Trinity Cook - Live An Amazing Life Grant Recipient 2018
I was invited to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. The Congress of Future Medical Leaders gives a select group of high- achieving high school students the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the nation’s greatest medical leaders of the generation. My mother was informed of this event from a family member who resides in another state. Her daughter had the opportunity to experience this event during her senior year of high school. They both thought the experience was invaluable and urged me to attend. My mother also visited Martha’s Vineyard several years ago and was fascinated by the role that African Americans have played in building the communities on the island.
This project will be an adventure for me for several reasons. I have never really travelled out of the state of Maryland without my parent. Although I hope to attend college in Florida (in the fall of 2018), this trip will occur prior and serve as my first experience navigating a travel itinerary independently. In addition, I hope to one day attend medical school. This experience will afford me the opportunity to connect and network with other like- minded students who share some of the same goals and aspirations as myself. I will also be able to learn from physicians and other providers who are advancing the field of medicine. Similarly, the program agenda combines large group lectures with engaging hands- on activities and mentoring. The most exciting part is that there will be an opportunity to observe a live medical procedure being conducted. Martha’s Vineyard symbolizes its own separate adventure. The island is rich in African American history. I would like to explore the island and most importantly take the African American heritage tour.
I hope to accomplish many things on this adventure. While attending the Congress, I hope to learn more about current medical advancements while meeting the nation’s top physicians and providers. I also desire to gain more insight on applying to and financing medical school. In addition, the mentoring, networking and potential to gain long- term friendships is invaluable and what I would I like love to accomplish. Similarly, having the ability to enrich myself in a piece of African American culture that I have not yet experienced can be potentially be life- changing. I plan to learn and really internalize all of the wonderful contributions that African Americans have made not only on the island but around the world. I hope to really gain a better understanding of how the trail was created and what is requires to manage and operate. Lastly, I hope to learn more about the island overall.
The time frame for my adventure is approximately six days. The Congress of Future Medical Leaders will occur in Lowell, Massachusetts on the campus of University of Massachusetts Lowell, on June 25th- 27th 2018. The program consists of a full- day agenda during each of the three days. The following two days, June 28th- 29th, will be spent on Martha’s Vineyard with my adventure ending with travel home on June 30th. I plan to travel to Boston via plane, into Boston Logan International or by train, into the Boston South Amtrak Station. I would like to participate in the Congress tuition and overnight program. This plan includes the tuition for the Congress, three nights of student on-campus overnight accommodations, daily breakfast, arrival and departure transportation from Logan Airport or Boston South Amtrak station. I plan to travel by Uber for activities and food outside of what is provided by the Congress. On June 28th, I will fly to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston Logan International. I will travel by Uber from Vineyard Haven, where the airport is located, to Oak Bluffs, to stay at the Summercamp hotel. I plan to travel the island and access the tour via Uber and the bus system.
The adventure begins with my acceptance of the invitation and enrollment into the program. In addition, I will submit a copy of my high school transcript to confirm that my GPA is 3.5 or higher. Next, I will research and compare the availability and costs of flights from the Baltimore- Washington International (BWI) airport to the Boston Logan International Airport to a train ticket from the BWI Amtrak station to the Boston South Amtrak Station. From either of these locations, the organizers of the Congress has set up transportation to the University’s campus where I will stay for the duration of the Congress. During the dates of June 25th, 26th, and 27th, I will attend the Congress. On Monday, the 25th, the program is scheduled to occur from 5:00pm- 11:00pm. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 26th and 27th, the program will take place from 10:00am- 11:00pm. A preliminary schedule (of speakers, activities, etc.) is due to be set approximately two months before the Congress starts. I plan to purchase food, snacks and beverages at the Tsongas Center, where the Congress will take place. There will be resident assistants on site to help me navigate the campus. I will meet and work with other delegates who have also been chosen due to their high GPA’s and achievements.
The Congress of Future Medical Leaders concludes on the evening of the 27th. On the morning of the 28th, transportation will be provided to the Boston Logan International airport, where I will then fly to Martha’s Vineyard, which is located in Vineyard Vines. I will take an Uber to Oak Bluffs and stay at the Summercamp hotel which is in a central location on the island. Staying in Oak Bluffs allows me to be within walking distance to many restaurants, stores and the beach. I will utilize Uber, taxis and the bus system to explore the island and as transportation to the location of the African American heritage tour. On the 30th, I will return to the airport in Vineyard Haven and fly home to the Baltimore Washington International airport.
III. Risks and Safety Nets
There are always risks to travelling especially when travelling as a female alone. Risks include the potential for harassment, theft, getting lost, misplacing or losing personal items or money, etc. There is also the risk of missing a flight or other scheduled modes of transportation. The greatest foreseeable risks can occur while exploring Martha’s Vineyard because this is where the majority of extra travel will occur.
These risks can be minimized or mitigated with proper planning and organization. I plan to be well- prepared with a small amount of cash on hand, maps of my destinations and phone numbers both stored in my cell phone and written down (just in case my cell phone battery dies). I will call or text my mother daily to inform her of my whereabouts and daily agendas. I will also download and utilize the airline application to be able to track gate or flight changes. In the event that I miss my flight, I know how to communicate with the airline in order to secure another one. I am also able to use my mother for support. She plans to be available via phone or facetime during the time period of the adventure. I will also only pack one suitcase so that there are not multiple bags that I will have to keep track of. In addition, I am well versed with using both Uber and Lyft and have both applications downloaded on my phone. I will research the bus system on Martha’s Vineyard prior to travel so that I can comfortably utilize that as well.
IV. Future Plans
This project fits into my future plans in several different ways. One of my long term goals is to earn a medical degree and eventually specialize in Psychiatry. Attending and participating in the Congress will allow me to learn how medical providers treat not only in a therapeutic but also in a pharmacological manner. I expect to learn more about topics such as robotics, human genome, stem cell research, regenerative medicine and a host of other medical topics. I hope to meet practicing Psychiatrists and learn of their journey to and within the profession. In addition, I hope to gain insight on surviving undergraduate studies and gaining entrance into medical school. After the Congress I will be eligible to enter the Academy’s free mentoring program, which provides a path, plan, and resources to help me reach my goals. With my visit and exploration of Martha’s Vineyard, I hope to increase my knowledge of my African American heritage and the contributions made to the island. I am also very interested in learning how the trail was created and designed. I also want to learn more about the culture, residents and history of the island.
I plan to integrate the experience into my day-to-day life. After this adventure, I will venture off to start my first year of college. Because I plan to dual major in Biology and Pre- Med, the topics being presented along with the scheduled hands on activities will strengthen my critical thinking skills which will be needed to be successful in this program. I will incorporate the information gained into my school projects and presentations. I also plan to keep in contact with the other delegates, mentors and providers that I meet. The cultural knowledge and history gained during the exploration of Martha’s Vineyard will help to me make me better rounded. I plan to use this knowledge to strengthen my own community by alerting of the major accomplishments made by people of our heritage.
I plan to share this project with others by utilizing social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. I plan to post pictures, commentary and information on these sites during the adventure. The Congress actually encourages the delegates to bring cell phones to record and document. I plan to volunteer to come back to my high school and share the experience via a powerpoint or scrapbook presentation. My hope is that by sharing this experience, my high school will start to offer or recommend a student to experience this every year. Sharing the adventure on social media will also expose other students (at schools not exposed to this) to this opportunity. In addition, I plan to share it during any other college or scholarship interviews.