Ogechi Anumba has been fascinated with medicine since childhood, when she was inspired to help sick children by a Doctors Without Borders advert on television. Growing up in Abbotsford, BC, she realized there were two barriers between her and a dream of attending medical school — one of them self-imposed.
“When I was younger, I was convinced I wasn’t smart enough to pursue this field,” says Ogechi. “But then, as I got older, I realized that it’s less about your intelligence and more about your drive and your motivation to be the best you can.”
The other potential barrier to medical school was financial, so it was with joy and gratitude for donor support that Ogechi received the Centennial Scholars Entrance Award.
“I would say to donors I really appreciate them supporting my goals and aspirations financially — and allowing me to do things I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do otherwise.” Ogechi adds, “I will take the knowledge I’m getting from UBC and apply that to my future career. I’m learning so much about myself and how to create change — and with perseverance, I could achieve anything.”
In her first year of sciences at UBC, Ogechi has the long-term goal of graduating medical school. She eventually wants to help marginalized youth — especially those in Indigenous communities where she shares heritage. She is also part of the UBC Black Student Union and counts herself as a very social person. She is looking forward to when in-person classes resume on campus with the engagement and community it will bring. She knows education is the key to her future and those close to her.
“I want to help other young kids in my family and become a mentor to them because I feel education is super important,” says Ogechi.” If you want to kind of break those chains of generational poverty and stuff like that, you have to get an education.”