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Chioma Okolo


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I've known since I was young that I wanted to help people just like me. That is why I hope to become a Pediatric Pulmonologist. Growing up with asthma was difficult and I want to help other children that have asthma too. I hope to not only help little kids learn to manage their asthma well but to be apart of the scientific advancement in the study of asthma throughout my higher education.


Howard University

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Biology, General
  • Minors:
    • Chemistry

Saint Thomas More High School

High School
2017 - 2021


  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Pediatric Pulmonologist

    • Hair Braider/ Owner

      2017 – Present7 years
    • Customer Associate

      Party City
      2019 – Present5 years



    Junior Varsity
    2017 – 20181 year


    Junior Varsity
    2019 – 20201 year


    2020 – Present4 years


    • St Thomas More Drama Club

      Our Town
      2017 – 2021

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      4-H Club — Teen Teacher Volunteer
      2019 – Present
    Growing with Gabby Scholarship
    Over the past year, I believe that I have grown in my mindset and what I now consider to be important. It is widely acknowledged that college can be difficult, trying to balance all the school work with having a social life, extracurricular activities and personal problems that arise can be very taxing, especially while majoring in the STEM field. I will admit that I did not account for this. School had always come very easily to me and I was able to manage it with other activities easily. Last semester, I realized that was no longer the case. I was taking 17 credit hours, had an after-school job, and on top of that had started my own crochet business. The inclusion of this new business venture meant that I would spend hours commuting to different parts of the DMV to get yarn to complete the commissions I had received. This along with time spent crocheting, going to work, and still maintaining an active role in my organizations meant I had a lot less time to study and felt like I never had enough time to do anything. I had officially put too much on my plate and immediately was made aware of the consequences. I started underperforming in my major class, Biology. Losing points on exams for not devoting enough time to studying or missing certain assignments. Although it ended up being too late, I tried desperately to improve my grade. I ended the semester lower than I would’ve preferred but I learned an important life lesson: Be aware of my capabilities and work within them. As I pursue a career as a physician, I believe that this lesson will be valuable because it has taught me to prioritize what is important. It has taught me that I don't have to put everything on my plate and that sometimes I'll have to make decisions to prioritize what is important to properly maintain everything. This semester, I have decided to forego working while attending school. Even though it was nice to have guaranteed additional income for supporting myself through school, I've decided to focus on growing my business instead. It allows me time to focus more on something I love and profit from it and the necessary flexibility to allow for schoolwork to remain my overall priority. At this stage, I’ve learned that my schoolwork is always going to be my number one priority and in turn, as a physician, my patients will be my number one priority. I’ve learned that it will be necessary to find the right balance between my other responsibilities to ensure that their care is my main focus. And to be mindful of what I can handle outside of being a physician and balance it in a way that will not harm my ability to provide the best care possible. Abiding by this allows me to significantly minimize the stress that comes with attending university and will be fundamental in avoiding unnecessary stress in the future as I embark on a demanding career path.
    She Rose in STEAM Scholarship
    In pursuing an academic career, my ultimate career goal is to become a Pediatric Pulmonologist. I am passionate about pursuing an MD and working towards specializing in pulmonology. Although my interests have ranged far and wide over the years as I’ve debated upon what I would like to do for a career in life, I finally concluded that I wanted to pursue medicine after taking an anatomy class in high school. I was fascinated with everything that we were learning and was excelling in the coursework. I had a passion for it but it still provided me with a little bit of a challenge that would always keep my brain working. It was the perfect career and pulmonology was the branch that I felt most called to because of my connection as a child asthmatic and because of how the inner workings of the lungs fascinated me as I learned about them in anatomy class. In discovering these things about myself I felt most drawn to pursuing a pre-medical academic career and becoming a pulmonologist. As a child in a black immigrant family, we did not have much growing up as we were still trying to find our footing as money was tight. So discovering that I had asthma through a rough battle with Pneumonia at two years old was not only a shocking discovery but an additional financial burden. One that my family would not have been able to even imagine paying for if it hadn’t been for the help of institutions like medicare, free clinics, and county hospitals. Those institutions were fundamental to my childhood with asthma and I know are crucial to other low-income black and brown children’s experiences with asthma as well. That is why I desire to practice pediatric pulmonology in hospitals that serve lower-income black and brown families. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to access a pediatric pulmonologist especially if you aren’t as wealthy as others and I would like to do whatever I can to close that gap for other minority children just like me. I remember the impact that having such a wonderful Pediatric Pulmonologist had on me and my journey with asthma and I desire to be that saving grace for another family just like mine. I want to be able to put the parents' minds at ease and guide the child through their pulmonary journey whether it be asthma, cystic fibrosis, etc. Every minority child should have the ability to access the pulmonary care that they need no matter how uncommon that care may be. I hope that in continuing my education I can provide that resource for even just one more low-income minority family.