In her own words

Lara Shqair

My father used to say, “A woman’s most powerful weapon is her education, it is the one thing no one can take from her.” My family came to this country from Palestine in search of opportunity, and made a living working labor-intensive jobs in convenience stores and restaurants. For my six brothers and me, college wasn’t a given but it was something my parents always encouraged. I hurled myself towards this vision when I lost my father to gun violence while he was working long hours to provide for my family. The loss of my father fostered a fire within me to keep fighting so that one day I could be the vision and manifestation of my parents’ sacrifices. I became the first person in my family to attend college. I have used my opportunity in college to focus on preparing myself to address the hardships facing my family and communities. Growing up in low-income communities in both Syracuse and Palestine allowed me to witness entrenched income-based healthcare discrepancies. Through the most personal experiences of my life, I developed the sentiments I maintain now: healthcare is a human right. I strive to support both my communities by becoming the first female in my family to earn a college degree and to pursue a career in medicine. I aspire to become a compassionate physician who can one day support the healthcare needs within my disadvantaged communities. I trust that my journey will shed light on my communities and others will see that we must never lose infinite hope in the face of hardship.

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