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ISF Student / Vivienne E.

Vivienne Echendu.fwVivienne E.

Hometown:  Garland, TX

Attending school:  Prairie View A&M

Major:  Biology

Vivienne’s parents emigrated from Africa and were highly educated when they arrived to the United States.  They had stable jobs and her father owned his own business.  The family environment was always unstable with domestic violence issues and often CPS would be called in to investigate.  These issues were elevated when Vivienne’s father became unemployed and her mother was diagnosed with a serious illness.  At the age of 56 Vivienne’s father had a stroke and her mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer.  This, of course, placed additional stress on the family.  Eventually Vivienne and her siblings (4) were removed from the home and placed in foster care.   Today she remains in contact with her family and receives moral support from both her parents.

Vivienne is currently attending Prairie View A&M University and is pursuing a major in Biology.  Once she receives her degree she would like to continue her education to become a surgeon.

While in college Vivienne has participated in Relay for Life and the MAPS (Minority Association of Premedical Students) program where she assisted with fundraising, campus awareness, and collegiate team recruitment.  She is the former Treasurer the Beta Beta Beta biological honor society and Sargent at Arms for the Undergraduate Medical Academy.  Currently she is a member of the African Student Association (ASA) and Foster Care Alumni (FCA) student chapter on campus.  She belongs to the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) and American Cancer Society (ACS) and is the President of the Collegiate Cancer Council.

In addition to her focus on academics and her extra-curricular work, Vivienne was selected this summer to participate in a study abroad program as part of her membership in the Honors College and Undergraduate Medical Academy.  During her trip to Xi’An, China she studied the culture, language, and traditional medicine of the Chinese people.