LaToya Walker is comfortable with making the unfamiliar, familiar. The human health sciences senior and student ambassador has been exposed to many different cultures throughout her life, and she hopes to blend these experiences by becoming a physician assistant and pursuing medical missions. She’s also passionate about ensuring all students in the College of Health Sciences have a voice in their educational journey.
“I have spent time in Jamaica, New York City, Colorado, Kentucky, Los Angeles, and Nepal,” Walker said. “Traveling taught me to go outside of my comfort zone. I think it’s extremely important for all people to experience cultures outside of their own. ”
Walker was born in Jamaica and when she was three years old her family moved to New York City. “I grew up in a military family which quickly acclimated me to moving around,” she said. Even after coming to the States, Walker’s family frequently went back and forth from New York to Jamaica.
Walker and her family then moved to Kentucky in 2011. That’s when she decided the University of Kentucky was the best choice when considering colleges. Walker is pursuing a degree with the College of Health Sciences for many reasons, but mainly thanks to the supportive faculty and advisors.
“I could tell the faculty and advisors were people who would push me to excel,” Walker said. “Everyone here at CHS has helped me navigate my entire college experience. They really care about where I’m going and want me to achieve all the goals I set for myself.”
The influence of her CHS advisors is also why Walker is a student ambassador. “The advisors really encouraged me to become an ambassador,” she said. “I love it because I’m able to talk to prospective students who were once just like me.”
As an ambassador, I am able to have a voice,” Walker continued. “I am invested in the college and can bring forth change. I act as an advocate for other students, which I think is really important.”
For Walker, the College of Health Sciences has always felt like home. “There are genuinely people here that care about me. I always have professors connecting with me and sending me opportunities,” she said. “CHS has amplified my voice and taught me more about having empathy for others and loving people where they are. That’s the type of PA I want to be."