Hometown: Buffalo, NY
high school: City Honors School
college: Harvard University
GRAD. PROGRAM: Boston College Graduate School of Social Work (2013, MSW)
As a child in Buffalo, NY’s inner-city, Kareemah became aware of her environment and gained a deeper understanding of her own expectations of her life. Two generations separate her from a plantation and sharecropping life. Kareemah is aware and grateful for the opportunities and possibilities that have been opened to her as a result of her ancestors.
Freshman year of high school she was given the opportunity to participate in a very prestigious research program, affording her the chance to work in one of the world’s premiere cancer institutes under the guidance of a research mentor. She has been researching a very powerful gene involved in the spreading of both breast and prostate cancer for almost four years and has entered in such competitions as the Intel Talent Search. Senior year Kareemah began a job at McDonald’s Corporation to increase her interaction with people and open her eyes to the spectrum of people in the world. For two years Kareemah has served as a delegate for Pentecostal Temple’s Youth Ministries in Missions to Mexico, where her eyes were opened to similarities of many of the conditions in Buffalo.
Kareemah’s love for science motivates her to spend her Saturdays participating in the medical science and technology enrichment program sponsored by the local university. This allows her the opportunity to immerse herself in an environment similar to that of a first- or second-year medical student. She is highly interested in spreading awareness of health opportunities and scientific opportunities among people of her community and has facilitated her church’s efforts to build a comprehensive program for youth interested in science. Kareemah has used her experience to form judging criteria and assist youth in church-based competitions. She also is a member of the NAACP Youth Council of Buffalo, New York and an active member in its Afro Academic Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics program and science competitions. Additionally, her love for young people has inspired her participation in the local Big Brother/Big Sister Program. Kareemah has a passion for public speaking and feels very strongly about the peer review process in the scientific community. She also loves the Latin language and received the National Latin Award-Magnum Cum Laude. She is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate and will graduate with a science research diploma.
Her grandmother’s love and dedication have eased many of her frustrations and helped her in her journey of self-discovery. Of all things, Kareemah loves the concept of evolution. She realizes she, like the world around her, is constantly changing and identifies herself as a work in progress. Her upbringing in both a Christian and Muslim environment has kept her grounded in faith and she is able to keep a humble mind set, because in her heart she feels her accomplishments are not by her own might, but by God’s grace. *34*But for the grace of God there go I.” She aspires to be a cardiac surgeon and to open a number of combination research and treatment institutes for heart disease.