Rumors or Reality (SABA STUDENTS HELP ME!)

Rumors or Reality (SABA STUDENTS HELP ME!)

kkz
Joined: July 17th, 2002, 7:36 pm

September 17th, 2002, 3:09 am #1

Hey guys... hope all is well there. I have been accepted to SABA for a Sep 2003 start date. I am every excited about embarking on this unique opportunity but need some confusion cleared up for me. As soon as I am finally at ease in regards to my decision to attend SABA I start to hear negatives. I was talking to an MD here in the states and he told me that the "sad truth" is that many carib med schools are scams and that even after spending $100,000 on an education the large majority of carib grads never practice medicine in the states. Is this true? Also he went on to say that carib med schools will accept anyone who pays regardless of background and intellect. Now I know SABA requires 90 undergrad credit hours to apply but 90 hours doesnt even finish a bachelors. How can they accept students who never graduated from college into med school? Does this happen, I dont understand how it could possibly. I guess the bottom line im trying to get at, is if I am to attend SABA and work my tail off, I was thinking that praciticing in the US would be a realistic goal. But I dont want to sell myself short and fall into a scam and sit through courses where a majority of the students didnt even complete college? Isnt a college degree a requirement? What are you guys opinions on the whole carib education being a scam and the fact that they "just accept anyone,as long as you can pay" Are these rumors or reality. I found it quite interesting that the third question they asked me during the SABA interview was "how will you be financing this" That was even before we spoke of clinicals??
HELP ME PLEASE -- KEVIN
Last edited by Guest on December 3rd, 2006, 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FrenchFrie
FrenchFrie

September 17th, 2002, 4:01 am #2

if this makes you feel better, you dont have to have a degree even to get into a lot of US med school, Dental, pharmacy, etc you just have to have the "pre-X" requirement...getting a degree is just a bonus, would you feel better if a art history pre med BA was in your class as a opposed to a guy with only the premed requirements? its just more crap really, i think the 90 hr cut off is too make sure u have 2 or 3 yrs of maturity added to you after high school....other wise you'd have an 18 yr old next to you snickering during the reproduction lecture =)
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Penguindy B
Penguindy B

September 17th, 2002, 1:07 pm #3

Hey guys... hope all is well there. I have been accepted to SABA for a Sep 2003 start date. I am every excited about embarking on this unique opportunity but need some confusion cleared up for me. As soon as I am finally at ease in regards to my decision to attend SABA I start to hear negatives. I was talking to an MD here in the states and he told me that the "sad truth" is that many carib med schools are scams and that even after spending $100,000 on an education the large majority of carib grads never practice medicine in the states. Is this true? Also he went on to say that carib med schools will accept anyone who pays regardless of background and intellect. Now I know SABA requires 90 undergrad credit hours to apply but 90 hours doesnt even finish a bachelors. How can they accept students who never graduated from college into med school? Does this happen, I dont understand how it could possibly. I guess the bottom line im trying to get at, is if I am to attend SABA and work my tail off, I was thinking that praciticing in the US would be a realistic goal. But I dont want to sell myself short and fall into a scam and sit through courses where a majority of the students didnt even complete college? Isnt a college degree a requirement? What are you guys opinions on the whole carib education being a scam and the fact that they "just accept anyone,as long as you can pay" Are these rumors or reality. I found it quite interesting that the third question they asked me during the SABA interview was "how will you be financing this" That was even before we spoke of clinicals??
HELP ME PLEASE -- KEVIN
Hi Kevin, I personally think that the rumours for SABA is wrong. SABA has a very high standard as to what kind of students they accept. In fact, my fiance told me that all students there have at least completed a bachelor degree, most of them have even had their masters done in the States or Canada. The materials for the first semester is not easy and cannot be handled by simply high school grads. Saba has a really good reputation throughout the Caribbeans or it could not have been listed as one of the medical schools in WHO. Do some more research on SABA over the Internet and you will see how good SABA is in comparison to the other Caribbean Med schools.

Good Luck!

