Meghan Mangal Leads Mentoring Program to Empower Young People to Become Doctors
Meghan Mangal knew she wanted to be a doctor since she was a child growing up on the island of Saint Lucia. But she had few role models in the field of medicine, and her path to medical school wasn’t easy.
Now a fifth-semester student at AUC, Meghan is working to break down those barriers, empower more children to pursue their dreams of becoming physicians and improve access to healthcare among diverse populations. Meghan is the founder of Doctors for Change Global—an organization dedicated to advocating for communities and patients through increased access to healthcare, education and collaboration.
“Not having many role models made me strive to become one for the next generation,” says Meghan. “I am extremely motivated to become an agent of change to improve options for healthcare, starting in my home country. My long-term goal is to improve health and quality of life throughout the African diaspora, including those living in the Caribbean.”
AUC, FUTURE YOU & THE SINT MAARTEN YOUTH BRIGADE
As part of her efforts, she recently collaborated with other AUC students, faculty and members of her organization to host the first session of a new mentoring program—Future You—with several adolescents who are part of the Sint Maarten Youth Brigade.
“Future You is an academic achievement and career development initiative designed to help young people set and pursue high educational and career goals,” says Meghan. “The vision is for minority high school female students to have access to college and other key career resources, and to introduce them to mentors that look like them and the resources available to them—within their community and beyond.”
The program brought seven young women together with AUC faculty and students to learn about careers in medicine and academics. AUC faculty members including Dr. Maryna Al-Fauri, associate professor of clinical anatomy and Dr. Jalika Breaux, assistant professor of behavioral and clinical medicine presented to the young women about their own personal journeys, including how they’ve overcome challenges along the way. Several female AUC students of backgrounds that are underrepresented in medicine served as mentors, leading interactive activities to support the development of professional goals for the participants. The event was supported by AUC's Community Engagement program.
At the end of the day, each participant was given a booklet with more resources and information, including the contact information of each mentor, to help provide opportunities for continuous engagement between the mentees and mentors.
“Future You brought me so much joy. I was amazed at how seamlessly the participants opened up and interacted with their mentors,” Meghan says. “The most rewarding thing that evening was hearing a young participant say thank you for ‘allowing her to think bigger and deeper.’ Helping young people identify what success means to them and what steps they need to take to achieve their goals was truly rewarding.”
She looks forward to expanding the program and would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the Doctors for Change team for their support of Future You. “Through Doctors for Change, I would like to extend this program to various countries including but not limited to Saint Lucia, my home country, South Africa, Nigeria, Saint Vincent, and Haiti,” Meghan says. “This will help minority females make meaningful relationships with female mentors and pursue a rewarding future.”
To learn more about Doctors for Change, visit their Instagram.