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#MyMagisMessage: Caroline Maltese

Our very first #MyMagisMessage comes from Caroline Maltese, a senior Cell & Molecular Biology major from Pittsburgh, PA!

At which service sites / community partners have you served or been a student liaison?

I have served with Gearity Elementary School, Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy, Hope Alliance Bible Church, Julie Billiart, Griot Village, and Rainbow Connects.

If you had to state your life mission off the top of your head, in one sentence, what would it be?

To love fully, live faithfully, and care for all.

Getting accepted to medical school has always been a dream of mine. I have spent many late nights in the library, many beautiful summer days in the cold hospital gaining clinical experience, and many hours doing extracurricular activities. After much anticipation and preparation, I have finally reached the year where it is my turn to apply. Although I did not expect this to be any easy process, applying to medical school has presented some unique challenges. I am facing constant comparison to my peers, a boatload of self-doubt, and extreme uncertainty. Add a global pandemic in the mix, and I have found myself in one of the most uncertain and challenging years of my life.

This year, I have chosen to live the magis by persevering and adapting more. I have not let small setbacks, including cancelled internships or online classes, deter me from accomplishing my goals. I have learned to take life one step at a time, instead of constantly thinking big picture, and to celebrate the small wins. Being “more” for me in 2020 does not mean being more positive and ignoring hardships, but rather acknowledging challenges and exhibiting more resiliency.

Many of the people that I have met through service with the Center for Service and Social Action have motivated me to continue persevering. While working with students at Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy, I was shown true strength as high school students from all around the world recounted their experiences with hatred and isolation. In my time with Rainbow Connects at University Hospitals, I was shown true commitment and love as I worked with single parents doing everything that they could to provide for their children. Service has granted me the opportunity to learn important values, such as resilience, from those who have overcome so much adversity and has allowed me to better understand the diversity of the human experience. I hope to use these insights to one day affect positive change in the medical field by providing person-centered, equitable care for all patients.

Until then, I am choosing to put one foot in front of the other. Onward on Blue Streaks!


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