Penguindy B
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Dennis
Dennis

September 17th, 2002, 1:24 pm #4

Hey guys... hope all is well there. I have been accepted to SABA for a Sep 2003 start date. I am every excited about embarking on this unique opportunity but need some confusion cleared up for me. As soon as I am finally at ease in regards to my decision to attend SABA I start to hear negatives. I was talking to an MD here in the states and he told me that the "sad truth" is that many carib med schools are scams and that even after spending $100,000 on an education the large majority of carib grads never practice medicine in the states. Is this true? Also he went on to say that carib med schools will accept anyone who pays regardless of background and intellect. Now I know SABA requires 90 undergrad credit hours to apply but 90 hours doesnt even finish a bachelors. How can they accept students who never graduated from college into med school? Does this happen, I dont understand how it could possibly. I guess the bottom line im trying to get at, is if I am to attend SABA and work my tail off, I was thinking that praciticing in the US would be a realistic goal. But I dont want to sell myself short and fall into a scam and sit through courses where a majority of the students didnt even complete college? Isnt a college degree a requirement? What are you guys opinions on the whole carib education being a scam and the fact that they "just accept anyone,as long as you can pay" Are these rumors or reality. I found it quite interesting that the third question they asked me during the SABA interview was "how will you be financing this" That was even before we spoke of clinicals??
HELP ME PLEASE -- KEVIN
Hi Kevin. I was accepted to the Fall 2002 semester but for family reasons have had to defer to the Fall 2003 class so I guess I will eventually meet you. I have done as much research on Saba and Caribbean med schools as anyone. I have talked to numerous physicians about Caribbean schools. Here are the facts:
1. There is some truth to the fact that Saba (and most other Caribbean schools) accept most students who apply. Since Saba only has a class of 40 (3 times a year) I am SURE that they deny some people admission. However, it is obvious that the acceptance criteria are lower. These schools give students who have a past blemish on their academic records a chance to become a doctor. That is the bottom line. Do not be dissuaded by people who tell you that these are not legitimate schools. Granted, it is the more difficult way to become a doctor but it is certainly possible. You will find that even the US schools will occasionally accept some students with only 90 hours of academic work. It is NOT a requirement even for the US schools that a student have an undergrad degree. However, probably 99.5% do have an undergrad degree.

2. I met with a recent grad from Saba about 6 months ago for dinner. He is finishing his 3rd year of family practice residency and had nothing but good things to say about Saba. You cannot get any more reliable info about Saba than from a recent grad. He has already signed a contract with the state of Florida to go there and practice for about 4-5 years while they pay his loans. They are allotting him $125,000 to set up his practice and will pay him a salary of $125,000. Not too bad for a Caribbean schools??? That is reality. He studied like crazy and did well on the boards. He told me that the subject of going to Saba was NEVER a subject in his interviews and he had 30 residency interviews!

3. Many of the students who attend Saba are American and DO practice in the US. No doubt about it. Some students are not Americans and hence go back to their own countries to practice. There is no validity to the statement that most Caribbean students do not practice in the US.

4. I work in clinical research conducting drug trials for pharmaceutical companies and I can tell you for FACT that I have met many doctors who have graduated from a Caribbean med school and are VERY successful in the US.

5. I find the question about how to finance your education at Saba interesting. It never came up in my interview. No doubt they are interested in making money. However, I am self-employed and I can tell you there is NOTHING wrong with providing a service and getting paid for it! They provide the opportunity to train us as doctors and that is a service worth making a profit over. Ask any Caribbean doctor who is successfully practicing and this will not even be an issue. What I would ask is ...Do the US schools not want to make a profit? Do they not make sure their students are able to pay? Of course they do! They wouldn't be in business if they didn't make a profit. I know most of the US schools if not all of them are Non-profit but that is only an IRS designation for what they must do with their profits...trust me, they make a profit also.

4. If you "work your tail off" and score well on the boards, you will find MANY doors of opportunity open to you. DO NOT be discouraged. You will drive yourself crazy. I would recommend that you go to Saba's website and look at the residency placements. See if there is a recent grad in your area and call him/her and ask if you can take him/her to dinner and pick his/her brain. Bring the spouses too. That is exactly what I did and it was well worth the $50 for dinner. His wife even brought pictures of the island as the living conditions were and are a big concern for my wife (we have 2 kids under three).

