First female student graduates from med school

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This November, we celebrate the graduation of 66 high school students who have worked so hard to reach this milestone. Among them is our 1,000th high school graduate. In addition, we celebrate our first female student to graduate from medical school. On November 4th, Marianela Pec Garcia graduated from the University of San Carlos medical school as an obstetrician.

We featured Marianela in our eNews two years ago, when she had just begun her residency. At that time, she wrote to her sponsors to tell them about the experience.

I have almost realized my goal of becoming a doctor. … I have already attended my rounds, and it was such a beautiful experience to witness the birth of a new being that will one day be a grown adult, only I am very tired and there are times when we do not sleep while on our rounds. In any case, it is no great sacrifice in comparison to the experience of witnessing a new life being born.

Marianela is the eldest of six siblings. Her mother, a primary school teacher, and her father, a waiter, have clearly stressed the importance of education. All of her siblings presently attend school or hold professional degrees. Yet Marianela’s family has endured a number of adversities along the way, particularly health-related. Social worker Don Gumer remembers that ever since she was little, Mariela has shown a keen interest in medicine. She was always happy to take care of her parents and siblings when they were sick.

During her graduation ceremony, Marianela acknowledged the support of her family, her sponsors and Common Hope for making her dreams true. She said that thanks to the support of Common Hope and her sponsors she is now a medical doctor, and that she will serve as a role model for her siblings and other children living in vulnerable communities.

Two years ago, Marianela wrote about the difference her sponsors made:

Today I know that there are good people out there like yourselves that create change in the future even in the face of a society that is ailing, that no matter the circumstances, we can change what is happening in our lives and our country.

Congratulations to Marianela and all of the graduates of 2011. And a special thanks to all of you who helped them get there.

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