APS is celebrating a quadruple victory as four APS seniors earned acceptance into the University of Colorado Denver. Three students will attend the university’s Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine program. One student will participate in the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science Doctor of Dental Surgery program. These prestigious programs, located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, aim to promote the diversity of medical and dental professionals in Colorado.
Meet the extraordinary young men who aspire to gain the skills they need to improve and save lives in their communities.
Aurora Central High School senior Armonium Tsegaye grew up in Ethiopia where he witnessed his father suffer a life-long illness in a country with inadequate healthcare. Tsegaye was always fascinated by science, but this devastating circumstance ignited his passion to become a physician. In the U.S., Tsegaye realized immigrants have little access to healthcare due to cultural and economic barriers, and he hopes to bridge that gap. This first-generation college student overcame the challenges of not knowing English or American culture and strives to continue making his supporters proud.
How did you learn about the program?
I originally learned about the program through my friend Yishak Bedaso who earned acceptance into the program last year. In addition, ACHS' Aurora LIGHTS health pathway invited representatives from the program to speak to my Biomedical Innovations class.
What makes you passionate about the medical field?
When I was 10 and living in Ethiopia, I was devastated to hear that my father was diagnosed with a cervical herniated disc and told he wouldn’t live long without treatment. I can still recall the countless times I watched him suffer because he was unable to receive the treatment he needed. That dreadful event was the first thing that sparked my interest in medical care and in bringing change to under-served communities that lack medical access. When I was 11, my family was lucky enough to get VISAs for the U.S. through the diversity lottery. Even after coming to America, I realized that immigrants have little access to health care. Due to the cultural and financial barriers, most people in my community avoid healthcare providers. So, the thought of one day being able to help bring positive change to under-served communities keeps me motivated.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to accomplish what you’ve done thus far?
One of the main things that helped me come this far was having people that support me and whom I could reach out to. My friends, parents, coaches, soccer teammates and everyone else I am close to are very helpful and driven. I learned from them and they would check in with me when I seemed to fall of track even the smallest bit. So I advise others to surround themselves with people they can learn from and always be open to education and new experiences.
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself or your acceptance into the program?
I am thankful for this opportunity. I thank God, my parents, teachers, mentors and friends for helping me accomplish this goal. I also thank the BA/BS-MD staff for accepting me into the program. I won't let any of them down!