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Achieving Dreams And Saving Lives, From Ecuador To The US

Achieving Dreams And Saving Lives, From Ecuador To The US

Originally from Quito-Ecuador, Kimberly Oviedo comes from an illustrious family, whose parents have master’s degrees in the field of education from Latin American universities. Kimberly, on the other side, had the privilege of overcoming her immigration experience and being the first in her generation to earn a bachelor’s degree from an American university and enter a doctoral program. Although she fell on the so inevitable culture shock when moving first to the US, at age 16, she quickly adapted to the English language while completing her last two years of highschool at Hilton Head High. Thanks to her good grades and personal ambition, she took the opportunity to participate in the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) that allowed her to course college-level classes. She soon realized that the educational route was the promising and empowering path to follow her destiny. Kim said she chose the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) because of its academic programs, close commute, and more importantly its enthusiastic and inspiring faculty.

As a Latinx she found a sense of community and attended USCB Hispanic Club meetings. Although she took German classes to develop her lexicon, her true passion laid in the field of biomedical sciences, her scientific research work, and her volunteer work in the Lowcountry community. During her educational path at USCB, Kimberly earned a degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry and also landed a competitive cardiovascular research internship at the Medical University of South Carolina where she worked with Dr. DeLeon-Pennell’s team. The last two years, while in school, Kim assisted a radiologist, Dr. Anfision, in ocular injections and laser treatments at Affiliated Retina Consultants. There, she gained clinical experience as a medical assistant and scribe and met several Hispanic patients who appreciated her translation services. Apart from those outstanding achievements, Kim has served over 100 volunteer hours in various departments at Hilton Head’s Volunteers of Medicine free clinic. She was a bilingual interpreter and nursing assistant though she also performed blood tests in the laboratory thanks to her recent phlebotomy certification. Kim is an active member of the Immigration Coalition of the Lowcountry, an organization whose objective is to help the Lowcountry immigrant community through naturalization workshops, free legal advice, among other activities.

Following these achievements, she returned to her native country to execute an important move. She will report to the US Embassy to obtain her international student visa. Thanks to her professional dedication and the deep desire to become a Physician Assistant -her occupational dream- she applied to several universities in the US. Kimberly received interviews with Duke, Northwestern University, and East Carolina University, and finally chose to attend the prestigious Oregon Health and Science University on the East Coast of the US, Portland. Without a doubt, her ambition, desire to exceed her limitations, and dedication to grow in professional and academic aspects, are exemplary and deserving to be emphasized as a source of inspiration. When I asked Kim for a message for the Lowcountry Latinx community, Kim replied “Follow your passion and desires. We all experience hardships and sometimes struggle to survive, however, it is necessary to step outside of our comfort zones to reach goals unknown places we ever imagined. We must find comfort in discomfort, and accept it as ours to move on to achieving our dreams. Have faith but also be faithful to your deep desires”

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 Lukas Pawelek, Ph.D Associate Professor of Spanish and German, USCB

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