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ABOUT ME

Yajahira Velazquez

I come from a Puerto Rican family with a rich history of military service. So I followed the tradition and joined the Army. Best decision I could have made at 17 years old. At least I thought so at the time. While I loved being a Soldier, I wanted something more. I had always wanted to own my own business. I tried several times to start one, only to fall flat on my face…on more than one occasion.
I had a great job with the military as a civilian, loved it even, but I was struggling. I was a single mom with two kids barely making it. My dad one day asks me, “Yajahira? Why don’t you quit your job and go to medical school?” After going back and forth with it, I did. I sold everything and moved to Dominican Republic with my kids. I didn’t know anyone, all I knew was that I was going to be a doctor. I still wanted to own my own business. I figured becoming a doctor would get me there. That first semester, September 2011, almost broke me. The federal loan I took out paid for school and left me with $1800 for four months. I couldn’t afford a ride to the store. I walked everywhere with a backpack strapped to my back. I dropped 40 lbs in four months. I was eating only once a day, so my kids would have enough food until the next semester. I am grateful that I had made friends that helped me out where they could.
Fast forward two years, the dean of my school gets caught for fraud with the federal loans. The school loses the federal loans and I can no longer pay tuition, let alone provide food or put a roof over our heads. Thankfully, by this time I had met my husband, who swooped in like a knight in shining armor.

January 2014, I transfer to another Caribbean school with all my credits. Eight months later, I finish my basic sciences and start to prepare for the USMLE Step 1. THAT WAS WORK! During this time, the school tells me I owe them $4000 for a semester I didn’t attend! After a long discussion, I leave the school without my transcripts. They were being held for ransom.

Fast forward to 2016, an old mentor refers me to a school that will take my credits and let me start where I left off. I’m thinking, GREAT!! THANK YOU JESUS! While at the school, I take my big test, pass, start clinical rotations. I get halfway through, and decide to take a break to study for USMLE Step 2. It was during this time, I get the news that the school has lost their accreditation! I am devastated! Here comes my dad again, “Yajahira, just go back to Dominican Republic.” I don’t want to, but after talking with my husband, we all move back to DR. That was two years ago.
Since then, I have come within a year and a half of graduating, before the pandemic hit. USMLE has postponed Step 2 Clinical Skills testing for 12-18 months. Without that, I can’t certify, which means, I can’t enter residency. I don’t qualify for the alternative pathway they are offering, so what do I do now?
I finally started my own business!

Contact me

Email Address

info@yvelazquez.com

Contact me

Email Address

yari@ypowell.com