Shama is an inspirational doctor-to-be, whose heart is even bigger than her brain. She discusses religion, race and education... you don't want to miss it!
Shama is Gujarati (a country in India) and grew up in a basically all white suburban town south of Boston where ignorance is HIGH and education of other cultures is LOW. How do I know? We grew up in the same town.
"I wasn't so proud of my roots growing up because it was hard to be different, or the "token brown girl. But, I've learned to really embrace my heritage and culture over the years."
Shama had her share of micro agressions like anytime race was brought up in class, all the students would turn to look art her (I remember this). Or, when there was a substitute taking attendance, they would always say her name wrong... without even trying to correct themselves after.
"(in the towns) kids aren't taught different cultures. Try to be more open to learning about different cultures or asking questions. It's hard because people worry about saying the wrong thing but 9 times out of 10 if you genuinely want to learn it's totally fine."
I was lucky enough to be invited over Shama's when we were in high school. Her family is one of the warmest, most welcoming people I had ever met. Her mother, as Shama will tell you, is one the best cooks around. Aside from this, another memory that has stayed with me was sitting in her family's prayer room. Colors, patterns and portraits surrounded us as we would sit on the indoor swinging bench and Shama would teach me small portions of her families religion.
Shama, now, uses aspects of her religion to guide how she lives her life but she doesn't actively practice. She says she still believes in the power of karma and wants to be proud of who she is at the end of her life.
Her parents were very strict growing up, pushing her to take advanced level classes, try out for sports and be involved in clubs. (I can tell you right now, whenever I had homework trouble, I could ask Shama.) Her father grew up below the poverty line in India and they weren't able to receive proper healthcare. Now, following in her fathers footsteps, Shama is a year away from her doctorate at University of New England and she's focusing on women health. Reproductive endocrinology is her dream after she specializes in OB GYN.
"I like that its the only specialty that brings life into this world."
Shama's ambitions don't stop there, either! She sees herself opening and operating a clean and honest skin care line in the future. Obviously I asked her for at home skin care tips for us... coconut oil with coffee grounds or cinnamon for an all natural exfoliate. She also recommends turmeric and milk to brighten dark spots. But, be warned, it will stain your clothes.
QUESTIONS YOU DIDN'T ASK FOR BUT NEED
dream vacay: Spain and a boat to Morocco
beauty tip: sunscreen every damn day
fav food: falafel and hummus
spot to get the best Indian food (u know I had to ask): Mumbai Spice, Punjab Dhaba, Nirvana... or her moms
beauty product u can't live without: Dr. JARTs moisturizer or Dior mascara
where do u shop: ASOS, missguided, lulus
celeb crush: jimmy garopolo and maluma
resource for motivation: IG influencers like @maggiemacdonald, @laurengiraldo, @maryamishtiaq