Temiloluwa Sodipe


Golden Women Main Scholarship Winner

Pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Public Health (Major)

French and Francophone Studies (Minor)

University of Illinois at Chicago

Why continuing an education is so important to her:

As a young black woman in pursuit of becoming a physician, it's easy to become discouraged due to the lack of minority representation in the field. When I go to the hospital or doctor’s office, I don’t see many medical doctors that look like me. I often feel disheartened and worried that I may never achieve my goal; that the narrative being the black youth cannot withstand the rigor of succeeding in medicine, might be true. Continuing an education is important to me because it represents so much more than just obtaining a degree or certificate; it represents a culmination of strength, determination, and faith needed to accomplish a goal and break down barriers. My motivation to learn stems from my desire to see a change in the world, and I hope to know that one day, my story will have influenced many of the underrepresented youth who never thought they had the courage or opportunity to break the molds that suppress them and pursue higher learning.

Temi proudly supports:

AMITA Health, Bolingbrook, IL

UI Health, Chicago, IL

RCCG Victory Chapel, Lombard, IL

Temi, what does the term “Golden Women” mean to you?

In my own definition, the term “Golden Women” defines a person who defies adversity and continues to pursue set goals, aspirations, and hopes. It is the experiences in this life that help shape and define who we are, and as “Golden Women”, these same experiences enhance our very being, so that we can develop into the best versions of ourselves and promote positive change.

Temi, describe something that is plaguing young women today and explain what can be done to turn it around? What can you do to help?

As stated by the World Health Organization, “Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces.” The world is being faced with a major water crisis - not enough people have access to safe and sanitary water sources and because of this, their health is impacted for the worse. Water is a basic necessity to maintaining life, however, it is not available for safe use for many of the world's inhabitants. The human body can only last up to four days without water, leaving many with no other choice but to obtain their supply from unclean sources, which in turn can lead to detrimental effects on an individual and community/environment’s health. As these populations face increased occurrences of disease and sickness due to bad water quality, this presents to be a public health issue and disparity for many low-income and impoverished communities in the world, especially for young women in countries where women’s health is already at a disadvantage.

In many regions of developing nations, women, as young in age as children, are tasked to collect water from far sources. The continued occurrence of this behavior has led to young girls dropping out of school to pursue very domesticated lives. The poor health of women can have enormous consequences on society. Factor in substandard water quality with detrimental household roles, both of which are social determinants of health, the result is now an at risk demographic of young girls who lack the resources to fight their hardships. To combat these issues, it is important to continuously raise awareness for women’s education and rights. To sign petitions and help fund for schools to be built in areas that are lacking. Not only limited to that, to help fund for sustainable wells to be built nearby communities. Water is a resource that many can take for granted because of how readily available it can be, however, this same resource holds the power to create long-lasting effects on already disadvantaged populations. Young women, of all backgrounds, deserve health equity so that they can achieve what they never believed possible and accomplish the things unknown.