Growing up in San Franciscos Hunters Point district, Marilyn
Thomas faced tremendous adversity. Her parents 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 bachelors degree
in microbiology, she was named university valedictorian and her
colleges hood recipient.
Marilyns passion for identifying the social factors impacting health
inequities has led her to pursue a masters 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.