I hope I have given you some encouragement. I am 31 years old and I think I have learned some good lessons in life...one of the biggest is that NOBODY gives you anything for free. If you are willing to work hard, stay focused, tune out the negative comments from others, you will succeed. Being self-employed proves to me that you get nothing for free. Let me finish by asking this: Are you pursuing medicine with the idea of impressing people or do you sincerely want to help people? If the answer is the latter, Saba will give you the opportunity. It is up to you to make it a reality. Do not be discouraged! Feel free to email me and we can chat more.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 17th, 2002, 11:07 pm #5

Hey guys... hope all is well there. I have been accepted to SABA for a Sep 2003 start date. I am every excited about embarking on this unique opportunity but need some confusion cleared up for me. As soon as I am finally at ease in regards to my decision to attend SABA I start to hear negatives. I was talking to an MD here in the states and he told me that the "sad truth" is that many carib med schools are scams and that even after spending $100,000 on an education the large majority of carib grads never practice medicine in the states. Is this true? Also he went on to say that carib med schools will accept anyone who pays regardless of background and intellect. Now I know SABA requires 90 undergrad credit hours to apply but 90 hours doesnt even finish a bachelors. How can they accept students who never graduated from college into med school? Does this happen, I dont understand how it could possibly. I guess the bottom line im trying to get at, is if I am to attend SABA and work my tail off, I was thinking that praciticing in the US would be a realistic goal. But I dont want to sell myself short and fall into a scam and sit through courses where a majority of the students didnt even complete college? Isnt a college degree a requirement? What are you guys opinions on the whole carib education being a scam and the fact that they "just accept anyone,as long as you can pay" Are these rumors or reality. I found it quite interesting that the third question they asked me during the SABA interview was "how will you be financing this" That was even before we spoke of clinicals??
HELP ME PLEASE -- KEVIN
I am a graduate of AUC and have been in practice for 15 years. I cant think of any of my classmates that did not get a residency after graduation. SABA seems to be a good alternative to the "Big 3" medical schools (St. Georges,Ross, AUC). Its only problem is not being able to get residency or license in california. From what I have seen SABA gradates are getting residencies.
Now there are a lot of caribbean schools that will accept anyone for the money and they will be passed on top the next year. This is not true for the 3 big schools and SABA. They do have some admission standards and you have to do the work to pass and go on. Also the ultimate test is the boards. Go to an established school such as the big 3 or SABA, work hard, and you will get a residency. The people that dont make it think they are going to the caribbean for a vacation, or they attend one of the not well thought of schools which there are numerous. I have read that residency positions will actually get easier to get for u.s. cit. or residents because FMG's from abroad arnt applying because fo the cost fo the boards inc. CSA and because of SEPT 11, imigration not giving as many visa's. If medicini is what you want then go for it.
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ice
ice

September 18th, 2002, 2:09 am #6

Hey guys... hope all is well there. I have been accepted to SABA for a Sep 2003 start date. I am every excited about embarking on this unique opportunity but need some confusion cleared up for me. As soon as I am finally at ease in regards to my decision to attend SABA I start to hear negatives. I was talking to an MD here in the states and he told me that the "sad truth" is that many carib med schools are scams and that even after spending $100,000 on an education the large majority of carib grads never practice medicine in the states. Is this true? Also he went on to say that carib med schools will accept anyone who pays regardless of background and intellect. Now I know SABA requires 90 undergrad credit hours to apply but 90 hours doesnt even finish a bachelors. How can they accept students who never graduated from college into med school? Does this happen, I dont understand how it could possibly. I guess the bottom line im trying to get at, is if I am to attend SABA and work my tail off, I was thinking that praciticing in the US would be a realistic goal. But I dont want to sell myself short and fall into a scam and sit through courses where a majority of the students didnt even complete college? Isnt a college degree a requirement? What are you guys opinions on the whole carib education being a scam and the fact that they "just accept anyone,as long as you can pay" Are these rumors or reality. I found it quite interesting that the third question they asked me during the SABA interview was "how will you be financing this" That was even before we spoke of clinicals??
HELP ME PLEASE -- KEVIN
kevin, what was your admission GPA,that granted you your acceptance to SABA? What was your stats?
Hope you can help!Thanks
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Joined: June 26th, 2000, 11:28 pm

