Degree: Bachelor of Biological Sciences
College/School: School of Environment, Arts & Society; College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Ashley Diaz pursues opportunity in the face of adversity. The early part of her childhood was spent in a single-parent home. Ultimately, she was raised by her grandparents who worked tirelessly to provide for Ashley and her younger siblings. Watching them, Ashley decided to work just as hard for an education. And just as they did, she committed to helping others.
During her first year at FIU, Diaz was accepted to the Summer Medical Dental Education Program at Yale University School of Medicine. That experience gave her the desire to help launch a pre-medical program at FIU called STITCH (Students Taking Initiative Through Collaboration in Honors). The program is for Honors College students interested in medical careers, connecting them early to their desired professions. Ashley also helped to organize the first medical mission for STITCH, a trip to Nicaragua in 2013.
But just as life seemed to be going her way, Ashley’s mother passed away during her junior year. Refusing to give in to the sorrow, she used it as a reminder of why she wanted to be a doctor. As an undergraduate, Ashley has already achieved great academic success, conducting research through the Honors College Advanced Research and Creativity in Honors. As a first generation student, she has never lost sight of why she came to FIU — to grow personally and professionally so she might help others. She hopes to enroll in medical school in the near future and finally achieve her dream of becoming a doctor.