Mariana Ndrio is a second-year medical student at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS) in St. Kitts and Nevis. Mariana was originally born in Greece to Albanian refugee parents and immigrated to the U.S when she was 17 years old. Upon settling in Chicago, she attended Loyola University of Chicago with interests in Biology and International Studies. Living in three different countries and coming into first-hand contact with the health care barriers that vulnerable populations are often exposed to is what ultimately ignited Mariana’s interest in global health, reinforcing her belief that education, service, and community outreach constitute the ground zero for eradicating inequalities.
Over the past years, Mariana has volunteered in various nonprofit organizations that sought to provide healthcare and academic services to underserved communities that have faced homelessness and displacement in Chicago, Albania, and Greece. While at UMHS, Mariana serves as the president for her school’s AMSA Chapter for the third consecutive semester. During this time, Mariana’s efforts are centered on organizing community-based events that seek to educate, advocate, and fundraise for health issues such as Cancer and HIV prevention, Diabetes and Chronic disease prevention, and women’s health issues on St. Kitts and Nevis and the Caribbean region. Moreover, Mariana has been a member of the AIDS Advocacy Network at AMSA and a reproductive health scholar.
In her spare time, she loves making traditional Balkan food recipes for her family and friends, and cultivating her passion for art and poetry.