Ali Jaber - Doctor of Pharmacy - An MPS Success Story!
Reagan High School - Class of 2013
I am a PROUD product of poverty, the Milwaukee Public School system, and the 53215 zip code! I am a first generation college graduate who grew up in a very depraved neighborhood surrounded by drugs, violence, and crime. I attended Ronald Reagan High School where I did well my first two years but my life circumstances caused things to change shortly thereafter. My family was struggling to make ends meet, so at the age of 16, (my junior year) I decided to work full-time while attending school to help provide additional resources for my family. The ability to balance school and work had a tremendous impact on my grades causing my grade point average (GPA) at one point to fall below a 2.0. I dreamed of going to college and despite my academic setbacks in high school I decided to apply to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) to pursue my undergraduate degree. I was accepted, with the contingency that I maintain a 3.0 GPA or greater during my first semester. I had to make a tough decision about whether to attend college or continue to work full-time. I made the bold decision to do both! I worked full-time while majoring in biochemistry at UWM. My goal was to eventually become a pharmacist. While researching the admissions requirements for pharmacy school, I learned that I did not have to obtain a bachelor's degree in order to be admitted into a program, I only needed to successfully complete the necessary prerequisites. I completed my studies at UWM after three years and was accepted into a number of pharmacy schools. I chose to attend Manchester University located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There I spent the hardest four years of my life, working to continue to help my parents back home while taking rigorous courses to earn my doctorate degree. My hard work paid off and today I am a twenty-five year old Doctor of Pharmacy!
I wanted to share my story to inspire others to remember that regardless of your situation or how many times you face rejection, do not let that deter you from achieving your dreams. All things are possible! When I began pharmacy school I felt like I was at a huge disadvantage compared to most of my peers, but I knew that I could count on myself to succeed. Growing up, it would have been easy to choose a life of drugs or crime, but I chose to follow a different path. I wanted to prove to myself (and others) that I was not going to be a product of my environment.
I give credit to Milwaukee Public Schools for helping me become the person that I am today! "Be proud of who you are, and never for second think that you are less than anyone else because of where you come from."
"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe." - Anatole France
Ronald Reagan High School - Milwaukee Facebook page. http://www.ronaldreaganhs.org/
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