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Breaking Glass

Meet Hannah: A Kenyan-born polyglot and future OBGYN in NJ

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Hannah Janoowalla is one of the recipients of the 2013 EWNJ scholarship awards, which honor non-traditional female grad students in New Jersey every year.
Hannah Janoowalla is one of the recipients of the 2013 EWNJ scholarship awards, which honor non-traditional female grad students in New Jersey every year. - (Submitted)

This is Hannah Janoowalla, a future OBGYN from Kenya who will be awarded a scholarship next week through Executive Women of New Jersey. She's also the first woman to take part in our new Breaking Glass Q&A, which I'm hoping will give readers a quick glimpse at the amazing women involved in all kinds of businesses throughout New Jersey. Hannah is most certainly one of them.

The EWNJ scholarship program awards several scholarships, ranging from $5,000 to $7,000, every year to non-traditional grad school students in New Jersey. Hannah is one of 12 honorees, several of whom will make a Breaking Glass appearance before the big scholarship awards dinner on Oct. 10. (For more info on EWNJ and the scholarship program, visit the organization online.)

And now, meet Hannah:

Name: Hannah Janoowalla

What school you are attending: Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

What degree you are pursuing: M.D.

What are you studying? Specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced? Moving to the United States from Kenya and trying not to miss it too much.

How have you been able to overcome that? Understanding and appreciating the sacrifices my parents have made to bring my sister and I here so that we can have better opportunities.

What has been your biggest career success to date? Receiving many wonderful opportunities to intern, volunteer and travel in many different countries and learn new languages.

What's the best advice you ever received? You can't heal others without first healing yourself.

What advice would you like to give young working women? Don't let yourself be limited by anything you hear. Your wildest dreams deserve to be put into action. Don't let others create fear in you — live free of inhibition and doubt.

What's one thing about you that most of your coworkers or classmates would be surprised to hear? I speak six languages.

What did you want to be when you were 8 years old? A pilot.

What is your goal for the next five years? Finish residency and become a practicing physician without losing my creativity and spirit.

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