Meet the 2012 Awardees
San Francisco State University
Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi Scholar
Growing up in San Franciscoís Hunterís Point district, Marilyn Thomas faced tremendous adversity. Her parentsí struggle with substance abuse left Marilyn homeless at 15. Forced to support herself, she dropped out of high school and earned a GED. When she became a single mother at 20, Marilyn decided to be the first in her family to obtain a college degree. She enrolled at San Francisco State University and excelled in science.
As an undergraduate, Marilyn led a science club for at-risk girls of color, and developed a teen-friendly guide about sexually transmitted infections. When Marilyn received her bachelorís degree in microbiology, she was named university valedictorian and her collegeís hood recipient.
Marilynís passion for identifying the social factors impacting health inequities has led her to pursue a masterís in public health at San Francisco State. She currently serves as STEM Coordinator for the Metro Academies Initiative, which supports minority undergraduates in the sciences.
Marilyn intends to earn a PhD in social epidemiology to advance her goal of improving health outcomes for underrepresented minorities.