"Always believe in yourself, and never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something just because it seems outrageous to them."
Ms. Cunningham attended SHPEP in 2019 at the University of Florida. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public health, in May 2022. Ms. Cunningham is currently working on a master’s degree at the University of Georgia, in comparative Biomedical sciences. She will be taking the MCAT in August and applying to medical school for admission into the 2023 class!
What path did you take when you first started college?
I took the health professions path when I started college in 2018.
What led to your interest in a health profession?
Medicine has always been my ultimate goal in life. To be able to find a cure for cancer, or to find out why my mom was told she only had a 10% chance of having children and ended up birthing two sets of twins. From covid to now monkey Pox the world needs aspiring doctors who have that drive to cure the World!
Who are what inspired you?
I’m inspired by my mother, Tiffany Davis. She strived endlessly to put me and my sister through college so we can become those doctors we are going to become!
What obstacles did you overcome in your educational or career journey?
The obstacle of being told I was, never going to go to medical school by pre-health advisors because I made a C in biology freshman. The obstacles of having to work and go to school from high school to all four years of college. Struggling to help my mom pay for my college tuition. When life throws you lemons, you find a way to make lemonade regardless of how hard it gets.
What makes your story unique?
What makes my story unique is my discipline and determination to never give up! Coming from a single-parent household, the odds of going to college, was already undermined by stigmas perceived by the world we live in. The odds of sending two African American girls to college at the University of Alabama almost seemed impossible to a single mother trying to make ends meet. Life was not easy, But the determination that she instilled in me, will take me far in life.
How did SHPEP influence you?
SHPEP was the very first internship I landed as a recent freshman in college in 2019. I was so excited to spend the summer, completing projects, and meeting new people who aspired to become health professionals like myself. I’m always bragging about SHPEP and the endless opportunities that came along with the program.
Did you have experiences or mentors that prepared you for a career as a health professional?
Dr. Love MD is a dermatologist at river region dermatology in Montgomery, Alabama and Dr. Estelle Cook, MD.
What advice do you have for students pursuing a health professional career?
Never take no for an answer! Find your why, in Life. Why am I here? Why do I want to pursue the medical field? Have DISCIPLINE. Always believe in yourself, and never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something just because it seems outrageous to them.
Never worry about the past, look forward to the future. Always be yourself!