#T4DWest Day 3: #Reflection #WhyIT4D #NotABlackPowerRanger #AndIAmOKWithIt

 In Uncategorized, Voices of Diversity

#T4DWest Day 3: #Reflection #WhyIT4D #NotABlackPowerRanger #AndIAmOKWithIt

Today marked my 21st school stop with the Tour 4 Diversity. But this tour, even at its halfway mark, has already had two topics of conversation arise more often than the other full tours: the question “Why I T4D” and the practice of reflection. After answering questions and thinking about these things more, the concepts are very much intertwined for me, and likely for most mentors. For me, I joined the Tour after seeing the video about their first tour through the Southeast. The idea of taking 15 minority mentors and traveling on a bus to different university campuses serving various underrepresented student populations for single day premed conferences was intriguing. While the information we share is accessible to students through various reputable sources, it is the combination of the facts with our own personal stories of success and failures that really hammer the point home to these students that their dreams of medical and dental school can be a reality. And to be honest, when we (the mentors) truly reflect on the presentations, we are largely proudly sharing our failures in our journey to make students recognize that we are real people that make real mistakes and not just better versions of the Black Power Ranger. So for me, the answer to #WhyIT4D comes from a lot of personal reflection about my non-traditional path (http://goo.gl/DL3lp7, http://goo.gl/z8StmC) and the boulders (a reference to http://goo.gl/8ai1ij) that came up along the way (http://goo.gl/4fNQQ8).

Beyond my personal reflection, this has been a practice that I chose to incorporate more into my workshops. While the mentors are sharing great information and interesting personal stories to inspire, the students need to recognize that their story is just as important and matters just as much. So to help with that, I encourage them to reflect about their own personal successes and failures. From the global picture, your reflection should include an evaluation of your short and long term goals and the steps you plan to take to bring them to fruition (which is something I have only recently began doing). If steps were not met or time frames lagged, you should think about why. Part of the reflection should also include recognizing the need to seek help if needed (also something I failed at many times over due to my own stubbornness). Then, “Outside the Numbers” of your GPA and MCAT, students need to reflect about the non-academic activities that consume their time because this is needed for applying to professional school and will certainly come up during interviews. And it is good practice to think about why the activities matter to you, your passions, and your ultimate goals. And on that note, that is #WhyIT4d.

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