Exuberance on a red-letter day

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March 26, 2006|By CHIAKI KAWAJIRI | CHIAKI KAWAJIRI,SUN REPORTER

Her smile was infectious, mirroring the sunlight that streamed through the skylights. She was like a butterfly, floating among her fellow medical students at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

For Chinwe Ajuba-Iwuji, it was a very special day. After four years of education, she and the other students would learn where they would be trained in medical specialties. The decisions would likely play a pivotal role in the course of their medical education and their lives.

Ajuba-Iwuji was picked for an anesthesiology residency at Johns Hopkins - her first choice and another triumph in a life filled with extraordinary challenges.

Her single mother brought her from Nigeria to America and raised her in a gritty Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood, where she grew up wanting to help others. She hopes to use her training to do just that. "I saw a lot of poverty," she explained.

Watching Ajuba-Iwuji and the other students open envelopes that revealed the paths of their dreams, and feeling their energy, was exciting and humbling - exciting because it reminded me of getting my first job, humbling because years later I knew that the dream realized is still good.

chiaki.kawajiri@baltsun.com

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