Student Spotlight: Aretha Boakye-Donkor
Hello, my name is Aretha Boakye-Donkor and I am a fourth year Health Science major on the Pre-Public Health track at the University of Florida. I plan to pursue a medical degree to become a pediatrician. In the future, I plan to travel to medically underserved populations across the globe to deliver healthcare as well as open clinics and healthcare facilities.
My heart became set on pursuing medicine as a young girl when I witnessed the work of missionaries at my fathers’ church in Kumasi, Ghana. A group of American doctors and their families partnered with the doctors of Komfo Anokye Hospital to provide care for hundreds of families. From my six-year old perspective, the work of the doctors seemed magical. Witnessing the miracles that they performed as a child gave me the hope that I may be able to provide the same type of service in my future. The desire to aid medically under-served populations in an international capacity has been a driving force in my pursuit to become a doctor. In countries like Ghana, many people die daily from illnesses that have been eradicated in the West. I hope to be an agent of change by applying my knowledge and services to the issue facing people living in underdeveloped nations.
I choose to pursue a Public Health major because I experienced first-hand the differences in healthcare delivery between developing and developed countries, and wanted to understand the policies in place that account for these disparities. As an aspiring medical professional, a comprehensive understanding of the health care system will improve the quality of care I deliver. A working knowledge of the conditions driving Public Health care policy will afford me opportunities to address issues in delivery of service as well as shed a light on them for others who may also be able to help find solutions.
Some of my involvement on campus include the Streetlight volunteer program, Florida Cicerones and Florida Greek Ambassadors, and the Strategic Planning Chair of the Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I also previously served as the Philanthropy Cabinet Director and Ambassador of the Black Student Union.
I draw my motivation to stay focused on my goals from the South African philosophy, Ubuntu. It essentially translates to “I am because we are.” It is a constant reminder that all I have and will accomplish is for the betterment of the community and people that have sacrificed to get me here.