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Francisca Mata '04

Francisca Mata '04

Francisca Mata '04 is currently a student at the Medical College of the University of Illinois Urbana at Champaign. At Swarthmore Francisca co-founded Dare to Soar, a program that enlists Swarthmore students to tutor and mentor disadvantaged elementary school children in nearby Chester. The program is still going strong today. She also co-founded a program at her local parish in Los Angeles called Guiding Lost Angels, which brings at-risk youth together in a safe environment and encourages participation in community service; the program was awarded an Evans Alumni Community Service Grant.

In Her Own Words

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.

"Caring, assertive, respectful, energetic"

What was the most transformative class you took at Swarthmore?

"I don't remember any particular class in general, but I did learn from every professor that passion for what you do translates to success. I remember thoroughly enjoying some classes only to realize later that they were the toughest concepts. The passion they demonstrated in their teaching made love their subject! I knew then that's how I wanted to teach my future patients. I wanted to be able to sell to my patients the need to take care of themselves for themselves."

What would you do differently if you were a student at Swarthmore now?

"I would definitely study abroad! I didn't have a chance mostly because I really loved the work I was doing with Dare To Soar."

Name a person you most admire. Why?

"As cliche as this sounds, I really do admire my mom and dad. They're so amazing and have been through so much raising my six siblings and me! Without them I could not have found the courage to persevere myself."

What are you proudest of in your life so far?

"Definitely my determination to get into medical school and my eventual matriculation. It hasn't been as easy as I envisioned it when I was 13 years old."