I have always placed great stock in trusting my instincts and pursuing my passions. After completing my undergraduate degree in anthropology and subsequently completing a masters in forensic anthropology, I still felt as though I hadn’t quite found what I was looking for. My mother was always a huge proponent of following one’s dreams, and always pushed me to go after the things I wanted. She was also the reason I was fortunate enough to complete my undergraduate and graduate degrees debt free. She lost her battle with ALS in 2008, just two years before I completed my undergraduate degree, but she had built up an educational fund so that I was able to pursue my graduate degree without taking on the burden of debt.
It is unfortunate that, only after having already finished a graduate degree, I would find a subject that I am extremely passionate about. I do not regret my first graduate degree. On the contrary, it was an incredible and important experience. It also provided me with the realisation that I wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare field. I had always been interested in the medical field, and figured that going back and completing the prerequisites, and subsequently attending medical school would open up a world of possibilities for me. By chance, as I was taking a microbiology class, the professor touched on the topic of epidemiology. I was immediately fascinated. It was the perfect combination of health science, forensics, and statistics. A deeper look into the field showed me that it was a constantly changing and challenging career. This was exactly what I was looking for. I immediately began researching graduate programs and, came across the George Washington University’s School of Public Health. The epidemiology program description was exactly what I was looking for. The school’s involvement in a wide variety of research, the possibility of project collaboration and publication, the many connections to public health departments around the country; I was hooked. I immediately began working on my application. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, I received an acceptance letter. I was ecstatic, but my face fell as I looked at the estimate of my cost of attendance. $55,000, and that was just for the first year. I was already planning on getting a part-time job to cover my living expenses, but this figure seemed insurmountable.
I, in no way, expect to raise the full cost of my education, but I am doing my best to ease my financial burden in any way possible. In addition to continually applying for scholarships, I thought I would bring my goal to the community. I have always felt self-conscious about asking others for help, particularly when it comes to financial assistance. I am so passionate and convinced that this is the right path for me, however, that I am willing to do whatever it takes to make this dream come true. Please help send me back to graduate school to pursue my dream of becoming an epidemiologist. Any help that you can give will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you all so much!