Adam Peña was born and raised in Humboldt Park on the West Side of Chicago where the collide of a vibrant and loving Puerto Rican community with gang activity and violent crime helped shape his world view. At 16 years old, he began working odd jobs walking dogs, repairing bicycles, playing music, coaching sports, and even taking character roles as the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Cowardly Lion at community events so that he could save money and pay for college. After graduating with a degree in Art from a local community college, he transferred, continued to work, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Adam is now a medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine where he leads the Pediatric Interest Group, is a Student Admissions and Doctoring Representative, and conducts Health Services Research on Shared-Decision Making in Urology aimed on improving patient education and treatment satisfaction. As Co-Chair of the UCLA Latino Medical Student Association, Adam is passionate about empowering Hispanic and Latinx youth to overcome their barriers, pursue education, and follow their dreams.

Undergrad Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago

Hometown: Chicago, IL