work harder to make the sacrifice of leaving my home island worth it - and to work towards this dream of becoming a doctor so I can one day give back to my island and improve health for my people.

As I continued on my journey, my next goal was to inspire and help other Caribbean students to pursue higher education. Growing up on the island, I didn’t hear about people getting in and going to Harvard at all. But now, some young boy or girl picked up our newspaper and saw that YES someone from our island made it to Harvard. And if I could do it, so can they. Representation matters and I am so humbled to be part of that representation for St. Maarten youth.

As I said in the article,

By sharing my story, I can now be that representation that I didn’t have. I have always said “small island, but big dreams” and despite the self-doubts, the challenges, and turmoil I kept being resilient and pushing through and now the dreams are a reality. And that is the advice I would give to my fellow St. Maarten students pursuing their dreams and education: Dream big. Don’t limit yourself.”

Read the full article here:

Giving Back

Whether through mentoring or inspiring, I am always looking for ways to give back to my island and community. I have recently joined a non-profit, MV3 Foundation, which is focused on mentoring Black undergraduate students pursuing careers in health and biomedical sciences. I am also launching my own non-profit focused on health in the Caribbean - I have big ideas for this non-profit and I am excited to share it with you all later in 2022.

I also continue to mentor and help students. If you are from St. Maarten/St. Martin and interested in a career in health, consider me a mentor and resource.

I want to give a special thank you to Angelique Romou who interviewed me and had this article published to the newspaper. Angelique has also had me as a guest on her youth radio program and I so appreciate how she recognized the power in highlighting what St. Maarteners are accomplishing as a tool to inspire the next generation. Thank you Angelique for all you do and for the support you have given me through the years.

One more month until I am officially Student Doctor Kyeisha Laurence!



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