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Kara Toles

University of California, Davis School of Medicine




Kara Toles was raised in a small town in Texas. She was out only to a select group of friends in her public high school and longed to be in a community that was more accepting of queer people. Sexual orientation was a taboo subject, and Kara struggled with feeling different from her family and friends. Upon being offered an extensive academic/need-based scholarship, she enrolled into premiere liberal arts school Pomona College in Southern California. Pomona encouraged thoughtful dialogue around sexual orientation. And in this rigorous academic atmosphere, Kara explored her identity as a queer African American woman and dug her toes into advocacy work for marginalized communities. Kara experienced the sting of racism and homophobia in her hometown and most devastatingly, within her family. So her activism came from an intensely personal place. Kara graduated from Pomona in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in black studies on a pre-medical track, following a life-long dream to become a doctor. Kara attended UC Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, California. At UC Davis, Kara was the head organizer of student group LGBT People in Medicine and was on the leadership team at Imani Clinic, a student-run clinic that targets underserved African American Sacramentans. She also sat on the Admissions Committee with an interest in increasing visibility of LGBTQ issues in the admissions process. She plans to practice in an underserved community and continue being a strong advocate for marginalized people.

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