On the afternoon of July 27, 2018, College Success Arizona alumnae Naiby Rodriguez (class of 2016) walked across the stage and was given her white coat to commemorate the beginning of her medical school journey at the University of Arizona. In May, Naiby completed her last classes of the Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway program (P-MAP) and obtained her Master of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
According to the University of Arizona’s P-MAP website, “The Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway (P-MAP) Program is a 13-month, full-time, intensive medical school preparation program designed for students who have experienced greater than average challenges in preparing to become competitive medical school applicants.” Successful completion of the P-MAP program includes a Master of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, along with conditional admission to the university’s prestigious medical school in Tucson.
Naiby says much of her passion and drive comes from her family, “My parents are immigrant field workers and they’ve worked in the fields all of their life. So they always taught my siblings and I to really be humble, but most importantly to help others. So, I definitely have that in me – that drive to help others. Once I reached high school I realized that medicine is something that I want to pursue, and that it would be my way of helping others. I was able to go to Peru and do some medical volunteering, and do similar things through clubs here at the U of A, which I think really solidified my wanting to pursue this career. It has been my passion, to want to be a doctor that has helped get me through college.”
Naiby and her twin sister, Aimee, were born in Phoenix but raised in Yuma where they graduated from Cibola High School. Both Rodriguez sisters were part of College Success Arizona’s family, and received their bachelor’s degrees from the University of Arizona. Aimee, walked across the stage herself on August 9, 2018, as she earned her Master of Science degree in Nursing.
Medical staff have played vital roles in Aimee and Naiby’s lives, and that positive impact has fueled their passion to help and serve others. Now, Aimee and Naiby are forging their own pathways as their journeys come full circle: to provide the same compassionate, unique, culturally aware help and service to better serve the needs of their communities.
Naiby is among the many hardworking students who have earned scholarships from College Success Arizona, which provides up to six-thousand dollars per year for educational expenses. Students also receive specialized mentoring services from a team of highly skilled success advisers, such as Matt Sotelo, who is Naiby’s success adviser, “Matt has been there for me emotionally and he’s been there as a friend, a mentor, an adviser – you name it and he’s there. He’s so willing to help out, whether it’s academically, or if it’s something emotional, or something family-related, he’s there whenever you want to call or talk to him. Also, having an adviser is so helpful in understanding the college process, and experience, when you have parents who didn’t go to college.”