Olivia Ondigi’s decision to pursue medicine was based on her own personal experience with the healthcare system.

“My brother’s complicated birth history made me realize that I might not have had a sibling without the great healthcare that he received,” said Ondigi.

From there, her path was decided; she wanted to devote her career to saving the lives of other people.

“At the age of four, my family and I made the move from Minnesota to Kenya,” she says. “So, I spent the vast majority of my childhood in Kenya.”

But when it came time to apply for college, Ondigi knew she wanted to return to Minnesota.

“The University of Minnesota offered an unmatched multitude of opportunities. It’s in a great location, offers top-notch education and the people here are amazing,” she says. “I have made great friendships that will last a lifetime.”

In the future, Ondigi hopes to provide mentorship and guidance for other students from similar backgrounds. 

“I didn’t have a lot of people with similar experiences and background to reach out to for guidance – I wish I had that, and it’s hard to find,” she said.“I want to be a role model and light a path for those that are underrepresented in medicine.”

Ondigi’s passion for helping those within the community makes her long-term goal of working in global health come as no surprise. She aspires to help underserved populations with continuity of care and access to medical care. 

“Being from a community that’s underserved in medicine, I am passionate about making a positive impact and giving back when I become a physician,” says Ondigi.