Meet the Mentor: Grace Marango

Gender Identity & Pronouns: Female – she/her/hers
Affinity Groups: gGLOBAL, gFIRST, gSOC
Race/Ethnicity and/or Nationality: Black – South Sudanese
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Education: BA Public Health; University of Rochester, Candidate (MPH); Boston University School of Public Health (current)
Industry Interest: Global Health, Maternal and Child Health, Healthcare Management
Places Lived: Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon, visited Kenya and DRC

Personal Facts/Hobbies:

I do not have much time for hobbies as I use much of my free time to study, but when I do have time, I enjoy spending it with friends and hosting movie nights and dinner.  I also love to cook and trying different recipes.

Growing up, much of my childhood was spent in boarding schools away from my home of South Sudan.  I was sent to Uganda, where I completed most of my education from 4th grade to 3rd-year high school. I went back to South Sudan to complete my senior year, and that was the first time I had lived with my close family since I was five years old.  I successfully completed high school and scored the highest in the country’s National Examination.  After completing high school, I worked as a teacher for the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades and taught at adult evening schools for a year.  I then worked as a nurse, taking care of patients mainly with HIV/AIDS.  Two years after high school, I was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to an American gap year program in Kigali-Rwanda that prepared me to apply to colleges in the U.S.

Coming to the U.S., I was a pre-med student, but after my first semester, I changed to Public Health and Psychology. As a first-generation student, the biggest challenge I have faced from my family members is trying to explain what I’m doing in school.  They always ask me, “So when will you complete your education?  What is it that you’re studying?”, but I find it hard to explain, for they have a hard time understanding what I mean by Public Health.   The term “public health” is unfamiliar, as 98% of my family members do not even have a high school diploma and have a hard time making sense of what I explain.

Currently, I’m an MPH candidate at the Boston University School of Public Health and working full-time in the Graduate Medical Sciences Office as an Assistant to the Associate Provost and Dean of GMS.   I want to be a GMS C3 mentor because it will allow me to interact with students, support students who may have a similar experience, and serve as an advocate.  Please stop by the GMS Office, and you will find me at the front desk!