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Congratulations LEAP from Dr. Jose Rodriguez

Dear graduates,

It is my great pleasure to introduce the 2020 Health Sciences LEAP celebration book.

Since 2001, over 200 students have completed HS LEAP, and you now join their ranks. Previous LEAP students have gone on to obtain graduate degrees from every school on the health sciences campus and are pursuing careers in a variety of fields. Among your current LEAP classmates, there are future doctors, dentists, researchers, and therapists that will transform the lives of patients and communities. Indeed this is a stellar class.

As you move forward into this next phase of your lives, I applaud all of you and your tenacity. In a year filled with unprecedented trials, your class stood firm and demonstrated your diligent spirit. As underrepresented students, you have likely faced additional challenges throughout your life and have persevered. This perseverance, along with resilience, passion, and the ability to push yourself in the face of difficulty, can be summed up in one word: grit.

In Angela Duckworth’s book, “Grit,” she writes, “To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight.” Your grit, diversity, presence, perspectives, contributions, and solutions are what the world needs.

I encourage you to stand in your authentic voice and never shy away from what you bring to the table. Continue to work hard and achieve your ultimate goal. On behalf of the Office for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, I’d like to extend a wholehearted congratulations. We are with you!

Dr. Jose Rodriguez