UC Berkeley student, majoring in Public Health, is a DiversityJobs Scholarship Finalist

[A] few years ago, I was seventeen years old, alone in a bathroom, staring down at a positive pregnancy test.

I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen to my life. I had already submitted my statement of intent to register to the University of California Berkeley, a school I was thrilled to soon be attending, and that pregnancy test made me doubt whether my dream was going to happen.

Even though I received no familial support or support from my partner, I decided to have my child and set off for Northern California alone in 2011, in order to start my first semester at UC Berkeley as a bright eyed freshman eager to learn and take in the college experience.

I would be lying if I said it wasn’t the most demanding thing I have ever had to do. I had to learn how to live on my own for the first time, pay bills, deal with health insurance, and tend to a growing pregnancy; all this as a child fresh out of high school lacking any support.

Having my child was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had but being a single mother at a school as rigorous as Cal soon took a toll on my physical and mental health. As I took my classes and wondered what on earth I wanted to study, a friend of mine introduced me to public health. After going through everything I had been through, I knew this was the major for me.

As a child, I grew up privileged in an upper-middle class lifestyle but I gave all of that up in order to have my daughter and pursue my education, a sacrifice I will never regret, because being a low income single mother has taught me so many things about the state of society that I would never have had the privilege to know if I had not chosen this route.

Now that I know the true struggles of my fellow low income community and the sometimes nearly insurmountable obstacles we go through to receive excellent health care and education, I know I want to major in public health and go on to become a nurse practitioner with that emphasis.

To graduate with this degree would mean the world to me because it would mean that I get to aid and guide. Cure and nourish. Serve and remedy. And that’s all I have ever wanted to do with my life.

Thank you for considering me for this scholarship, and I hope that my efforts are one that you would like to support.

We are proud to announce this student is one of the current DiversityJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.