Undocumented ISMMS Student Receives Fellowship for New Americans
Friday, April 22, 2016
Posted by: Julie Briggs
We are proud to share an inspiring story, featured on CNN Money, about one of our students, Denisse Rojas, a Mexican immigrant and one of the first two undocumented medical students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). Denisse was one of 30 recipients recently awarded with a 2016 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, the premier graduate school fellowship for immigrants and children of immigrants in the US.
This fellowship will support her continued work toward earning her medical degree, and becoming a doctor in underserved immigrant communities and a leader in shaping health care policies. Denisse was inspired to become a doctor by her own family's struggle as undocumented immigrants to obtain healthcare. Rojas said,
"I want to be able to provide the care that I had limited access to growing up -- and to change policy".
Denisse is well on her way to changing policies, as she has made it possible for thousands of other students like her to attend medical schools all across the country. While in her last semester of undergrad at the University of California, Berkeley, Denisse and other fellow undocumented students with similar dreams of attending medical school created a website called Pre-Health Dreamers (PHD), which provides information and advice on difficulties they faced in applying to medical school and securing financial aid, and what they anticipate others will face as well. After receiving positive responses from the website, the group began meeting with different institutions and convincing them to change their policies. As a result, all University of California campuses, and over 50 medical schools throughout the US now consider undocumented students for admission.
Read the full story on CNN Money.