Maria VenegasMarch 19, 2021March 19, 2021hillaryobrien
Maria Venegas, McNair Scholars Program graduate

Boise State University | McNair Scholars Program

I came to this country at the age of 17 with no English skills and from a disadvantaged socio-economic background. Working alongside my parents as farmworkers, my siblings and I learned the value of hard work and education. It was my resilience and persistence that helped me find the resources to attend college. As a first-generation student, the idea of a postgraduate education seemed an impossibility. However, becoming a part of the Ronald E. McNair Scholar Program was one of the best decisions I made during my time at Boise State University. Thanks to the McNair Scholars Program, I was able to accomplish my dream of becoming an Anthropologist. The McNair Scholars Program provided the tools, knowledge, opportunities and financial support to pursue postgraduate education.

In December 2016 I obtained a PhD in Medical Anthropology and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh; I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centers of Health and Aging, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. This journey would not have been possible without the support and assistance from the McNair Program at the beginning of my career.