Adrienne Rodriguez – DiversityJobs Scholarship Finalist for August 2012

Everybody knows most children will change their career goal many times. In that case I would say I was fairly average, but it could be said otherwise judging from the various careers that I chose. The first one I can remember, from when I was five years old, was a firefighter. I specifically wanted to be the one driving the back of the fire engine. I know this surprised my parents because all they thought of when they saw me was their curly-haired baby girl. Throughout my childhood and even into my teenage years, I considered becoming a pediatrician, a writer, a pastor, a businesswoman, and a teacher, just to name a few.

I was not absolutely sure of what I should be but what I was sure of is that I would never consider my gender or ethnicity when deciding what I was going to become. Just before beginning college I finally discovered that I was made to become a dietician. One thing would stand in my way but I chose to pursue this career with all diligence because I hope that it will one day bear much significance in the lives of others. 

At the end of my eleventh grade year, my parents and I made the tough choice to change our eating habits. Over the course of the following year I lost about forty pounds, but gained something much more important. I developed a deep passion for helping others change their health in the same way that I did. I came to believe that nutrition is one of the most important factors in living up to our full potential because it has one of the biggest influences on our ability to function in everyday life. It is no secret that the typical American diet has caused obesity rates to soar, along with diet-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.

By the end of my twelfth grade year, I thought about this quite often, and how much my own life had changed. I felt an urgency to do something to help improve the health of other people. I finally knew that I wanted to become a dietitian. The problem was that I had already made the choice to attend UC Santa Cruz for college, and a degree related to nutrition was not offered there. Over the next academic year I struggled to find somewhere else to attend. I applied to UC Davis, and was not admitted. This brought down my hopes until I discovered at the beginning of my sophomore year at UC Santa Cruz that Pepperdine University offers a degree in Nutritional Sciences. I was far beyond happy to be admitted for the Spring 2012 semester. To me, earning a degree in Nutrition will mean that I will be able to serve the lives others in a way which will help them live longer and stronger, and help them achieve what perhaps they did not think possible before.’s scholarship program for diversity and minority students is proud to announce Adrienne Rodriguez as one of the seven finalists for its August 2012 application deadline. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.