Humans of Queensborough: Julio Salas


(upbeat music) (salsa music) – My name is Julio Salas. I’m originally from Corona,
Queens, born and raised. And I’ve been at the same
house since I was about two years old right by a Lemon Ice King. My obsession with self
improvement began here at the handball courts. From 12 to 17, every summer 12 to 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday every single day. Handball taught me how to be patient, taught me how to work hard and so then I translated
that work ethic to school. From nine to 12th grade I went
to John Bowne High School, did two years here at QCC, and now I’m currently an
undergrad at Cornell University. I sometimes walk on the campus. I go to class. I’m still just in awe, and I don’t think I’ll ever get over that. And I just can’t believe
I’m at the library of Cornell University
studying for my class. So originally when I
came to Queensborough, I was afraid to answer, afraid
to maybe not looking smart, but Professor Brigette Tilley,
from the English department, made me like to read so she introduced me to a
whole separate world almost. She sort of took the chance on me. Definitely one professor who,
again sort of, took her chance with me was Dr. Schneider. She teaches biology. She said, “Would you be
interested in doing research?” And I said, “Yeah.” When I came to Queensborough I wanted to be a primary care physician, and then in this last,
last year I realize instead I want to do pediatrics to help tackle the social
determinants of health and also because by helping kids I’m also at the same time helping the parents. Now what drives me is really the people. All the people I want to serve because that’s like what I
want to dedicate my life to, which is basically kids who were me. Our identities affect us a lot especially when you’re from maybe minority identities, low income. Think when you’re low income
you just not low income. You’re most likely to see abuse, trauma, single parent household, which all affect you
in many different ways. You don’t believe in yourself,
you have low self esteem, you maybe won’t reach for something. I’ve never been treated
by a Latino doctor, and I personally haven’t met one. And that definitely made me
feel a little, I guess, bad and thinking like, “I can’t.” But now I don’t think that and so like I wanna
change that for others. Here at Queensborough, I started becoming my own person, and I think that definitely
helped make me feel, overall, happier and of course, you know when you feel happier you just perform everything better. So it benefited everything. It benefited school. It benefited my relationships,
my family with friends, my outlook on life, my perspective. It began here. Queensborough nurtured it. Had it not been for
Queensborough I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I would say, “This kid
from Corona could do it,” “then any kid can.” (samba music)

1 Comment

  1. Brigitte tilley is a good professor very great professor very nice and makes you love to read alot and I did well in her English 101 class

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