Mariana Ndrio is a second-year medical student at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS) in St. Kitts and Nevis. Mariana was 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. She learned first handedly how health care barriers affect vulnerable populations after living in three different countries, which ultimately ignited her interest in global health.
Her international experiences reinforced her belief that education, service, and community outreach constitute ground zero for eradicating inequalities. In the past, Mariana volunteered at various nonprofit organizations seeking to provide healthcare and academic services to underserved communities facing homelessness and displacement in Chicago and Greece. She was recently chosen among her peers to participate in a medical mission trip in Ghana, Africa.
At UMHS, Mariana serves as the president for her school’s AMSA Chapter for the third consecutive semester. As president, Mariana’s efforts centralize on organizing community-based events. These events 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 passions for art and poetry. As the Global Health Advocacy Coordinator, she is excited to leverage her experience to contribute to AMSA’s mission and expand advocacy and outreach initiatives on global health matters.