Angela Sitienei is on her way to becoming a doctor after being inspired by the story of Dr Ben Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist paediatric neurosurgeon from the United States.
Miss Sitienei, from Perth, Western Australia, could have pursued any career after graduating with outstanding results in 2022, including being ranked in the top 0.5 per cent in the state for English. But her heart was set on medicine after reading Dr Carson’s book, Gifted Hands, in primary school.
“The book details the story of Dr Carson’s life where despite the odds he was born with, particularly being black in America and having a very turbulent family life, he was able to become the youngest chief of paediatric neurosurgery in the United States at the age of only 33,” Miss Sitienei said.
“His success and steadfast faith really inspired me to the point where I also really wanted to be a paediatric neurosurgeon as well!
“I found a lot of my own story mirroring his own. Facing a lot of racism amongst other forms of discrimination as a young African girl, it was very easy to become disheartened after a while. But I thank God that there were the right people at the right time along the way, such as my parents as well as my church family.”
Miss Sitienei, 18, is a first-year student at Curtin Medical School. Born in Birmingham, England, she migrated to Australia with her family in 2008. For the past 10 years the family has attended Livingston Adventist church.
“[Starting medical studies] is honestly one of the most exciting things I’ve ever been a part of and a tremendous blessing and privilege,” she said.
“All in all, I’m very glad to be here and am incredibly humbled by this opportunity.”