Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

Keyera Wynn came into Maryland knowing with full certainty she wanted to be on the pre-health track—but that didn’t mean there weren’t times that first year where she was fearful it wouldn’t work.
Balancing the normal adjustment period that every freshman goes through with being a contributing member of the women’s soccer team from day one was no small task. Add in the fact that Wynn was on arguably the most difficult academic path in pre-med and the challenge became even more daunting.
Fortunately for Wynn, her then-teammate Darby Moore, who was a fifth-year senior when Wynn was a freshman in 2019, was also a pre-med student. Moore was actually the one who put the Pre-Health Terps organization in motion and she was there for Wynn when she needed an ear about her experiences as a pre-med student-athlete.
The program was fully up and running during Wynn’s sophomore year, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, everything was virtual and Wynn didn’t get the complete experience due to some timing overlaps with her other responsibilities. By the time her junior year rolled around, however, she was able to fully commit and immediately fell in love with the program.
“The organization is really great because athletes may sometimes be hesitant to go into health professions or they may struggle with it, but athletes actually make really good candidates to be health care professionals because of our ability to manage different things,” Wynn said. “We also have to keep our bodies healthy in order to perform, so there’s a background there.”
For Wynn, the biggest benefit has simply been being able to interact with other group members who are also balancing the difficulty of pre-med classes with the intense time demands of being a Division I student-athlete.
“I started regularly coming to meetings last year and I was really inspired by all the people who helped create a community of people in similar situations and people who are doing the same things,” she said. “I think seeing and being around people who are going through the same things as you is really inspiring. You can reach out to someone who might have taken a similar class or stuff like that.”
Heading into her senior year, Wynn knew that she wanted to take a bigger role in Pre-Health Terps to pay back some of the benefits and lessons she received through the organization. As a result, she took on an executive board position—Director of Recruitment and Engagement. 
“I was really interested in joining the exec board because I wanted to see more student-athletes pursuing health professions like I am,” Wynn said. “When I first came here, I didn’t realize that a whole lot of athletes were doing it too. It was frightening for me because it’s such a heavy course load at the same time you’re putting in at least 20 hours into your sport. I was interested in helping others pursue the same pre-med path as me and to make it easier on them.
“I think it’s important to have that community of student-athletes who support each other. It made me a lot more comfortable and confident that I could do this because someone else I knew from the organization did it too in a similar situation. Then it’s like, taking biochem in season doesn’t seem that threatening anymore because I can talk to someone else who did it too.”
Wynn cites the hard work of the executive board leaders for getting the program to function as well as it does.
“We have an awesome exec board with Libby May as our president, and Sophia Baur-Waisbord as our overseer since she works for Maryland Made,” Wynn said. “They do a great job helping and being leaders on the board to make everything run smoothly.” 
In her current role, Wynn is in charge of recruiting potential new members as well as making sure the current members are engaged and energized inside the organization.
“My role is to help increase engagement in the group and we’ve done a good job. One of our main goals is to have more males in the group because it’s pretty female-heavy right now. But, we’ve been able to get a few guys pursuing pre-health to come recently.”
“During meetings we help to facilitate the community by doing an ice-breaker or something to get everyone comfortable and having fun,” she added.
Wynn and the rest of Pre-Health Terps also put on various networking events. In fact, on Wednesday, Oct. 26, they are bringing in numerous working health professionals to address the organization and to answer questions about their careers. Additionally, Wynn goes to different freshman student-athlete events to advertise the group. 
“We get the word out to student-athletes to take advantage of the resources we have,” she said. 
Wynn is set to graduate in May with a degree in biological scenes. With two years of soccer eligibility still remaining due to COVID-19 and an achilles injury that forced her to redshirt this season, Wynn plans to transfer somewhere else to play and to pursue her Master’s in Public Health. After that, it will be off to medical school where she will hopefully become a doctor.
In Wynn’s eyes, none of her big dreams or her desire to go through so many more years of school would be possible with Pre-Health Terps.
“I think it’s just such an awesome organization that’s provided by Maryland Made. It really gave me the tools, the resources and the relationships to feel confident in my pre-health journey here at Maryland and beyond.”
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