Hesbon Isaboke, the son of Kenyan farmers, will become the first member of his family to graduate college this month and is working toward a career in medicine, a goal that seemed unimaginable growing up. When he was 11 his family emigrated to the United States. His mother, who passed away from cancer shortly after he entered his junior year of high school, wanted him to get an education to open up new opportunities.
A Rutgers-led program that supports students from underrepresented groups who wish to study medicine helped him find his way as a first-generation student. Now, after graduating Hesbon will attend Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He credits the help he received from the SAS’s Office for Diversity and Academic Success in the Sciences (ODASIS) and its Access Med program with helping him realize his academic potential.
Kamal Khan, the ODASIS director, became a mentor to Hesbon and the developmental specialists through ODASIS helped him make a four-year academic plan that focused on which classes to take to make sure he met all his academic requirements. ODASIS works to increase the recruitment and academic success of underrepresented and disadvantaged students who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.
Access Med, offered through a partnership between Rutgers University, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Seton Hall University, serves as a pipeline to medical school by providing undergraduate students with academic enrichment, support and advising undergraduates.
Excerpted from Rutgers Today