Story of Jennifer Gyamfi
“GEMS is a pressure cooker! The program places new challenges in front of me every day.”Jennifer, Medical Class of 2021, GEMS Class of 2015-2016
My name is Jennifer Gyamfi. I am 28 years old and I am a first generation Ghanaian-American born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. I earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology from Howard University and a Master’s of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine. I have worked 7 years in research as a research assistant/associate and most recently as a laboratory manager with the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institute of Health. I am also a mother to a very outgoing and curious two-year-old boy.
Being very interested in reproductive health in high school, I became a confidant and guided others to free health services. I would also spend a lot of time writing and keeping diaries. The introspection translated into empathizing with others, which inspired me to dream big and pursue helping others by becoming a physician in women’s health. I had always enjoyed science, so I nurtured my dream by enrolling in advanced science courses and engaging in research. I supported myself financially working several part time jobs as a server, a bank teller, and then eventually as a research assistant/associate. It was difficult; especially when I experienced the death of my brother, who was just a year older than me. But sharing my dream with him who believed in me, the support of my family, the energy of my son and the hope of reaching others through compassion and medicine encouraged me to press on with my goals.
When I first learned about my acceptance into the GEMS program, I felt all of the hard work over the years has finally led up to this point. I felt I was getting a chance to show what I am made of and was so overjoyed to accept the challenge. GEMS is a pressure cooker! The program places new challenges in front of me every day. Whether it is during a facilitated session at 6:30 am or being prepared to take a quiz at any moment, through the program, I am learning more and more about what works for me as a student and where there are areas of improvement. I feel GEMS is cultivating tremendous growth for me that I will carry in my journey into becoming a doctor.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”Toni Morrison