My name is Aishu and I am a senior Physiology-Neurobiology and Psychology major and this is my first year on TTPT. My journey with Children’s National began during my sophomore year during which I was a Patient Care Volunteer on the floor 6 East, the hematology/oncology unit. This experience was emotionally vivid, as I was given the opportunity to directly interact with all the children on the floor, play games with them, talk to their parents, understand their stories, and be a part of their lives. Shortly after, I started volunteering with a program called DC STRIVE, where students like myself from the University of Maryland offer mentorship and support to doubly vulnerable, low-income sickle cell anemia patients at Children’s National.

Being able to watch these teens grow into decisive, resilient young adults who are empowered for success beyond grade school and know how to effectively navigate the unique struggles of chronic illness is such a rewarding experience. Even in the face of distress and illness, working with the clinicians and staff is an immensely valuable experience and has shaped my lifelong interest in wanting to help families cope with severe pediatric illness.

I can truly say that Children’s National holds a special place in my heart and has greatly shaped the image of the type of doctor I wish to become one day. I hope my story inspires you all to look for your own unique ways to change the world around you!