Dominican student majors in radiology - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Dominican student majors in radiology

Student Daribel

LCC student Daribel Zamora is originally from the Dominican Republic.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

The Dominican Republic is known for being home to some of the most beautiful tropical flowers in the world. One of the most beautiful Dominican flowers ever to blossom is LCC student Daribel Zamora.

Zamora, 19, left the Dominican Republic when she was almost too young to remember it, but still describes it as her country. She said she goes back home at least twice a year.

“I was about 4 years old and I just remember the suitcases were already packed,” Zamora said. “Then we were at the airport and then in a whole new country where there was snow on the floor.”

Young Zamora was actually seeing Canadian snow and did not make it to America until over a decade later, when she was a sophomore in high school. 

Even though she had a late start learning English and adjusting to American culture, Zamora said she aims to be among the elite. She is applying to one of LCC’s most competitive programs.

“I am currently completing my pre-required classes for the Radiologic Technology Program,” Zamora said. “I will hopefully apply by the end of this semester and get accepted by next fall. I am crossing my fingers.”

Zamora is currently taking Biology 145 (Intro to Anatomy and Physiology) and a stress management class, because sometimes her dreams can be a bit overwhelming.

“Stress management is something we all need,” Zamora said. “My main stressor is just being accepted into my program. They only accept 26 people every year. That’s not a lot of people.”

She said she has felt a pull toward helping people for as long as she can remember.

“Ever since I was a child, I knew I wanted a job in the medical field,” she said. “I knew I wanted to be in the hospital, I just didn’t know where. I got to LCC and my adviser talked about all the different programs.

“I don’t know, Radiologic Technology just fits me best. Bones and pictures. I don’t know, I want to be a part of the gruesome things, but not too much. I need a bit of blood to keep it exciting.”

Zamora is very passionate about her studies, but she said nothing is more important to her than family, dedicating each part of her current self and future aspirations to a different loved one.

“My mom is friendly to just everyone,” Zamora said. “She makes an impact on everyone she meets, even if it’s only once. She marks you; you will remember her. I want to be like that.”

Her father drives her need for success. You can hear the pride she has in her voice when she talks about him and how he immigrated first, alone, to clear a path for his family.

“He speaks five languages,” she said. “He is only 52 but he’s done a lot. He has been working since he was 16; he was an English teacher. That’s how my mom met him, actually. He failed her; I speculate it’s because he wanted to have her in his class again.”

Her parents’ love story also includes her two brothers, Josias (27) and Josue (22), who absolutely adore their little sister.

“She has a very kind heart; everyone says so,” Josias said. “She is very honest. She helps without expecting anything in return. She pays attention to what people need. Growing up, she was my baby girl. I specifically asked for her.

“My mom didn’t want any more kids, but I told her that I wanted a baby sister and there she was.”

Seemingly a divine gift herself, it is quite fitting that Zamora’s favorite song right now is “Angel” by Halle; she describes it as uplifting and a song that she sees as a statement.

“It just empowers Black women and how they are God-sent,” She said.

Zamora has been met with her fair share of resistance from various communities. She said that confrontation seemed to follow her even though she has never fought anyone a day in her life.

She learned to avoid people, but beat the odds and thrived in isolation, relying on her loved ones and her endless inner strength.

She focuses on the little things she likes about her life, like the occasional spicy sushi roll, her passive-aggressive cat named Dora and watching the leaves change colors every fall.

Zamora’s story may have begun in a small city known as San Pedro de Macorís, but there is no telling where her talent, bright smile and brave soul will take her.

“Something no one knows about me is just how much I care,” she said. “My life goal is just to grow and be able to look back and be happy with what I have done.”

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