Tania Michel Valdez Ovalles


Tania grew up in the community of San Pedro, in Chiquiri Arriba, Penonome. She completed her studies at Escuela Asuncion Chiru Velazquez in SanPedro, and her secondary school studites at Escuela Secundaria Angel Maria Herrera in Penonome. 

She discovered Forum Foundation, during the 9th grade, because her cousin was studying at the Forum Academy. Tania then met with Profesora Sandra, “At that moment I was facing some difficulties that could hinder my ability to continue my studies. My mother spoke with Profesora Sandra and we were able to receive support from the Foundation. Since then I have received economic support every month. It has been a great help, and I am thankful for all the support the Foundation has given me.” In 2019 Forum Foundation also helped cover Tania’s costs for university enrollment. She is currently in her second year studying Medical Technology at the University of Panama.  

“I chose this career because ever since I was a little girl I always liked science and health. This career gives me many opportunities to work in these areas.” Tania shared that when people think of Medical Technology they think of people doing work in clinical laboratories, and that is not wrong, given that the majority of the graduates go on to work in this field. “But there are many more opportunities beyond the conventional.”

Like any young woman with the drive to continue improving, Tania sees herself continuing her studies once she graduates. “I hope to specialize in human genetics and molecular biology. I want to help other young people like myself, that have the same drive to be better every day, to become professionals. I want to help others the way Forum Foundation helped me.”

For Tania, the opportunity to help came early. Until just recently, ending January 31, she had been helping together with a group of young students in the medical technology field as volunteers at the Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas. “It was a unique a marvelous experience because people with Medical Technology degrees are essential during this COVID-19 pandemic, we are key in helping diagnose the cases. I feel privileged to be part of this group of volunteers.

The month-long experience allowed Tania to learn a lot about her career. “What better way to learn than to be there in the lab where all the procedures take place. This is what helps prepare us for the future when we have to deal with more complex processes. It was also a great reminder of the responsibility that we have to the patients, carrying out important research, as a fundamental part of the health care sector in our country. 

Forum Foundation is committed to supporting exceptional and inspiring people like Danilo, achieve their goals, and help make change sustainable in their communities. 

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