Photo of Mica Dowe

Member Spotlight: Mica Dowe, President of TWN-Stanford University

Member Spotlight: Mica Dowe, President of TWN-Stanford University

Where are you from?

I am originally from San Diego, California, but my family recently moved to Vermont's Upper Valley, about 10 minutes away from Dartmouth College!

Where and what do you study?

I am a senior at Stanford University, majoring in Spanish, minoring in Classical Societies, and following a pre-med track. I love being able to study a wide variety of topics on campus!

What inspires you?

My mother is my biggest inspiration and greatest role-model. She is the strongest woman I know, who raised her three daughters on a single teacher's salary and sacrificed so much to give us the best life possible. She taught me to be tenacious and hardworking, and to keep a positive open mind about life. My mother is always there to cheer me on and to support me in my endeavors. I owe all of my amazing experiences and achievements to her.

What are some of your ambitions/career goals?

My goal once becoming a physician is to use my Spanish-speaking skills to connect with patients who are not comfortable or able to speak English. I am the daughter of a first generation Mexican immigrant and have seen how daunting it can be to receive healthcare in America for non-English speaking patients. I want to create a safe and comfortable environment where there is no intimidation when receiving healthcare.

What does "redefining ambition" mean to you?

"Redefining ambition" to me means not letting the fear of being in male-dominated spaces deter women from pursuing their dreams. Too often women are told to lower their expectations, that they aren't competitive applicants compared to men, and that they should quiet down and not challenge men. This is a patriarchal tactic used to ensure that women will become complacent in what men want, and that women will not "pose a threat" to men. However, confidence, strength, and speaking up for yourself and what you believe in are not "threats" to men; "redefining ambition" means that women will have a space where they can build their confidence, rely on other women, and support other women in order to gain their rightful place alongside men. It means lifting one another up, collaborating with others, and maintaining the determination and strength needed to obtain their goals.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

The best piece of advice I received came from my mom, when I was struggling in one of my Organic Chemistry classes. At the time, I was incredibly discouraged and had mentioned that I did not want to attend the final. She said that if I did not show up, I would have to withdraw from the class. However if I did, maybe I would do well enough to pass. She told me to just try, because if I gave up I would close that door without even exploring, and I would never know what would've happened. My mom's advice to take that jump, to go after things even if I do not know what the outcome will be, continues to serve me well years later. Too often we let fear of failure or being told "no" stop us, and leave so many options and opportunities unexplored.

How has TWN impacted you?

TWN has completely changed my college experience for the better, and will continue to be an important organization in my life after I graduate. My first year in college, I struggled with the competitive environment and the lack of opportunities to make genuine friends. I joined TWN because it is a unique collaborative space where people share resources, help others achieve their goals, and are supported. Through TWN I have become more confident and self-assured, gaining many resources that continue to guide me on my path towards medicine. It is an honor to serve as the first President of TWN-Stanford, and to create a community on campus where all women are welcome.