Tyler Sanchez, a Montague resident raised in Hamburg, is one of 30 college students nationwide Selected for American Heart Association’s Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Scholars Program, which supports undergraduate students shown to be “committed to diminishing health inequities in Latino communities.”
Sanchez, a junior biology major pursuing a pre-medical professions concentration at William Paterson University, maintains a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of the University’s Honors College.
William Paterson University has been federally designated as an HIS — an institution where at least 25 percent of the student body is Hispanic — since 2016. Today, approximately 35 percent of the institution’s students are Hispanic.
Through the HSI Scholars Program, now in its second year, students are paired up with a mentor in their field that provides them with research experience, and attend healthcare conferences, leadership skills workshops, and cultural competence training. Each student also receives a $7,000 stipend and all-expense paid trip to attend the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions — several days of programming on the latest science research, multidisciplinary health care initiatives, and health equity.
Sanchez, who plans to continue his schooling after WP in pursuit of a career as a physician assistant in emergency medicine, has been paired up to perform research with an emergency medicine doctor who also studies hypertensive medicine. Their pairing “is a dream come true,” Sanchez said.
“Through the years, physician assistant programs have gotten a lot more competitive, almost as competitive as medical school, so any way to stand out will benefit me,” he added. “A competitive advantage opens more doors for people like me.”
While Sanchez grew up in Hamburg, he has family ties to Colombia. His mother, Cheryl Sanchez, graduated from William Paterson in 1994, as did two of his aunts.