How can an illegal immigrant aged 15 go from absolutely nothing (not even being able to speak the language) to become 1 of the world’s greatest brain surgeons?
It’s a true story about never giving up on your dreams. A story of shear hard work, resilience, perseverance & true grit.
They’re masses of learnings here for everyone…
Aged 15 Alfredo wanted to help his family & went to work illegally for an uncle at a migrant farm in America. He spent summer months weeding fields & picking produce. Returning home with enough cash to support them for the rest of the year.
He obtained a teaching license when he was 19 & had a dream of becoming a doctor. But border agents confiscated his Mexican passport after learning that he had illegally worked in the U.S.
On New Year’s Day 1987 Alfredo scaled an 18-foot barbed wire fence in pursuit of his dream. But he was caught & sent back. He waited a few hours & climbed again, succeeding.
A cousin drove him to San Diego, where he somehow got a flight to Los Angeles. Broke & unable to communicate. He slept inside the terminal & survived on leftovers. Until another cousin came to his rescue & took him to the farms in Mendota.
He worked as a migrant for 2 years. Then landed a job as a welder & cleaner with a railroad company. He nearly died when falling 18 ft into a railroad tanker & overcome by petroleum fumes.
Juggling work and studies at a community college while homeless & living in a small camper trailer with a leaky roof. Days & nights were hard & many times he woke up drenched.
Against all the odds, Aldrefo achieved fantastic grades & was encouraged to apply to the University of California at Berkeley.
He was accepted. With the help of a scholarship. He majored in psychology & wrote an honors thesis on neuroscience, which got him an invitation to Harvard Medical School.
It was whilst at Harvard Alfredo met his sweetheart, became a U.S. citizen. graduating with honors in 1999 as the class valedictorian.
He had long resisted the naysayers & even friends who told him Harvard was only for the elite, not for Mexican migrant and manual laborers like him. But his dream would not let him quit.
Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa joined the team at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore in 2005 as a professor of neurological surgery and oncology. Serving as director of the brain tumor surgery & pituitary surgery programs. Writing several textbooks on stem-cell biology and neurosurgical techniques.
Finally joining the team at the Mayo clinic complex in Jacksonville, where he serves as chair of Neurologic Surgery, teaches & heads a team of scientists working on a potentially promising way to fight cancer by extracting stem cells from a person’s fat.
“Hard work, resiliency, perseverance, never giving up on your dreams are the same principles (as back then) that keep me going today as a brain surgeon, scientist, professor, philanthropist and entrepreneur.” He said.
We’ve always believed that grit, determination, perseverance & the shear will never to give up on your dreams, can help you achieve (almost) the impossible. Making us determined to continue our mission to disrupt the small organisation printing technology industry with Simple Honest Service.
Alfredo’s story has proved it can be done. Hasn’t it?