Schymera Samuels (’21) Accepted into QuARMS

Schymera Samuels accepted to the Prestigious QUarms Program at Queen’s University

Schymera Samuels (2021) has been accepted to the prestigious QUarms program at Queen’s University for next year.  The QUarms program at Queen’s is a unique pathway allowing graduating high school students to apply to Queen’s Medical School after only two years of undergraduate study at Queen’s without taking the MCAT.  Amongst major competition Schymera received an offer only 10 successful applicants a year are given.

“When Schymera first approached me in the fall about applying to the Queen’s University QuARMS direct entry medical school program I told her that getting in would be like winning the lottery. Well guess what, Schymera has won the lottery; not because of luck, but because of hard work, determination and positivity. A stunning accomplishment.”  said Mr. Mintz, Schymera’s guidance counselor.

The QUarms program is one of a kind and is open exclusively to Black-identified and Indigenous students.  Only 10 students are accepted into this program a year.  Queen’s started the QUarms program as a solution to recruiting more physicians from underrepresented communities.  They also recognized that the standard medical admissions practices have imposed barriers to these groups.  Queen’s is striving to be a leader in Canadian education by focusing on cultural safety, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and anti-oppression in health professions education.

Schymera had this to say about her journey to Queen’s and her acceptance to the QUarms program;

The start of my investigations in sciences began in Middle school. I had so many questions and wanted to gain an in-depth understanding of the reasons why things happen; including the death of my uncle. His heart disease was the spark of my passion for the medical field. Crestwood Preparatory College not only supported my dreams but allowed me to excel as an elite athlete. I strongly believe my journey playing on Canada’s #1 high school team provided me with many opportunities promoting skills such as leadership, group work, independence and responsibility; some of many key qualities needed to pursue a career in the medical field. The amazing support from not only the Science Department at Crestwood, but the students and support systems in place enabled me in becoming the knowledgeable and disciplined student I am today. I am honoured to announce I’ve been given the opportunity to continue my investigations within Queen’s University’s prestigious QuARMS program. As an aspiring physician, I could not be more grateful to be one of the ten recipients of this accelerated pathway. As my community struggles with Anti-Black racism, I am fortunate as a Black woman in today’s society, to be given the opportunity to represent my community. This unique program strides to eradicate the barriers of underrepresented groups within the medical profession diversifying the profession. QuARMS recipients are given a direct pathway to Medical School and I am grateful to have already pre-qualified for it at the age of 17. I am honoured to be in the august company of many other physicians and select students who share similar goals as I. As my mother repeatedly tells me, “The sky is no longer the limit; people have already made it to the moon, it’s now infinity and beyond.” I am eager to continue my investigations in Health Sciences at Queen’s University and determined to achieve my goals as a future physician.

Schymera has proven more than worthy of this opportunity.  Since joining the Crestwood community as a Grade 7 student athlete in 2016 she has shown her tenacity for achieving excellence.  She was an integral part of our women’s basketball program, a member of several academic clubs, a great student and even better friend.  She proved her willingness to work hard and put in the extra work on a daily basis.  We couldn’t be more proud of this accomplishment and look forward to continuing to watch Schymera’s journey as she moves on to Queen’s University.

Read more about Schymera in Bradford’s daily news:        Bradford Today News