As you read this, Naiby Rodriguez is preparing for residency so that she can work in Yuma as a family doctor. Naiby is a member of our alumni board and a great example of how scholarships and mentors can make a difference in a student’s journey.
Having settled in Yuma after moving between Arizona and California, Naiby and her family worked hard to better their lives. In seventh grade, Naiby and her twin sister, Aimee, joined the GEAR UP program. This helped them to get on the right educational path as they worked towards college.
Naiby eventually made it to the University of Arizona, where she majored in physiology. After her undergraduate work she continued into the Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway, a year-long bridge program that helped her prepare her for medical school.
Today, Naiby is busy interviewing for residency positions, but she hopes to return to Yuma once she has completed.
As a first-generation college student, Naiby struggled when she came to UArizona. It was a much bigger city, the school was academically more challenging and of course, she deeply missed her family. So much so that the first semester did not go smoothly, and a counselor discouraged her from her medical school goal.
But Naiby knew better. And the support she received from her success adviser at Education Forward Arizona helped her move forward. She developed strong study habits, found other resources to assist her and learned to ask for help when she needed it. She’s grateful to have also had the Education Forward Arizona scholarship, which means she’s graduating with far less debt than her peers.
Her path may have been unique, but Naiby never limited herself and learned from every step of her journey.