School of

UMKC School of Pharmacy Student Focused on Serving Hispanic Community

School of Pharmacy Recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month

As the UMKC School of Pharmacy recognizes national Hispanic Heritage Month, it is celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of members of the school’s Latinx community who are making a difference in the health and welfare of their community and serve as an inspiration for others to succeed as well. 

Meet Carlos Olivas, a third-year student at the UMKC School of Pharmacy, who wants to one day work in an ambulatory care or hospital pharmacy with a focus on helping people of the underserved community.

“With programs like Avanzando, students can engage with other Latino students and feel supported. With great advisors and numerous activities available, you can really grow as a student and young Latino professional.”
- Carlos Olivas, third-year UMKC pharmacy student

Why did you select UMKC School of Pharmacy?

I was born and raised in Kansas City. To have the opportunity to study pharmacy in my hometown, as well as being close to my family, were my big factors in choosing UMKC. I also can’t complain about being able watch Mahomes and the Chiefs win some games during the school year.

How have UMKC and UMKC School of Pharmacy embraced and supported you as a Hispanic student on the UMKC campus and in SOP program?

UMKC has allowed me to embrace my Latino heritage and the surrounding community at UMKC. With programs like Avanzando (a UMKC mentoring program for Latino students), students can engage with other Latino students and feel supported. With great advisors and numerous activities available, you can really grow as a student and a young Latino professional. Within the program, you are also paired with a mentor and I have been fortunate enough to build a great relationship with my mentor. These relationships are incomparable and further illuminate UMKC’s commitment to representing underrepresented communities in the pharmacy profession. 

Why would you encourage prospective students from your background to consider the UMKC School of Pharmacy?

At the School of Pharmacy, there are an enormous amount of community outreach programs and volunteer clinics that students can get involved in that really show the impact that you can have on people of the community. 

Hispanic representation in the pharmacy community is something that can be improved. There has never been a greater time for the Latinx community to get involved with health care and help educate people with reliable information. I have found that there is a need in the Hispanic community for key information about how to take better care of themselves. Not only that, but the language barrier that I have seen while working in clinics has shown to cause problems and confusion between doctor and patient. Bridging these gaps by bringing in more Latinx students to help educate Hispanic patients could be key in helping promote health and wellness within our community. 

What do you hope to do in pharmacy when you graduate and how do you feel the School of Pharmacy is helping prepare you for that?

After school, I hope to work in either ambulatory care or hospital pharmacy that focuses on helping people of the underserved community. UMKC has helped me build my clinical and communication skills to a point to where I feel like my knowledge and voice can make a difference in the community.

Published: Sep 29, 2021