September 18th, 2002, 4:54 am #7

Hey guys... hope all is well there. I have been accepted to SABA for a Sep 2003 start date. I am every excited about embarking on this unique opportunity but need some confusion cleared up for me. As soon as I am finally at ease in regards to my decision to attend SABA I start to hear negatives. I was talking to an MD here in the states and he told me that the "sad truth" is that many carib med schools are scams and that even after spending $100,000 on an education the large majority of carib grads never practice medicine in the states. Is this true? Also he went on to say that carib med schools will accept anyone who pays regardless of background and intellect. Now I know SABA requires 90 undergrad credit hours to apply but 90 hours doesnt even finish a bachelors. How can they accept students who never graduated from college into med school? Does this happen, I dont understand how it could possibly. I guess the bottom line im trying to get at, is if I am to attend SABA and work my tail off, I was thinking that praciticing in the US would be a realistic goal. But I dont want to sell myself short and fall into a scam and sit through courses where a majority of the students didnt even complete college? Isnt a college degree a requirement? What are you guys opinions on the whole carib education being a scam and the fact that they "just accept anyone,as long as you can pay" Are these rumors or reality. I found it quite interesting that the third question they asked me during the SABA interview was "how will you be financing this" That was even before we spoke of clinicals??
HELP ME PLEASE -- KEVIN
You need to steel yourself to rumors right now if you plan to go offshore for your medical education. According to the foreign grads I've spoken with, they just seem to get worse the further you are away from home and the further along you go with your education.

Do some people spend a lot of money on a Caribbean education to find out it pretty much worthless? Probably so. Almost all of those people attended schools which simply could not or did not prepare them to enter US medical practice.

Do lots of Americans and Canadians go overseas to study medicine and return successfully to practice in the US? It seems they do. The number of of USIMG's participating in Graduate Medical Education has increased appreciably over the past 10 years.

Your first step is good. You are accepted to a school with a proven track record of putting people into residency and licensure. If you can handle the rigors of the educational program and can roll with the punches in your persoanl life and do what it takes to complete that program, I would say you have an excellent chance of becoming a licensed Physician in the US (though not in California, from Saba...yet).

You will have huge debts (~$150,000) unless someone else pays for your education, but you will also have those two little letters behind your name (MD).

Don't freak yourself out. Contact the school and ask them for names of practicing grads. Talk directly to them. They should be able to allay your fears.

Best of Luck!
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TXDoc
TXDoc

September 18th, 2002, 11:30 pm #8

Hey guys... hope all is well there. I have been accepted to SABA for a Sep 2003 start date. I am every excited about embarking on this unique opportunity but need some confusion cleared up for me. As soon as I am finally at ease in regards to my decision to attend SABA I start to hear negatives. I was talking to an MD here in the states and he told me that the "sad truth" is that many carib med schools are scams and that even after spending $100,000 on an education the large majority of carib grads never practice medicine in the states. Is this true? Also he went on to say that carib med schools will accept anyone who pays regardless of background and intellect. Now I know SABA requires 90 undergrad credit hours to apply but 90 hours doesnt even finish a bachelors. How can they accept students who never graduated from college into med school? Does this happen, I dont understand how it could possibly. I guess the bottom line im trying to get at, is if I am to attend SABA and work my tail off, I was thinking that praciticing in the US would be a realistic goal. But I dont want to sell myself short and fall into a scam and sit through courses where a majority of the students didnt even complete college? Isnt a college degree a requirement? What are you guys opinions on the whole carib education being a scam and the fact that they "just accept anyone,as long as you can pay" Are these rumors or reality. I found it quite interesting that the third question they asked me during the SABA interview was "how will you be financing this" That was even before we spoke of clinicals??
HELP ME PLEASE -- KEVIN
Listen, foreign med schools boil down to one majot question...What are your options? U're obviosly considering going to Saba because u really want to be a doctor and you dont have any other options. Having said that, for me, going to Saba was a great descicion and I would recommend it to anyone who really wants to be a doc and has no other options. Dont listen to rumours, and listen to yourself. If u really wanna make it, u'll go to any med school in the world, work your ass off and figure out a way to practice in the U.S. Of course there are uncertainties and risks...some bearable and some not. For me, I was willing to take that risk and so far its been an awesome journey.
P.S. This is my first note on this forum. I used this forum as my information portal for considering Saba, so its only time that I give something back to other people having questions. Any questions are welcome.
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Angela
Angela

