A shift from engineering to biology: How one student found his passion for pediatrics
Westside High School graduate Areeb is a student with a clear vision for his future. While he initially considered a career in engineering, his passion for biology led him on a different path. Areeb is headed to the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) in the fall to study biology, with the ultimate goal of attending medical school and becoming a pediatrician.
Despite never really being encouraged to go to college, Areeb saw it as a necessary step to achieving his goals. “I think that in everything I’ve wanted to do, a college degree is necessary. For me, there was no other choice.” He believes that a college degree is a foundation for success and a way to open opportunities that would otherwise be unattainable. As he puts it, “I think a college degree is something to be proud of. Going for a medical degree is one way to show you’re someone who is willing to put in effort and you’re someone who really wants to do something good in the world.”
A passion for pediatrics blossoms through volunteering
Areeb’s desire to help others is rooted in his love for working with children. Growing up, he spent a lot of time with his younger cousins and enjoyed working with kids. Volunteering at Sunday school and running classes provided him with valuable experience that he hopes to use as a pediatrician someday. “I’ve always worked with kids throughout my life, and I’ve always enjoyed doing that. I figured that if I was going to go into the medical field, I might as well do something I’m already good at, so pediatrics just seems like the best fit for me,” Areeb explains.
Areeb’s older brother was in the College Possible program, which is how he first learned about it. Through College Possible, Areeb received valuable resources and support that helped him stay on track and achieve his goals. As he puts it, “College Possible was definitely a helpful resource. The ACT prep was especially helpful. It was good to have a resource to help guide me through that process.”
Financial scholarships in hand, Areeb looks to the future
Areeb’s dedication to his studies and his passion for helping others have not gone unnoticed. He has been awarded multiple scholarships, including the Regents Scholarship for University of Nebraska Omaha, the Buffett Scholarship, the David Distinguished Scholarship for University of Nebraska Lincoln, and the We Are Nebraska Commitment Scholarship for University of Nebraska Lincoln.
While he is grateful for the financial support these scholarships provide, Areeb’s ultimate goal is to make an impact on his community. “I just aspire to help people as much as I can. I think part of what turned me away from engineering is the fact that I really want to make an impact in the world. I don’t want to be working for the benefit of myself; I really want to help others in the process, so I think that being a doctor is a fairly straightforward way of doing that.”