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I'm Going to Harvard Medical School

Updated: May 13, 2022


I am beyond blessed to officially announce that I am going to

Harvard Medical School to pursue my medical education.

 

Photos by Mesus Studios

Makeup by IDressFaces

 

It is hard to put into words what this opportunity means to me. Harvard is a dream I never dared to dream. It was not even on my radar. It just didn't seem like it was a possibility.

Little did I know God had bigger plans for me!


Growing up in St. Martin, I didn't hear about people getting in and going to Harvard at all. This is why when I got it I knew instantly how huge this was for my community. I remember a former teacher from elementary school reaching out and saying "I have only heard of Harvard in the TV shows or movies and now I know someone who got in! I'm telling all my students.!"


By sharing my story, I can now be that representation that I didn't have.


R E P R E S E N T A T I O N M A T T E R S.


I have always said "small island but big dreams" and despite the self-doubts, the challenges, and turmoils 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 SXM students pursuing their dreams and education: Dream big! Don't limit yourself!


It takes a village.

I did not get here alone. First, I'd like to thank God for His guidance and blessings over my life.


My mom has been my rock, thank you for always telling me to dream big. Whether is was calming my nerves before I went on stage to perform or driving me to my summer research job, she was there for me every step of the way. Mom, you have sacrificed and went through more than most people know to give me the life I have. You showed me what it means to be a strong woman and your positivity and resilience passed onto me and gave me the courage to keep going despite the challenges faced. You raised a child that is going to Harvard mom, you did it!


My grandmother, Nanny, has been my prayer warrior from the time I was born. Literally she was in the hallways praying over my life when there were complications with my birth. And from that moment onwards she has covered me in prayers AND always giving me the best fashion advice so I could take on the world with style!

My Grandma and Grandfather who is in heaven provided me with the support to pursue my education and made it possible for me to move to the United States. I'll forever be thankful for this opportunity. My grandfather was such a bragger and I know he would have been all around the island telling everyone that HIS granddaughter is going to HARVARD!


To my aunts, uncles, and cousins thank you for the unconditional support. No matter what I needed there was always someone who wanted to step up and provide it for me. Special shout-outs to Tanty Tammy, Tanty Tamalia, Jerome, Cherina and my brother Akeem who as a group helped me through the application process by reading my essays, helping me edit, and encouraging me through every single interview.


To my brothers, Akeem, Keven, and Kayden...thank you for putting up with me and my extra-ness! Thank you for keeping me grounded and always making me laugh. The day we took that plane and left St. Martin was a hard moment for all of us but we were in this together and we continue to be.


I'd especially like to thank my family, friends, and mentors who encouraged me and believed in me. I'm thankful to my college best friends who have become my sisters, Kendra and Lade, for cheering me on.

To the mentors who saw something in me and gave me a chance, THANK YOU! Thank you for the connections, for recommending me, for supporting me! I'd like to give a special thanks to Leah who I like to say was my college mom. Thank you Leah for always checking in on me! And I'd like to thank the entire Gemstone staff and community for the support.


I also need to highlight Nick, my pre-med advisor, who helped me navigate this pre-medical process and told me to apply to Harvard when I had doubts. In fact, he was there any time I had any kinds of doubts and imposter syndrome to encourage me! Thank you to my many amazing professors both in the College of Computer, Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the French department.


Finally, I'd like to thank everyone else who have supported me. From the community in St. Martin to those who have followed this journey through this blog, your support means everything and I am so happy to celebrate my next steps with you all!


Choosing Harvard

So with 13 amazing schools to choose from, why did I choose Harvard?


When I applied to medical school, my prayers and conversations with God were to have me end up where I needed to end up and I had faith that He would led me to the medical school I was meant to attend. After being accepted to Harvard Medical School (HMS) and interacting with the faculty, students and touring the facilities it just felt right! I could see myself not only attending the school, but thriving there!


The people is really what attracted me to HMS. As I got to know current students and my prospective classmates I realized that they were my favorite people! They inspired me and I knew that going through medical training together they would continue to inspire me and encourage me.

I also loved the curriculum. HMS has 1 year pre-clinical year, which is the time that I am in the classroom, and a flipped classroom set-up. This means instead of going to class to be lectured at we will have patient cases to work through based on material we had to review before class. I really like this approach because the active learning, working in groups, and problem based learning is what I found worked best for me in college. Classes are in-person and required, but I actually liked that! If you know me you know I always scheduled morning classes and always went to class, with a cute outfit of the day and coffee in hand. My second year will be my clinical rotation year and then my 3rd year is very flexible and allows me time to pursue research, global health opportunities, and explore specialities I'm interested in.


I also love that HMS really encourages big ideas and big dreams, there is so much I want to do and I don't want to wait until I am a physician to do so. From starting non-profits to research on global health and health disparities, I felt that I would have the best opportunities to do so at HMS while receiving the top education.

One of my goals is to improve health for my island St. Martin and the Caribbean as a whole. It's a big goal and one that will take further training in public health and collaborations with foundations, funding, and connections with people who also want to make a difference for this community. I felt that attending such a prestigious, world-renowned, and connected institution like Harvard will help open up the right doors for me to work towards this goal!


Location was also a big consideration for me. I did not want to be in the middle of no where or across the country too far away from home. I really wanted to be in a city and Boston is a great city. With so many colleges, universities, professional schools, and medical schools it seems like a great place to live as a student and young adult. Now the winters...that is a different story and I'm not sure how this island girl is going to handle it! I'm sure I'll make it through. Finally, finances are important! I was blessed with many scholarship offers from various schools including HMS, combined with all my reasons above it made the decision easy!


I'm so excited for all that is to come next and so thankful that I have the opportunity to go to my dream school.


Becoming Dr. Laurence

As I go off to medical school this fall, I am ready to start my journey to become the best doctor I can be. I am excited to dedicate myself to improving the health of others and to enter this career centered on serving others. As a physician, I want to be a trusted figure in my community. I want to bring the best care and treatment to my future patients. I want to impact the field of medicine, leaving it better than I met it. I hope to join the many other amazing people working to make medicine more equitable and just and to do it through research, advocacy and leadership.


Currently, just 2.8% of physicians in this country are Black women. I want to add to that number and to increase it by improving the number of minority students applying and being accepted to medical school.


This is still only the beginning of my journey to becoming Dr. Laurence. Four or five years of medical school lie ahead and I know many more challenges will find me along the way. It will not be easy but with God's grace and my support system, I know I will make it through.

"Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity. ”

― Hippocrates


I'm thankful for each part of my journey that has helped shape me into who I am today. I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to begin training to be a physician and I will continue to dream big for the future patients and communities I will serve.


I'm ready for my next step.


Harvard Med....I'll see you in the fall.

 

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1 Comment


A big congratulations to you Laurence🎉🎉

Indeed God has great plans for you, more than you can ever imagine. Reading your story has reminded me to keep on DREAMING BIG. I wish you the very best during your days at Harvard.

💛💛 from Nigeria.


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