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Virginia San Juan, College of Pharmacy student

Finding a Place in Pharmacy: Virginia San Juan

Celebrating comes naturally to Virginia San Juan. Whether she is recognizing diversity, education or even a recent anniversary — 18 years since coming to America from the Philippines – the first-year Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy student gives it her all.

Now as a NEOMED student, she gets to celebrate all of the above.

Knowing her niche

For the last four and a half years, San Juan has worked at CVS — the place where her interest in pharmacy bloomed.

Initially, San Juan thought she would like to become a nurse, but working at a pharmacy, she fell in love with that aspect of patient care.

“Getting to see the impact pharmacists have on patients, including my relatives, inspires me to make that same impact. I’m so thankful I found my niche in pharmacy,” says San Juan.

Making an impact

Even more so, she found her niche at NEOMED.

Instead of picking and choosing which student organizations to become a part of, San Juan decided to join an array of groups. On any given day, you might find her at a Musicians in Medicine, NEOMED Student Council, Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Relay for Life Student Chapter, American Pharmacists Association or Student College of Clinical Pharmacy meeting.

“I don’t just want to go through school and just get a degree at the end. I want to make a difference,” she says.

For San Juan, NEOMED is very different from the previous years of schooling that she’s experienced. It’s the University’s sense of community that stands out the most in her eyes.

“Coming from the Philippines, I often felt like there wasn’t anyone that looked like me. At NEOMED, I feel like there are other people like me. Everyone has a voice and so many opportunities to become involved.”