Kiara Francisco

Many people don’t know that Kiara Francisco is a black-belt in mixed martial arts and that if she could pick a favorite song it would be “Skywalker” by Miguel. Originally from Lakeland, Florida, Kaira is a student in VCU’s School of Medicine. To Kiara, VCU felt like a family the moment she stepped onto the campus.

“Every interaction with someone on this campus felt so genuine and warm,” Kiara said.

She also believed that the School of Medicine curriculum would be best suited to help her become an outstanding physician.

Diversity is another reason VCU holds such a special place in Kiara’s heart. Kiara notes that there are various organizations on the MCV campus that aim to unite students of all colors and backgrounds with the unified goal of promoting excellence – and while these efforts are amazing, the work is never finished.

“I would like to see more awareness being brought to these organizations and the wonderful things that they do,” Kiara said. “I would also like to see a better representation of minority students within all of the health professional programs.”

As part of the SCIE Ambassador Program, Kiara hopes to improve her confidence in leading her peers, learn more about effective mentoring, and gain a better understanding of the importance of expanding her network.

“I believe the SCIE Ambassador Program will give me an opportunity to challenge my own thinking as I learn different perspectives from others around me,” Kiara said.

If she could give any advice to new health sciences students, she would say that if one door closes you need to find another way.

“So often, we get discouraged when things seem to not go our way the first time,” Kiara said. “Trust the process and know that if health care is truly your passion, you must continue to navigate through the obstacles and believe that you are exactly where you are meant to be in this moment.”

Kiara Francisco is part of the 2018 – 2019 SCIE Ambassador Cohort.