September 19th, 2002, 1:41 am #9

Hey guys... hope all is well there. I have been accepted to SABA for a Sep 2003 start date. I am every excited about embarking on this unique opportunity but need some confusion cleared up for me. As soon as I am finally at ease in regards to my decision to attend SABA I start to hear negatives. I was talking to an MD here in the states and he told me that the "sad truth" is that many carib med schools are scams and that even after spending $100,000 on an education the large majority of carib grads never practice medicine in the states. Is this true? Also he went on to say that carib med schools will accept anyone who pays regardless of background and intellect. Now I know SABA requires 90 undergrad credit hours to apply but 90 hours doesnt even finish a bachelors. How can they accept students who never graduated from college into med school? Does this happen, I dont understand how it could possibly. I guess the bottom line im trying to get at, is if I am to attend SABA and work my tail off, I was thinking that praciticing in the US would be a realistic goal. But I dont want to sell myself short and fall into a scam and sit through courses where a majority of the students didnt even complete college? Isnt a college degree a requirement? What are you guys opinions on the whole carib education being a scam and the fact that they "just accept anyone,as long as you can pay" Are these rumors or reality. I found it quite interesting that the third question they asked me during the SABA interview was "how will you be financing this" That was even before we spoke of clinicals??
HELP ME PLEASE -- KEVIN
Some foreign schools may be a scam, but Saba is legitimate. However, you will probably always carry a bit of a stigma for going to a foreign school, certain residencies will be harder to obtain than if you had gone to a US school and it will be more difficult to get licensed, particularly in states like Texas. Nevertheless, going to school at Saba will enable you to practice medicine in the US.Just keep in mind that certain residencies, like orthopedic surgery are pretty much off limits for foreign grads, and it may be difficult to obtain licensure in some states.

At one time, US med schools did not require a bachelors for admittance. This has changed. Apparently, SAba will admit you without having completed a bachelors. However, everyone I knew at Saba had gone to college, many of them very good colleges like Purdue, University of Virginia, Washington & Lee, SMU, etc. Most people had high GPA's and MCAT scores. As I am sure you know, it is just incredibly competitive to get into a US med school, esp. if you are not right out of college. Often thousands of applicants are applying for approximately 120 spots. So, I do think that most US medical students have higher grades and test scores than most foreign students, but the foreign students grades are still good.

I recommend that you review the residencies SABA students are in ( to get an idea of which specialties are open to IMG's) and the states where they are licensed. As of last year, Saba grads were licensed in approx. 33 ( I think ) states. In the case of California, Saba has not yet been approved. I do not know if anyone is licensed in New Mexico, but I heard NM follows California's policies. In some states, no Saba grads are licensed because no Saba grads have yet applied.
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ERIKA
ERIKA

September 21st, 2002, 8:31 am #10

Hi Kevin. I was accepted to the Fall 2002 semester but for family reasons have had to defer to the Fall 2003 class so I guess I will eventually meet you. I have done as much research on Saba and Caribbean med schools as anyone. I have talked to numerous physicians about Caribbean schools. Here are the facts:
1. There is some truth to the fact that Saba (and most other Caribbean schools) accept most students who apply. Since Saba only has a class of 40 (3 times a year) I am SURE that they deny some people admission. However, it is obvious that the acceptance criteria are lower. These schools give students who have a past blemish on their academic records a chance to become a doctor. That is the bottom line. Do not be dissuaded by people who tell you that these are not legitimate schools. Granted, it is the more difficult way to become a doctor but it is certainly possible. You will find that even the US schools will occasionally accept some students with only 90 hours of academic work. It is NOT a requirement even for the US schools that a student have an undergrad degree. However, probably 99.5% do have an undergrad degree.

