By Chelsea Fevry, 2020-2021 Literacy First Tutor
When I first met my student named Lucia, I remember asking her what she wanted to be when she grows up. Her eyes lit up with excitement as she talked to me about her aspirations to become a doctor and help people who are sick. Lucia would be considered a “First Generation Doctor,” as she would be the first in her family to attend medical school. As we worked together on her readings, I always kept this aspiration of hers in mind.
One day, while I was choosing stories to read with Lucia, I came across a story that I knew she would love. This particular story was about the life of Elizabeth Blackwell, who is best known for being the first woman in America to become a doctor. Elizabeth Blackwell is considered to be a pioneer, and paved the way for other women in the medical profession to become doctors. Additionally, she even opened her own medical hospital for women and children from low income homes.
After reading about Elizabeth Blackwell, I asked Lucia what she thought of the story. “I don’t agree that girls cannot do as much as boys. Girls can do anything!” she proclaimed. I loved seeing her passion come alive as we read this story about women in medicine together. I tried to spark Lucia’s curiosity by asking some more questions, like “what steps can you take to make sure you become a doctor?”, to which she replied, “I can learn about our body, germs, and read books about science and books about what doctors do.” The last question I decided to ask Lucia was “How does this story inspire you?” Her answer was that the story inspired her “to open two hospitals for free for people who are sick and people who are pregnant.”
As a proud tutor, I am so overjoyed and filled with immense hope about Lucia’s future career in medicine. I know that if she continues to work hard and feed her curiosity, she will most certainly unlock her full potential, and the possibilities for her future will be endless. There is a bright future ahead for Lucia, future First Generation Doctor.