“Bedside reading of poetry or inspirational literature to those who are ill helps show that someone cares. The work reminds me of what being a physician really means.”
A childhood riddled with abuse, poverty, or racism can break your spirit, rendering you a lost soul, a burden on society. Or it can make you strong and compassionate, motivating you to achieve great things for yourself and for your community if somewhere somehow you receive enough love to know you are of value.
Miranda Mack was raised in neighboring, rural Gadsden County by a single mother who instilled in her and her brother the importance of education—”We began reading at age 3. While she was at work, she would give us assignments—to draw the world’s continents or to research a topic in the encyclopedia. She made certain that we knew how proud she was of us and pushed us to go beyond what was expected.”
Since that tender age, Miranda has also been active in the Holiness Church—singing, praying, speaking, and writing—where her grandfather is the pastor. “The church family teaches us the importance of being active and learning the Word. Often, we were rewarded for our scholastic achievement and if one needs help, church members are always willing to lend a helping hand.”
As a consequence, Miranda graduated class valedictorian of East Gadsden High while also receiving an AA degree from Tallahassee Community College. Entering Florida State, she was admitted to the Honors Program, choosing to major in Exercise Science and to complete the requirements needed to enter medical school.
For Miranda plans to become a pediatrician, a goal “sparked” by Dr. Woodard, her first doctor. She explains, “My pediatrician was a source of personal counseling, warmth, and security in the midst of the many trials of my childhood. I value the significance of a supportive role model; I want to bring that same joy to other children.”
As a mentor for the College of Medicine’s SSTRIDE (Science Students Together Reaching Instructional Diversity & Excellence) Program, each weekday morning Miranda provides academic assistance to students in the Honors Chemistry and Integrated Science courses at East Gadsden High. Of the experience she says, “Seeing them understand and apply what they’ve learned is truly fulfilling.”
For the Peer Health Education Groups of the Thagard Student Health Center, Miranda is a peer educator. Through FSU Today, she teaches about healthy sexual relationships. Through Building Blocks for the Total Health of Men, she spreads the word about issues that influence their health. Through Total Health Empowerment for Ladies of Color, she works toward alleviating the numerous and dire issues that affect the well-being of minority women.
As vice president of the FSU chapter of Health Occupations Students of America, Miranda helps provide students with opportunities to network, serve the community, and compete for national scholarships.
By volunteering for the Arts in Medicine Program at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Miranda helps to “humanize the hospital environment.” She says, “Bedside reading of poetry or inspirational literature to those who are ill helps show that someone cares. The work reminds me of what being a physician really means.”