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Esther U



Rwanda flag



Career Medicine


CAREER: Doctor

GRAD DATE: Aug 2019


    • February 9, 2019 – When asked to define servant leadership, how that applies to her life now, and her future career, Esther U said: “Servant leadership is leadership that is supportive, caring and selfless towards whoever is being led. I am serving my community through my community impact project. Every year I apply servant leadership through this project. In the future, through being a supportive, caring, and selfless healthcare provider, I believe that I will continue being a servant leader in my community.”
    • November 19, 2018 – Esther wants to be know for her courage, kindness, and love of helping people in need! As Esther begins her last year of medical school, she wants to gain more knowledge and skills in dealing with patients and improve in collaborating with her classmates!
    • July 7, 2018 – Esther’s biggest challenge this last year was catching up on her school work after being away for a month attending Young African Leadership Initiative’s regional leadership training. She returned two weeks before final exams and had a lot of material to learn to prepare for her exams. Although grades have not been posted yet, she is confident she has did well! This summer, she will be doing clinical rotations, and is looking forward to getting the most out of her experiences so she can be well prepared for her future! She will be doing rotations in different departments and hopes to get a better sense as to what she wants to specialize in as she enters her final year of university in the fall!
    • May 12, 2018 – Esther values kindness and loyalty because with kindness the world is a better place for everyone, and together with loyalty everyone would become a servant leader and help those around them.
    • Feb 27, 2018 – Esther said that Maya Angelou inspires her, because she was a strong woman, and even through life’s hardships and difficulties she was able to be successful and inspires others!
    • Jan 25, 2018 –  An impactful book Esther recently read is I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. This book helped her to realize that life is about what you put into it, and that you should put your whole heart into things you truly care about.
    • Dec 15, 2017 – Esther says that on Christmas in rural areas of Rwanda families try to have meat as their Christmas dinner, and they also get a new outfit to wear! The two words Esther thinks her friends would describe her as are, “hardworking” and “kind.” This is because she is committed to work diligently on whatever she does, and she tries her best to be generous and considerate towards other.
    • Nov 11, 2017 – During the holiday season Esther was very thankful for the opportunity to be able to perform her poems in public! She loves spending time at home with her family during Christmas!
    • Oct 8, 2017 – Esther spent her summer volunteering at a maternal health care center near her school. She is excited about and looking forward to the multiple hospital rotations she will have this year. She also hopes to be able to read more books this year, and learn to be more decisive.
    • March 28, 2017 – When asked about the 3 things she values most, Esther said loyalty, family and kindness!
    • Feb 13, 2017 – Things that empower Esther are reading autobiographies and watching TED Talks from influential people. She feels empowered when she expresses herself through her writing, especially poetry!
    • Jan 17, 2017 – Life isn’t without challenges. Last year, a challenge Esther faced was managing her time. Postponing assignments taught her the value of planning and starting early. Now, Esther has her time table set and feels ready for the new year
    • Dec 8, 2016 – In 2017 Esther’s goals are to get her driver’s license (which she’s been studying for), and to create a platform for her writing. Esther is quite the poet!
    • Nov 20, 2016 – When asked about what she’s thankful for, Esther said a new friend she has made who has shown the importance
    • Oct 14, 2016 – Some of the highlights of Esther’s summer including helping her younger sister study for her National Exam, and acting as an assistance in her hospital’s surgery room! Esther said this summer made her so excited for her career!
    • June 30, 2016 – Esther just finished her 2nd year at medical school! This summer she will be volunteering at a health center in her community, getting practice before she starts her hospital clerkship in September!
    • April 20, 2016 – When Esther thinks of role model leaders, she pictures Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. What Esther admires most about her is how much she has had to overcome and her commitment to help her people rise.
    • Feb 9, 2016 – Esther recently read a collection of writings by Maya Angelou! Her favorites were “Phenomenal Woman” and “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.”
    • Jan 21, 2016 – Esther’s Community Impact Project is teaching secondary students about reproductive health. In addition to teaching, Esther is also doing advocacy work to increase emphasis on reproductive health in school curriculum!
    • Dec 17, 2015 – As the new year is approaching, Esther is making new goals! Her hope is to learn more about her personality so that she may be an effective leader, and how to work with all types of people!
    • Oct 15, 2015 – How many languages does Esther speak? 3! English, Kinyarwanda and French!
    • April 8, 2015 – When Esther feels stressed, it helps her to think back to all the challenges in her life and realize how God has always been there. Her favorite verse is Hebrews 8:13!
    • March 2, 2015 – When Esther has a holiday from school, she says she likes to spend time with family. Whether it’s doing household chores, or laughing and watching movies with her cousins, Esther says time with family refreshes her!
    • Feb 5, 2015 – For Esther’s Community Impact Project, she will be teaching English to students in her hometown, Gikondo!
    • Jan 5, 2015 – A tradition in Esther’s family is going to church in the morning and then preparing and sharing a meal with their visitors.
    • Dec 1, 2014 – While Esther is only at the start of her medicine courses, she has tests on a weekly basis. She studies extremely hard and asks for prayer for her success in her classes!
    • Nov 27, 2014 – Why Esther is #THANKFUL4EDUCATION: ““I am thankful for education because […] it opened my mind to new ideas. I can adapt myself to new situations and hence it made me a good decision maker to live a successful life.”
    • Nov 10, 2014 – Esther is in her second month at university and says she is deep in her studies! “My optimism is growing strong day and night. This gives me much peace of mind that calms me down and I think of good ways to focus and improve.”


  • J. & S. Given – Costa Mesa, CA
  • R. & S. Gallagher – Portland, OR


Esther was born in Kigali and moved to the Northern Province when she was four. However, by the time she was nine, Esther had lost both of her parents, leaving her and her siblings to raise themselves. Growing up, Esther often thought about how she wished a doctor could have saved her mother’s life. This deep pain and longing inspired Esther to dream of attending medical school and becoming a doctor. Now, as a medical scholar, she is on track to do just that!