Little over six years ago, I was fortunate enough to represent Cristo Rey High School Sacramento’s first graduating Class of 2010 as their valedictorian. Both my parents are immigrants from India, which is where they completed their schooling; I grew up in a family where education was highly valued, and I knew from a young age that the high school I attended would shape my career goals.
My four years at Cristo Rey were an enriching and rewarding experience that I would not trade for anything. Because of the unique work study component of the curriculum, I not only learned academics that prepared me for college, but also matured and gained confidence by working alongside health professionals. I had the great privilege of working at Sutter Medical Center for four years, which exposed me to the health care field and cemented my interest in a medical profession.
My work experience helped me get accepted into University of the Pacific’s Pre-Pharmacy Advantage Program; the connections I built at Sutter allowed me to volunteer at the inpatient pharmacy and get to know the staff personally. I spent three years as an undergraduate to complete all my pharmacy prerequisites, and then moved on to pursue a doctoral degree at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In May 2016, I graduated with my Pharm.D. and B.A.A.S. degrees, with aspirations to work as a clinical pharmacist in a hospital setting. My long-term career goal is to become a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist and advanced practice pharmacist.
Seeing “Dr. Singh” in emails addressed to me is surreal; as a freshman, I never dreamed of graduating at the age of 23 with a doctorate, let alone two degrees! But I can say with absolute faith that Cristo Rey is what helped make this into a reality—by allowing me to spread my wings, step out of my shell, and mature into the health professional that I am today. My teachers and coworkers were always there when I needed them, and by my senior year, I knew that they would remain lifelong friends and mentors.
I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to spend four of the most important years of my life at such a unique high school, one whose sole mission was to make sure that I received quality education both inside and outside of the classroom. I would like to extend my deepest, most heartfelt thanks to the faculty, staff, work study sponsors, and benefactors of Cristo Rey High School. Without you, none of this would have been possible.