Stats: 17, Junior at Josiah Quincy Upper School in Boston, MA
- Perfect Attendance
- Boston Debate League, Top Speaker
- Creating Futures Program at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science University
- Global Health Challenge at Harvard College
- Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program at Harvard Medical School
- Crimson Summer Academy at Harvard University
- Harvard Forum for Leadership Initiative
- Tuft Medical Center, Volunteer
- Aspire Youth Leadership Program
- Society of Women Engineers Certificate for Highest Honors in Science and Mathematics
The Best Advice Alicia’s Ever Received:
Opportunities are everywhere, but it is up to you to find those opportunities.
How it Began:
This sweet Latina Asia, Alicia Ma Shum, has surmounted great difficulty since her childhood move from Venezuela to the United States, when her family took a courageous leap towards “The American Dream” without knowing how to speak English.
“It was hard adjusting to American culture,” says Alicia, who moved here when she was in the third grade.
During her family’s transition to the American culture, she remembers her older brother staying late after school to learn as much as possible, help their parents translate, help her on her homework, help them find a job and more.
“Growing up, my brother has and will always be my inspiration and just like him I want to work hard and never give up to achieve my goals and dreams; and give back to my brother, parents and my community,” says Alicia.
Over the years, Alicia has not only blossomed out of her shy nature by joining the Debate team in high school and perfecting her speaking skills, but she’s also excelled in academics and leadership, which has awarded her the opportunity to participate in many programs at the elite Harvard University.
In the Boston Debate League, she was recognized as the Top Speaker, Varsity Quarterfinalist, Junior Varsity Semifinalist, and Outstanding Novice.
After high school, Alicia would like to major in Biology, Asian Studies, and minor in Linguistics.
Alicia credits her older brother as her biggest inspiration.
Alicia’s parents Guang Ma and Miao Lan Cen recognize that their daughter has a preserving spirit and willingness to “work hard no matter what,” noting how she sought help through various sources to overcome the struggle and adjust to life in a new country.
“As someone who has lived in three different continents, I wanted my daughter to also have a multicultural view of the world. She was born and raised in Venezuela for numerous years before moving to the United States. When she came to the states, she had struggles finding her niche, but I guide her to better understand her identity and thus become a multicultural person, who is able to think outside the box and bring a multicultural view to anywhere she goes,” says Miao.
Parent to Parent:
“My parents were not able to have good education and good careers because communism in China,” says Miao, so her parents saved their earnings so she could seek a better education, life, and career in another country.
Ultimately, they taught her to “treat everyone equal and be selfless and forgiven because we are all humans and humans can make mistakes, but we learn from mistakes.”
She offers her advice to other parents:
Do not be narrow-minded when you help your children reach their potential. Just because one method work for some children, does not necessarily means that it will work on your child.