Michael Alberto '19
Michael Alberto, Pharm.D., ’19, the recipient of the Walgreens Multilingual Scholarship who speaks Portuguese fluently and puts his bilingual skills to work helping out in his community back home in Taunton, Mass. The son of Portuguese immigrants, Michael originally wanted to pursue a degree in criminal justice. He explains, “I knew I wanted to help people, but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. I did an internship during high school where I job shadowed in a juvenile courthouse and thought criminal justice was my passion — I really wanted to help out the kids in the system.”
During the time he studied criminal justice he was also employed at a local Hannaford as a cashier. “I'll never forget; I was on register 10 when the manager asked me if I interested in working in the pharmacy. He explained that there were many Portuguese speaking patients, and being fluent in Portuguese, I could help with translations, communications, and assist them in providing better patient care.” From that fateful day on, Michael started to train in Hannaford’s pharmacy and immediately knew, with that first patient interaction, that he had found his means for helping others. He changed his major to pharmacy never looked back.
“It’s not easy for people to feel comfortable opening up and telling you what’s going on with them. Having a conversation in a language that makes a patient feel comfortable is a wonderful way to help people. Pharmacy isn’t just about dispensing medications — it’s about establishing a connection with a patient and using that connection to establish trust. That is one aspect of pharmacy that I really enjoy.”