My name is Bridget Kamanzi. I’m an alumni at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth but most importantly, I’m a mentor and dance coach at Africano. Serving at Africano has been one of my greatest accomplishments. Africano has given me a platform to be a major impact to the youth and kids of all ages. Many of us can say that it is a home away from home. It is an environment that empowers everyone to be comfortable in their own skin. It is a place that educates individuals on topics that seem too sensitive to discuss. It is a place that rejuvenates culture. I’m very thankful to Africano for giving me the platform to use my talent and passion for dance not only to train but to inspire individuals from different backgrounds. Because of Africano, I am able to use my light to help others find theirs. Because of Africano, I am reminded that my Black skin is magical. Because of Africano, I can be anything I set my mind out to be. Because of Africano, I am visionary. Because of Africano, I know I am extraordinary. Because of Africano I’m in love with what society finds as a threat; being a black woman in America. Aside from dancing, I also have a strong passion for medicine. I have always shown a stronger interest in science than any other subject. During my undergrad, I studied biomedical sciences. I graduated college in 2019, and currently I work at Brigham & Women’s hospital as a Clinical Laboratory Technician. In the lab we conduct scientific investigations or tests for patient diagnosis. Once all tests are complete, we assemble the results into a report that will be submitted to the physician. In the near future I aspire to be a medical doctor. One of my biggest motivations for studying medicine comes from personal experiences in Uganda, East Africa. When I was four years old, my mother sent me back home in Uganda to live with my father. While I was living with my father, I would get ill almost every single month as a result of my weak immune system. I spent the majority of my childhood in hospital settings. Because I spent most of my time in hospital beds, I often observed how some doctors treated patients in Uganda. Very few doctors were caring or genuine while the majority of them were simply bitter individuals chasing a paycheck. I remember asking my 7 year old self, “how can someone decide to be in a field that is all about caring for people yet they do not care at all? How can someone witness a person in excruciating but refuse to treat them just because they have no money?” Because of the horrible things I witnessed at a tender age, that is when I decided I wanted to become a doctor one day. I want to become a doctor so I can become the opposite. I want to become an advocate for those that are not able to speak for themselves. I want to save lives. My long term goal is to build a clinic in my parents hometown village located in Uganda. The purpose of this clinic is to provide free health care to the local citizens who refuse to go to hospitals because they do not have the fees. I aspire to improve the health care system in Uganda. I want to normalize annual checkups because too many people in my family have passed prematurely due to late diagnosis of their diseases. I want to change the diaspora of medicine in my country. One day, I aspire to create a team that shares a common objective of saving lives and serving people, not just chasing a paycheck.
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