2. I met with a recent grad from Saba about 6 months ago for dinner. He is finishing his 3rd year of family practice residency and had nothing but good things to say about Saba. You cannot get any more reliable info about Saba than from a recent grad. He has already signed a contract with the state of Florida to go there and practice for about 4-5 years while they pay his loans. They are allotting him $125,000 to set up his practice and will pay him a salary of $125,000. Not too bad for a Caribbean schools??? That is reality. He studied like crazy and did well on the boards. He told me that the subject of going to Saba was NEVER a subject in his interviews and he had 30 residency interviews!

3. Many of the students who attend Saba are American and DO practice in the US. No doubt about it. Some students are not Americans and hence go back to their own countries to practice. There is no validity to the statement that most Caribbean students do not practice in the US.

4. I work in clinical research conducting drug trials for pharmaceutical companies and I can tell you for FACT that I have met many doctors who have graduated from a Caribbean med school and are VERY successful in the US.

5. I find the question about how to finance your education at Saba interesting. It never came up in my interview. No doubt they are interested in making money. However, I am self-employed and I can tell you there is NOTHING wrong with providing a service and getting paid for it! They provide the opportunity to train us as doctors and that is a service worth making a profit over. Ask any Caribbean doctor who is successfully practicing and this will not even be an issue. What I would ask is ...Do the US schools not want to make a profit? Do they not make sure their students are able to pay? Of course they do! They wouldn't be in business if they didn't make a profit. I know most of the US schools if not all of them are Non-profit but that is only an IRS designation for what they must do with their profits...trust me, they make a profit also.

4. If you "work your tail off" and score well on the boards, you will find MANY doors of opportunity open to you. DO NOT be discouraged. You will drive yourself crazy. I would recommend that you go to Saba's website and look at the residency placements. See if there is a recent grad in your area and call him/her and ask if you can take him/her to dinner and pick his/her brain. Bring the spouses too. That is exactly what I did and it was well worth the $50 for dinner. His wife even brought pictures of the island as the living conditions were and are a big concern for my wife (we have 2 kids under three).

I hope I have given you some encouragement. I am 31 years old and I think I have learned some good lessons in life...one of the biggest is that NOBODY gives you anything for free. If you are willing to work hard, stay focused, tune out the negative comments from others, you will succeed. Being self-employed proves to me that you get nothing for free. Let me finish by asking this: Are you pursuing medicine with the idea of impressing people or do you sincerely want to help people? If the answer is the latter, Saba will give you the opportunity. It is up to you to make it a reality. Do not be discouraged! Feel free to email me and we can chat more.
ALL I CAN THINK TO SAY IS THANK YOU FOR YOUR MESSAGE. I AM 29 YRS OLD AND FIND MYSELF ON THE PATH TO SABA. I WAS INTERESTED IN ROSS AND ST GEORGE BUT CAN NOT AFFORD THEM.I HAVE HAD MANY PEOPLE INCLUDING MY LOVING MOTHER TO TELL ME THAT I AM TOO OLD TO START MED SCHOOL. I HAVE WANTED THIS SINCE I BANDAGED MY TEDDY BEARS. DUE TO FAMILY STRESSORS I ENDED UP WITH A GED AFTER ATTENDING 4 YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL. ALTHOUGH I AM NOW AN RN WITH A 3.61 GPA UNDERGRAD PEOPLE STILL THINK ME INCAPABLE INCLUDING MY SO CALLED PRE MED ADVISOR. I HAVE GONE FROM A CNA TO AN LPN TO AN RN WHILE WORKING FULL TIME TO SUPPORT MYSELF. IT IS NOW TIME TO FOLLOW MY MIND INSTEAD OF EVERYONE ELSES. I DONT CARE IF IT IS A SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT, IF IT IS EQUIPPED TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS I SAY GO FOR IT !!! MANY PEOPLE PICKED AT THAT GED OF MINE. IT SITS NEXT TO MY RN AND IT WILL SIT NEXT TO MY MD ONE DAY GOD WILLING. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.


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