A conversation with Adel Andemeskel
My name is Adel Andemeskel, and I am from Boston, Massachusetts. Both of my parents were immigrants from Eritrea, and went to community college for their respective Associate's degrees. This makes me both a first-generation American and a first-generation four-year college student. I went to Stanford University majoring in Biology and on the pre-medical track.
You graduated in June. What advice do you have for young high school age Eritreans?
Adel: My advice for high school age Eritreans is to do what your gut tells you, even if it is not what your parents want. I understand that Eritrean parents only want their children to live comfortably and without worry, which is often very different from how they grew up. Our parents frequently want us to have careers in things such as medicine or engineering for this reason. However, little do they know that they have already provided this gift for us.
Living in the United States and other Diaspora countries has already given us an almost guaranteed chance at the luxury of living comfortable lives, and now we have the opportunity to pursue a career we are passionate about. So if you don't want to become a doctor or an engineer, that's OK. If you want to go to a school across the country, that's OK too. Continue having conversations with your parents about what you want in life. With time they will begin to understand where you're coming from, and you will understand where they are coming from as well.
Any short time and long term plans?
Adel: As of now, I will be working as a research assistant in Department of Rheumatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in my hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. I will be investigating the progress of rheumatoid arthritis in patients over 5 years and connect them to different characteristics in their blood. The goal of the research is to be able to predict a new patient's rheumatoid arthritis symptoms before they happen through a routine blood test, which would lead to better treatment options before their disease symptoms occur.
In the long-term, I am planning to apply to medical school within two to three years and pursue my MD. Ideally, I would want to work as a doctor in a community health setting, where I can care for patients who are disadvantaged, such as incoming refugees or people of low socioeconomic status.
Adel, congratulations and best of luck in your future endeavors!