Layla Aboufares is a third-year, undergraduate premedical student at the University of California, Berkeley pursuing a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology with an emphasis in Neurobiology. She has been involved in AMWA throughout all her pre-med years thus far, joining her local UC Berkeley Branch and serving in the Mental Health Committee before joining the executive board as Internal Vice President and, currently, President. She is mighty active in her AMWA Berkeley Branch, most proud of her Cards for Courage and #STEMinist initiatives launched in 2021. Apart from AMWA, Layla serves as the Campus Director for UC Berkeley in partnership with the United Nations’ Academic Impact Sector where she seeks to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals pursued worldwide. She also represents advocates for women’s health as the Cal Campus Director in the PAC-12 with Rivkin Center Education, promoting breast and ovarian cancer prevention and resources alongside serving as the Health Worker for UC Berkeley’s international student population under Cal’s University Health Services. And, as the Berkeley Student Brand Ambassador for Kaplan, she aims to forward MCAT preparatory resources to all pre-medical students she encounters. Layla strongly admires AMWA’s mission and empowering network of female physicians, using her foundation here to transform ideas into initiatives and inspire impactful change in her local and global community, at large.
Ritika Samanta is a second-year pre-medical student at the University of Florida, where she is pursuing a degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Behavioral Neuroscience. She is interested in helping the underrepresented and disadvantaged communities which led her to get involved with AMWA the end of her freshmen year. At UF, she volunteers at her local hospital and is a research assistant in the McKnight Brain Institute studying the brain’s role in cognitive decision making related to age. Also, she is a fundraising director for hearts for homeless international, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about heart health to homeless communities. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, reading books, and trying new foods.