Neelab-Abdullah at public heath clinic

Public health major Neelab Abdullah '18 aspires to be a physician, so she can return to her birthplace Afghanistan and help improve the lives of Afghans.

From Afghanistan to America: Student Melds Studies with Service

February 22, 2016

Drawing inspiration from her childhood days in Afghanistan, Neelab Abdullah ’18 is dedicated to improving the lives of Afghans as well as families across the United States. 

Neelab-Abdullah at public heath clinicThe public health major is an aspiring physician interested in family medicine.

A resident of Lakewood, Abdullah has earned the praise of BW faculty and staff, as well as program coordinators across Cleveland’s medical communities.

Among her recent accolades, she is the recipient of a UPS Scholarship provided by the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges and its national partner, the Council of Independent Colleges. (see photo with UPS representative Charity Dumminger, OFIC President Gordan Brollier, Abdullah and BW President Robert C. Helmer with a check depicting the total amount OFIC awarded in UPS Scholarships to students across Ohio).

Learning by doing

On campus, Abdullah is involved with the Honors Program, the pre-medical society, Veritas (public health club) and research initiatives. Off campus, she is part of MetroHealth Medical Center’s Doctors on the Street program, where she assists physicians and medical staff at a homeless shelter.

Neelab-Abdullah-UPS-scholarship-winnerHer other service-focused activities include being a HIV intervention specialist at The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland and a Ronald McDonald Family Room representative. Rounding out her impressive list of healthcare involvement is a pathology research assistant position with the Cleveland Clinic. 

Extending a hand across the world

Upon graduation, Abdullah plans to attend medical school. She hopes to one day visit Afghanistan to provide medical assistance to communities in need.

“I was born in Afghanistan and immigrated to the US when I was five,” she explained. “After eighth grade, I returned to Afghanistan, where I witnessed poverty first-hand.

“The lack of a quality healthcare system stood out to me the most. To get advanced healthcare, the sick have to travel outside the country. As a physician, I would like to dedicate time in Afghanistan to provide assistance via a free clinic or policy improvements,” she noted.