“When I was 17, I left Venezuela due to the political turmoil there. My formative years in a developing country shaped my character and my interest in public service. I moved to the U.S. and worked for several years to save enough money so that I could afford college.

Like other college students without financial support, I worked three jobs while attending the University of Florida. Science and health had always been a passion of mine so I majored in biology and then pursued a master’s in public health. It was during my MPH externship on the island of Saba that I felt the calling to come to law school.

While there, it was visible that the lack of regulatory protections was preventing the Public Health Department from implementing the necessary public health measures. I understood how important it was to have a useful health policy framework and realized I needed to get a legal education. I chose S.J. Quinney because I knew I wanted a law school with a smaller class size and I had been interested in moving out West.

After graduating in 2019, I will keep pursing my goal of improving the lives of others by contributing to health policy reforms. My ideal job would be working for Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, Pan American Health Organization, or for non-governmental agencies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. All these agencies are working to improve the health of the population and have the clout and resources to affect meaningful change.”

Carlos Quijada, a third-year law student at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, is serving a summer internship with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Atlanta.

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at