Leon Drabo is one step closer to making his dream come true. The Dillard University alumnus went from
collegiate cross country/track and field star to potential medical doctor in
the short span of one year.
Before completing his GRE exam, the former
student-athlete spent three weeks in Peru for an internship for research in
tropical medicine just months after he walked across the stage and received his
Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.
"I was fortunate enough to shadow medical doctors in
the Cusco Machu Picchu region of Peru," said Drabo.
"For three weeks I was taking vigorous notes regarding
tropical medicine and observing patients, and we would often help doctors
produce blood film tests."
Drabo was born in Manhattan, New York, and grew up
in Washington D.C. He decided to attend
an HBCU and moved down to New Orleans to expand his horizons in a place
completely different from where he grew up, so he applied and was accepted to
Dillard University. Drabo finished his
studies at Dillard in May 2011, and during his time there he helped the track
and field team earn a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) championship in his
senior year. Drabo is no stranger to
hard work as he sacrificed his time and effort to take part in multiple cross
country/track and field events such as the 100 meter dash, the 800 meter dash,
the mile run, the 3000 meter dash, shot put and the long jump.
"After my trip to Peru, I realized something. At the end of the day, it really does go back
to my days on the track," said Drabo. "I
learned to take heed to everything Coach Williams, Coach Barthelemy and Coach
T. (Martin) used to teach me; number one was to keep God first and
foremost. All the things they taught me
not only helped me to be a better runner, but also to be a better person in
The hard work that Drabo has put in school has paid
off. In one week, Drabo will begin his
Master's program in Biology at Tennessee State University. After completing his Master's degree, Drabo
plans to go to medical school to complete his dream of being a Medical Doctor.
"In life, I am carrying the same determination which
I used during my time in track and field," said Drabo. "I can always hear coach saying, ‘Keep
running, open up your stride Leon.'
Remembering this motivates me to do the best job I can."
*Photo provided by Leon
Sports Information Director