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  • Issayas Tesfamariam

A conversation with Eden Hailemichael

Would you tell us briefly about yourself?

My name is Eden Hailemichael. I'm from the greater Atlanta metro area, or in other words, I grew up in a suburb outside Atlanta called Lawrenceville. Being from Georgia and in close proximity to many Eritreans and Ethiopians all my life, as well as the listening ear to many stories from my parents/aunts/uncles/cousins about their lived experiences, my Eritrean identity has greatly influenced the lens through which I form my academic and life goals. For example, I've always been interested in pursuing a career health-related, but conversations with family as well as personal observations and experiences within healthcare helped me realize I would like to more so serve refugee communities who are at the brunt end of health disparities. With that in mind, during my time at Stanford, I chose to major in Human Biology with a concentration in Global Health and Human Rights.

Advice for young high school age Eritreans?

I would give advice to high school Eritreans that echoes the advice I've given my brother, who is also in high school- to identify and act on your own internal motivations. We are all usually very much influenced by the stories of our parents, their expectations, and their behaviors- and that is a great thing. However, I found that in my high school experience, making sure I was motivated by my own vision was a huge factor in ensuring I didn't get burnt out and that I reached goals that I was personally satisfied with. Keeping that type of attitude throughout high school and then in the years following for college was hugely instrumental in me narrowing down my goals in a way that best catered to my strengths and interests. Basically what I'm saying is embrace all the ways your family influences and guides you, and allow that to serve as a foundation for you identifying your internal motivators and acting on them.

Short time and long term plans?

For the short term, I am taking some online classes that I did not get a chance to sit down and take while at Stanford. The long-term plans I have will likely follow a similar pattern, as I plan to apply for post-bac programs that will allow for me to finish out pre-med requirements and best prepare me for the medical school application process. I hope to go to medical school so I can carry out the visions I have and serve the communities dear to me as a physician and agent of social change.

Eden, thank you for your time. Congratulations and good luck in the future.

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