2024 Tillman Scholar

Karyna Bravo

Marine Corps
Stanford University
MA, Physician Assistant

“From the enlisted Marine Corps oath to the medical oath at Stanford, my courage holds no bounds. I will undertake every mission to help heal those around me.”

Karyna Bravo was raised outside of Chicago in a Hispanic household. She was inspired by her single mother’s selfless dedication to helping others and overcoming the barriers of an underserved community. After graduating high school, Karyna, alongside two of her siblings, wanted to contribute to something greater. Thus, decided to join the United States Marine Corps.

 Although Karyna achieved and learned a lot in the military, one of the most touching aspects was finding out about an epidemic that was profoundly impacting our service members: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After the military, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S in psychology. She devoted her time to clinical research investigating the efficacy of evidence-based treatment for PTSD. 

Karyna has a passion for advocating for low-income communities and wants to make a positive impact on these neighborhoods. She uses her own life experiences and lessons to mentor first-generation students overcoming adversity. Karyna wanted to expand her medical knowledge to further aid systematically disadvantaged populations and is currently completing her master’s degree in physician assistant studies at Stanford. She is creating a curriculum which will teach medical trainees about military culture, service-connected disabilities, and medical barriers within the veteran population. 

In the future, Karyna wants to embrace all her intersectional identities and expand her advocacy to other populations. She hopes that through her service she can improve equity in marginalized communities.