Gaber Saleh, a first-year medical student, has won the Amin and Nancy Habbas Scholarship, established to help high-achieving students of Arab origin enrolled at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Saleh has received a $2,000 scholarship.
Criteria for the Habbas Scholarship, established in 1991, include leadership potential, community and extracurricular involvement, financial need and academic achievement.
Saleh, an Antioch native, is a Rural-PRIME student and was drawn to the program for the chance to learn how to practice rural medicine and become a leader in his community. Saleh's parents were both born and raised in Yemen, before they immigrated to the U.S. on a work visa.
Saleh will be leading this year's rural health fair in Jackson, which aids migrant farm workers that are unable to receive medical care. He said he is particularly sympathetic to the plight of farm workers since his father worked as a migrant farm worker when he first immigrated to America. His father told him of the many hardships that he and his fellow workers faced in trying to receive health care.
Saleh also volunteers at the student-run community clinic , Imani Clinic, providing care to underserved populations. He hopes to return to Yemen, where the rest of his extended family still resides, to establish health clinics in poor rural areas like those where his parents were raised.