The Story of Two “JAMP-ers” Accepted to Medical School
Future physicians Martin Silguero and John Tran share a passionate vision of becoming doctors. They have traveled a similar path so far. The two Houston natives were classmates at DeBakey High School for Health Professions. Later, as students at the University of St. Thomas-Houston, they were accepted into a unique Texas program that would support and encourage them through their undergraduate years.
The Joint Admission Medical Program, known as JAMP, was created by the Texas Legislature to help qualified, economically disadvantaged students to afford a higher education and prepare for success in medical school. Because Silguero and Tran have met all criteria, they are reaping the program’s remarkable guarantee of admission to a participating Texas medical school.
So, after their May 2022 graduation from UST, their paths will diverge as each heads to his respective medical school—the next step to fulfilling dreams.
Martin Silguero ‘22
First-generation college student Martin Silguero will graduate with a B.S. in cell and molecular biology and a minor in chemistry. He will attend Texas A&M College of Medicine starting July 2022.
“I was ecstatic when I got the news,” Silguero remembered. “I felt a wave of relief hit me as I realized all my hard work had paid off and that I was one step closer to my dream career. There was a feeling of joy and accomplishment, and I could not wait to tell my parents.”
Silguero is the first in his family to attend college.
“I’m even the first person in my family to graduate high school,” he added. “My parents are immigrants from Mexico and could not receive much of an education or learn English. But they were able to provide a high school education and college for me.”
He gave a shoutout to UST professors of Biology and Chemistry, like Dr. Maia Larios-Sanz.
“Professors like Dr. Larios-Sanz have been real motivators and a big part of my support system, which I believe contributed to my success.”
Silguero says that a career in medicine will allow him to combine his love for biology and mentoring and enable him to facilitate improvements in his community. He aims to give back.
“I want to become an attending physician in a Texas hospital helping that area’s vulnerable population,” he said. “And I hope to return to UST to motivate and mentor pre-med students to take advantage of programs like JAMP.”
John Tran ‘22
John Tran has earned his B.S. in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. He was bowled over by the news that he got accepted to the McGovern Medical School in Houston.
“My reaction to hearing the news was pure bliss and a hint of disbelief,” he remembered. “My parents and siblings facetimed me at 8 a.m. that day to receive the news with me. When I saw ‘McGovern’ on the acceptance page, I instantly yelled out in excitement. I’ll be lucky to be in the largest medical center in the world. I’m excited to learn in the heart of the Texas Medical Center.”
While Tran has a strong interest in psychiatry, he plans to keep an open mind about his specialty focus and says, “There is so much about medicine I have yet to explore.”
Tran’s four older siblings went to UST, and he is grateful to have followed their examples.
“UST has been life-changing, and that is no overstatement,” he said. “I finished high school unmotivated and with no solid plans for my future. Through UST, I found meaning in education and was fortunate to gain experiences in student leadership. Here, I found a passion for giving back to the community, which helped me grow as a student and person. I didn’t make it to medical school without guidance from God and this wonderful school which has given me so much.”
Tran sees benefits from both UST and JAMP.
He said, “I knew JAMP was right for me when I found myself surrounded by peers who, like me, found fulfillment in chasing the dream of becoming a medical doctor.”
The 2022 University of St. Thomas-Houston Commencement will take place Saturday, May 14, at 11 a.m., at NRG Stadium, NRG Parkway, Houston, Texas, 77054. UST will celebrate the achievements of 531 undergraduates and 444 graduate students.