April 2012, Volume 16, Number 2

Making Their Mark

All in a Day’s Work

Deborah López
MDC Honors College student Deborah López looks forward to helping others by pursuing a career in the medical field.

No adage could better qualify the schedule of Miami Dade College Honors College student Deborah López than “there aren’t enough hours in the day.” The high-achieving 20-year-old puts to use the famed energy of youth around the clock, juggling her studies with work, volunteering and caring for her grandmother – all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
But according to López, what kicks her into gear is not her own ambition. “I run on supernatural strength from God,” she said.

Full Steam Ahead

At age 6, López came to Miami from Cuba with her mother and older sister. Her father remains on the island. When she graduated from high school, her mother moved out of state, and López has been living on her own since, cooking for her grandmother next door between a tight schedule comprised of classes, work at MDC’s STEM lab and night shifts as a waitress. Free time? She commits it to mentoring and church activities, running a bible study group that meets weekly at night and the Sunday morning sign-language ministry.

“I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices, but I’m very passionate about what I do,” said López. “Everything I do, I do it to my fullest potential. I feel like that’s a gift from God.”

Converging Loves

To gain experience toward the goal of becoming an ER doctor, López conducts medical research in the Bridges to the Baccalaureate, a collaborative program between MDC and the University of Miami supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. She is also vice president of Wolfson Campus’ chapter of Global Medical Brigades, with which she traveled to Honduras to help provide medical assistance to underserved communities.

López’s ideal career path combines her faith with her love of the medical field. “True leaders serve others, and I was made to serve the world through medicine and ministry.”

She credits MDC for helping her head down this path. “We have to be really involved in service-learning,” said López, who knows attending The Honors College at MDC will make her attractive to pre-med programs. “The Honors College has a prestigious reputation, and other universities know we’re good students.”

— MR

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