"SHPEP pushed me to continue with my educational studies."
Mr. Davila participated in SHPEP in 2020 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Biology. Mr. Davila is currently enrolled in Boston University's Oral Health Sciences graduate program.
What path did you take when you first started college?
I was always a Biology major since I started college.
What led to your interest in a health profession?
Personal experiences led to my interest in a health profession. After getting my braces, I felt so happy having a nice smile and I wanted to find a way to give that same feeling to other people which led me to look into dentistry and I have not looked back ever since.
What are some of your recent milestones?
I was accepted into three master’s programs in which I enrolled at Boston University.
What makes your story unique?
I was born in a small town in Nicaragua and moved here when I was three years old, in high school my parents had to go back to Nicaragua for personal reasons and I stayed here alone to finish my high school degree. It was tough starting to live alone earlier than most but I stayed focused on my goal and I was able to earn my high school diploma.
How did SHPEP influence you?
It pushed me to continue with my educational studies because even though we are a part of an underrepresented community, we still have a good chance to do whatever we want to pursue and can make a difference in the health profession.
What has been your favorite part of the process? The most difficult?
Meeting new people with the same goals from all over the United States and world. The most difficult part has been keeping up with school while keeping up with dental school application requirements.
What advice do you have for students pursuing a health professional career.
Make sure this is a career you want to be in and ask yourself how much are you willing to sacrifice for that career. Undergrad is not easy and for a lot of people, they have to put in extra work to succeed in undergrad. So you have to ask yourself if you are willing to sacrifice those nights and weekends when your friends are doing fun stuff to stay home and study. Sometimes you have to miss out on a lot of the fun parts in life in order to put the extra time in to allow you to succeed.