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Deborah Dele-Oni

I always had mentors growing up. People around me in my school, church, and community who helped guide and shape me into the strong young woman I am today. I knew going forward, I wanted to give back. Mentoring is something I began in college and have grown to love. I find myself in a unique position whereas a proud and strong black woman, I am a minority in many spaces. I rarely see people like myself in the workplace or in positions of authority. While my friend circles are filled with successful and talented black men and women, it seems like it’s never enough. I want to see a world where we are equal, where I can turn and not be pleasantly surprised that a black person is in a position of leadership. This is a big reason why I mentor young people. Not only do I want to increase the representation of minorities in medicine, but I want to inspire black people to just pursue their dreams. I know the many times I would’ve given up on my dreams due to a lack of representation in fields that I shadowed. However, my mentors kept me going. Mentoring is a hat I wear all the time. Any opportunity I find myself to help someone, I will take it. I understand though that putting myself first is important; because I cannot help anyone if I have first not help myself. Without the white coat, I am many things. I am a proud Nigerian woman, sister, daughter, and friend to amazing people. I am boldly black and embrace my dark skin, natural hair, working out, and taking pictures at my favorite pastime, brunch. Developing my love for trying natural hairstyles, exercising multiple times a week and trying all the best brunch spots in the city, allowed me to enjoy life outside of mentoring. My page revolves around telling my unique story and hopefully inspiring other people to pursue their dreams while not giving up their interests and passions. The journey is not easy, to say the least, but it is worth it. With hard work, dedication, and faith, you too can turn your dreams into reality.

Without the white coat, I am a strong black woman enjoying bottomless mimosas, crushing fitness challenges, modeling my crown, and mentoring the upcoming generation.

#withoutthewhitecoat I am a mentor

Deborah Dele-Oni
DO Candidate l Class of 2024
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

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