“My entire childhood, I was often stuck at Shriners Hospital. I have a condition called lymphedema, where the lymph nodes in my leg swell. It becomes really hard to walk and it’s kind of painful. So I went to the hospital for a good amount of time. Being there, I saw that every kid is scared and a doctor or nurse can only make it better for them. I want to be that person that can make it better for them. That’s why I used to work at Primary Children’s because when the kids are scared, I understand that because I’ve been through it.
I was actually wanting to be an engineer for the longest time, until my senior year of high school. The reason I decided to go into medicine is because my dad encouraged me to complete the pharmacy technician program at my high school. Through this program, I really gained an understanding of medicine because a pharmacy technician certificate is hard to get.
The program was a wake-up call for me because it was like there was something that was hidden inside of me. I had always been like, ‘I’m never going to become a doctor. I don’t have the mind for that.’ And now I work in a pharmacy and I am like, ‘I understand this really well. I help my friends now. I’m their pre-med guy.’
I’ve always wanted to go to the U. I wanted to stay in-state for school, so the University of Utah was the goal for me. When I found out I got the For Utah Scholarship it was very exciting. On top of that, I also received the Utah Jazz Scholarship, which is like the mother of all scholarships. It pays for literally everything. I live on campus. I do all these things and I don’t have to pull out a single dime. I actually get paid to go to college, which is very nice.
My first semester was not the semester I thought I would have. I didn’t get the scores that I was wanting to see. However, I did pass my classes. I’m going into this next semester and I’m hoping I can actually come back to what I was before.
What I am hoping to take away from my college experience is connections. In college, you are supposed to have fun and do things you haven’t done before. I want to do that. I want to live my life out. I want to be a young adult. I want to watch myself and make sure I am doing OK and that I have a social life and that I get more involved on campus as well.”
—Mohmmad Al-Saedy, 2022-23 recipient of the For Utah Scholarship