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Nurturing a spark
A new student group connects first-generation and low-income students to improve access to resources and opportunities.
Aline Thiengmany, a first-year medical student, says she has always been interested in a career in medicine. Her parents emigrated from Laos, and they raised Thiengmany and her younger sister in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Thiengmany’s father had health problems when she was growing up, and she stepped in to help support her family as they navigated the complexities of the health care system in their new home.
“It’s confusing enough for people who were born here,” Thiengmany says, “but it’s very difficult for people who don’t speak the language, aren’t financially stable, or have low health literacy. Helping him navigate his health got me interested in medicine and working with marginalized groups as a health care provider.”
When she arrived at Stanford University for her pre-med undergraduate studies, she was excited to meet students from diverse backgrounds.