Finding an unexpected passion at UC
Lane Bokros, ’25, grew up in a household that showcased what intelligence and a strong work ethic can do. Although neither of his parents went to college, both crafted successful careers, his mother as a dental hygienist, his father as an executive who rose from the factory floor to the C-Suite. Today, Bokros is following in the family tradition of success, but with a difference: He is a first-generation college student who aspires to post-graduate education and a career in medicine.
“My parents didn’t pressure me into one major, or a career path,” Bokros says. “They said whatever you’re going to do, take the opportunity we didn’t have.”
Bokros is clearly making the most of his opportunities. He carries a 4.0 grade point average while majoring in biological sciences and minoring in business; he is serving as a patient care assistant at UC Health; and he has a leadership role with RefugeUC, which coordinates a network of mentors who meet weekly with high school students who are refugees or immigrants.
Bokros chose UC because of its strong academics, its proximity to his home in Dayton, Ohio, and the scholarships UC provided. An Honors Program Scholar, Bokros will graduate debt-free thanks to a full-tuition Cincinnatus Distinction Scholarship — awarded to National Merit Finalists. He also received the Matthew Woodside Arts and Sciences Scholarship.
Grateful to the donors who have done far more than enable him to experience college without worrying about debt, Bokros says, "That scholarship means that I’ve had the opportunity to do a couple of extracurriculars and research work because I didn’t have to work part-time or even full-time when in school."
"I think the domino effect that a scholarship can have on an academic career or academic life goes way beyond the base number value of not having to worry about tuition."
Scholarships support a 'heart for medicine'
“I’m fortunate enough to be well supported financially, so I’m not going to claim that it would have been impossible for me to come to UC without the scholarships,” Bokros says. “But college debt is only getting worse. I want to go into the medical field and become a doctor, so I’ve got years and years and years ahead of me of not having a full salary or a salary at all. I’ll be 30 by the time I have my first full-time job.”
Bokros did not grow up wanting to become a doctor, and there are no physicians in his extended family. He took the cue from high-achieving peers who had set their sights on a medical career. Noticing that “a lot of smart people in my high school wanted to go into medicine,” he thought it was something he could pursue. Toward the end of his freshman year, he says, “I realized I actually had to do things to make this happen. There’s a lot of extracurriculars and other work that need to be put into it. And as I began to do that outside work, I was, like wait a minute, this is actually what I want to do.”
Bokros is eyeing a career in oncology, where his “heart for being in medicine is,” or family medicine, with its focus on long-term relationships. “Caring for mom, dad, grandpa, babies, I really like that aspect of it,” he says. “I also like that you can own and operate your own business on your terms.”
Featured image at top: Bearcats Commons. Photo/provided.