By: Joshua Ceballos/News Director
Christopher Herrera, a Worlds Ahead graduate, is already on track to go to medical school after only two years of university after high school.
Herrera came to FIU out of high school with an associate’s degree and a mission: to give people the opportunities that he had hoped for while growing up.
“I wasn’t always able to see doctors when I was young because of finances,” said Herrera. “We’ve been able to more or less cope with it, and I want to make it easier for people in my community to have access to medical care.”
Herrera is graduating this spring with a bachelor’s degree in biology, and has already been accepted to attend the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he’ll seek out his medical degree. He said that he wants to make healthcare more accessible to people in his community once he becomes a doctor.
“People around me need help and I want to be a part of their lives, I want to give people the second chances that I was given,” he said.
Herrera said that FIU and the Honors College have helped him a lot in achieving his goals, and has taken advantage of a lot of the opportunities that they’ve had on offer, namely the ARCH program.
ARCH stands for Advanced Research and Creativity in Honors. Herrera said that he joined ARCH and was able to do laboratory research with his mentor, Dr. Madhavan Nair, who received his PhD in cancer immunology from Bombay University.
With Nair, Herrera said that he was able to get his feet wet in a laboratory setting and do research into HIV therapeutic agents and targeting HIV specifically in the human brain.
Herrera also joined Students Taking Initiative Through Collaboration in Honors, an honors club geared towards students in the field of medicine to help them network and meet like minded people. He said that thanks to STITCH, he met a lot of good friends who are already in medical school and have helped him with his applications.
Now that he’s on his way out, Herrera said that he’d like to impart some wisdom on students who are now starting their medical tracks at FIU.
“Never give up, always persevere, and if no one decides to help you, remember that you only need to have faith in yourself,” he said.
Featured image courtesy of Nicholas Poblete.