Dominique G., 19 – FUNDED

“There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits.” -Michael Phelps

Dominique G. references this quote from the Olympic swimmer because her journey to her dream of being a physician-scientist has not been easy so far. “From being the first in my family to pursue STEM to overcoming personal challenges, I’ve had to fight hard, remain focused, and truly believe in myself when I didn’t think I was capable in succeeding,” she says. “But with hard work, there are no limits to what I can do!”

Currently in her sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she is on the pre-med track, majoring in Neurobiology with a certificate in Health Policy.

“Through my coursework and experiences outside the classroom, I hope to explore biomedical applications of technology, AI, and CS and apply those foundations to my long-term career,” added this New Face of Tech winner.

What does being the New Face of Tech mean to you?

It means I have a special opportunity to represent my background and passions in a unique manner. There is power and potential for me to explore various ways in which technology influences the healthcare industry and how it can benefit from new technological applications.

Furthermore, it’s a way to inspire other women and underrepresented minorities so that they can achieve their dreams and intersect technology with their passions. I look forward to achieving my goals and inspiring others along the way.

Women are underrepresented in STEAM. How can we change this?

We can continually showcase women who are in STEAM and doing amazing things in their careers. By shifting the narrative to what underrepresented individuals can do in STEAM, we can inspire others to explore STEAM pathways.

Also, creating mentorship and enrichment programs specifically for underrepresented groups can provide an avenue for them to grow alongside people who understand what it is like to be underrepresented and use that experience to continue succeeding despite the obstacles they may face.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

I have faced many challenges outside the classroom, especially with my health. I have been a pediatric neurosurgery patient and this has served as a huge inspiration for me to become a patient-turned-doctor.

My patient experience heavily shapes my current views of the healthcare system and how I think it can be improved for patients and medical professionals alike.

I am confident that I can utilize lessons from both the patient and physician experience to influence how healthcare is administered/utilized and improve the system overall.

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals?

I stay focused and motivated by reminding myself of the unique challenges I’ve faced and how incredibly hard I’ve fought to overcome them by the grace of God. I am also on my way to becoming the first-ever doctor in my family, which serves as motivation to make them proud and pay homage to my patient experience.

Although I hope to be an inspiration to all, I especially desire to reach underrepresented minorities and current patients. I want them to know that they are not defined by the challenges they face and that the profound lessons they learn from those specific experiences will add to their success — just as it has done for me.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund and HARMAN help you reach your goals?

The funding will help me continue my college education with less financial worries, which will allow me to focus more on my studies and extracurricular involvements. It will also help me in knowing that those organizations believe in my potential to contribute to society through tech, which will give me extra motivation to continue pushing through difficult classes and obtain my hard-earned college degree!