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Scholar Profiles

Campus: UNC
Hometown: Los Alamos, NM
High School: Los Alamos High School

Of New Mexico’s 33 counties, 32 of them are designated as medically underserved. Coming from the one county that has an adequate number of healthcare providers, shadowing physicians in my town has exposed me to a broad cross-section of New Mexico’s culture and poverty as families from around the state travel long distances to meet their basic healthcare needs. These experiences and the insight they gave me have inspired me to pursue a career in medicine. I’m interested in exploring disparities in healthcare, especially in low income areas, and looking for new ways to transform the healthcare system to meet the needs of those who need it the most.

Within my community, a growing mental illness crisis prompted my involvement in several school organizations dedicated to suicide and mental illness prevention. Through destigmatizing conditions like anxiety and depression as well as providing easily accessible counseling resources, I’ve become an advocate for change and work to improve the safety and mental health of my community.

I’ve grown up in the mountains and always enjoy being outside. I like to mountain bike, hike, rock climb, and ski patrol. But beyond that, I’m also an avid athlete. Playing soccer and hockey for numerous years has been immensely formative in my development as a leader and a teammate. I seek to carry my passions and values with me into the next four years of my life as a Robertson Scholar.

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

I was immediately attracted to the freedom of the Robertson Program. Being given the opportunity to explore and expand my interests with the support of the Program will enable me to make transformative changes in my communities and world. I was drawn to the Program’s emphasis on experiential learning through the summer experiences and being pushed beyond my comfort zone to grow as an individual. But what solidified my desire to become a scholar were the other finalists and current scholars I met at the finalist weekend. Surrounding myself with other diverse and curious individuals will challenge me to broaden my perspectives and understanding of what it means to be a leader.

Rees Ben 2022
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