He works as a biology lab assistant, volunteers at HAVEN, HIV/AIDS Volunteer Enrichment Network in Annapolis, where he transports patients to and from the hospital, and has applied for an intern position at Anne Arundel Medical Center so he could be “one step closer to seeing the life of doctors.” So where does all of this motivation come from?
“Something that inspires me all the time are science and people,” those “people” being world-renowned surgeon Ben Carson, his father and youth pastor.
“Gifted Hands is one of the best books ever,” he says of the Johns Hopkins author. “It talks about his medical ethics, and his faith in God is just awesome because he gives all the glory to God and that’s what I want do because I can’t do it on my own.” He continues, “My dad started with nothing and was independent early and I’m following in his footsteps."
Kal encourages anyone new to AACC to get involved in at least one specific organization, like student life.
“You’re going to know more people and interact with people who have different problems and similarities. We have almost 60 clubs so being involved is one of the things that students should do. School is not all about classes and grades and going to class, it’s more about being out there with the student life.”
He even encourages relationships with not only peers but with professors, too. “Here you have a class of 20 people as opposed to a class of 100,” he says. “You can talk to your professor about your plans and they can give you advice. They become like your friends when you interact with them. I like to talk to them and find out how they became a professor and how they were as a student. It’s an awesome opportunity to talk to them."
When I ask Kal where he sees himself in the future he smiles and suggests staying in the states for fifteen years before ultimately going back home to Nigeria and working there. Quite ambitious for a nineteen-year-old on his own in a foreign country. But for Kal, it’s a perfect fit. “I think the major things are to have faith in God and the will of God because God has a plan for everyone,” he says. “I want to do something for the people. I want to tell others that life is not all about money or fame but about doing something for your people or society and improving things in the world. That’s why I’m really involved in things so we can tell students that life is really short and you have to do things that will help people. That’s the main thing is to have faith in God and help other people.” kr
Want to contact Kal? Send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kal's languages: Arabic, English (studied since age 4), Hausa (tribal language in Kano, northern Nigeria)
First friend at AACC: "Definitely Heidi Trader. There was a student association meeting I had to go to and talk about the biology club and that’s where I met Heidi. She talked about the international students and I thought it would be cool to find out about the international students. We started talking and then I started being involved in the student association.
"I'm so glad I met her because she introduced me to so many things."
Current home: With host parents Cassius and Debbie Owens
Current job: "I work as a biology lab assistant doing little responsibilities. I prepare materials for labs and new chemicals and clean the dishes. The main thing for me to work there was to see a real world kind of experience and know what it means to have a boss" (Rita Ailstock).
Kal's List of Must-Sees: Mt. Rushmore and Washington state
Loves: spending time with friends Cullen DeChant and Michael Corradini
Favorite American restaurant: McDonald's
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