Student Spotlight: Timbria Burke
Hi everyone! My name is Timbria Burke and I am currently a senior majoring in Health Science on the pre-med track and pursuing a minor in Public Health. I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL and decided to stay in the sunshine state for college. I am grateful to be a part of the Bachelor of Health Science program because, with its dedicated faculty members and professors, I have never felt as if my voice is unheard or lost in a sea of numerous students.
Growing up in a close-knit family and as a first-generation college student, the drive to succeed and give back to my family and community was cultivated at a young age, grown fiercely and without bounds throughout the years. Since I was in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a part of the medical and health fields by becoming a physician. However, through my experiences and opportunities, my passion has grown immensely and is encapsulated by the desire to assist in bridging the gap in health disparities in minority communities, ensuring equal and adequate access to healthcare for all. Therefore, I plan on matriculating to a Master’s of Health Administration (MHA) program after my May 2020 graduation to gain the knowledge and tools needed to expand my leadership skills and the capacity to create more comprehensive and effective healthcare facilities with exceptional delivery of services. I also hope to continue my education by attending medical school and eventually becoming a practicing physician where I can assist in both clinical and administrative roles. I am currently interested in primary care (specifically pediatrics) and mental health, but I am open to the numerous and varying possibilities of medical specialties.
Since the start of my college career, I have had the privilege of participating in, being a member of, or holding a leadership position in an abundance of amazing organizations at UF. As a freshman, I was an assistant director of the Gators for Children Heart Foundation (GCHF) where I was able to assist in planning the annual Gainesville Congenital Heart Walk and raising donations for the treatment, diagnosis, and research of Congenital Heart Disease. As a sophomore, I was a member of the Community Affairs Cabinet of the Black Student Union where we worked within the Greater Gainesville community to create and maintain its unity with the UF community. As members of the cabinet, we hosted a Fall Festival at the Cone Park Library Resource Center where we interacted with the children of the East Gainesville community and provided them with educational and informative games and activities. I also began volunteering at the Balance 180 Gymnasium & Sports Academy where I have continuously worked with young children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, through the facilitation of gymnastic activities. My sophomore year also provided me with the opportunity to serve as the secretary of the UF chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and as a volunteer at Rahma Mercy Clinic. At the clinic, I am able to take vital signs and assist physicians. We work to provide care to underserved, underrepresented, and uninsured low-income or homeless patients of Alachua County seeking adequate and free healthcare.
During the summer before my junior year of college, I served as a PAACT (Pledging to Advance Academic Capacity Together) peer leader for incoming first-year black students and I had the pleasure of educating them about the culture and black history of UF while serving as a mentor. In addition to the amazing PAACT experience, I became the secretary of the Multicultural Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS) through which I have gained a family of dedicated, motivational, and resilient individuals who consistently support each other in breaking the glass ceiling for minorities in healthcare and medicine. Through MAPS, I have traveled to both Mobile, Alabama, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the regional and national Student National Medical Association (SNMA) conferences where I have been fortunate to network with other pre-med students, medical students, medical residents, and practicing physicians. During my junior year, I was elected to serve as the 2019-2020 Vice President of MAPS and the honor is unmatched! My main responsibility is planning our attendance and travel accommodations to the 2020 national conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
When I am not swamped with work or my extracurricular involvements, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am extremely close with my younger sister, older brother, and my mother who I spend hours on FaceTime conversing with when time permits. I also like having spontaneous outings or meetups with my friends in Gainesville or back home in Fort Lauderdale. On other days, I like to explore new cooking recipes, spend time at the beach, find a good show on Netflix or Hulu to binge, catch up on reading the bible, or exercise at Southwest Recreation Center. I try to expose myself to new things on a constant basis so that I am always evolving in every aspect.
I am thankful for these past three years at the University of Florida and my gratitude for the PHHP college and the BHS program is overwhelming. If you are thinking of choosing this program, just do it, you will not regret it! If you have any questions about anything, including my UF and BHS experience, pre-med concerns, the MHA degree, or my campus/community involvement, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.