SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS 2021

Khrysteena Rodriguez – Advanced Behavioral Health Sciences

As of this moment, my fiancé is the only one that is working and supporting myself, our children, my father, and two siblings. I have very little personal support in Arizona which has made it nearly impossible to find a job. My fiancé works 13 hours a day and I have no other relatives that can watch my children while I work. We live solely off of what my fiancé makes, and I receive SNAP through the government in order to keep food on the table for us. Each month we scrape buy on the bills, and often must make payment arrangements. If I were to get scholarships, it would help to cover the cost of living which would greatly reduce my personal stress and allow me to focus more on my schooling. Unfortunately, if finances do get scarce enough, I may have to put schooling on hold and find a part-time job within the few hours my fiancé is home with the children. This is not something that I would like to do being as I am doing so well being back in school once again. I want to make a better life for my children and a comfortable life for myself and my future husband.

My main academic goal at the moment would be to continue to receive above-average grades. I am taking my general education classes at Estrella Mountain and plan on earning my Associate in Arts degree with AGEC-A in December of 2021. I am currently majoring in Social Work. After my associate’s degree, I would like to transfer to The Social Work School at Arizona State University to earn my BSW. After earning my BSW, I would like to find a career as a school social worker. Formerly working with children with disabilities has made me really want to make a difference in their lives, and I feel I can do that within this career. Once my educational goals are attained, it will greatly impact my life. I will be able to find a career that I enjoy, and my fiancé will not have to work so much. It will also give me a tremendous amount of self-accomplishment and pride.

Currently, I am unemployed. As explained in a previous question, I have no one to watch my children so I can work and I cannot afford childcare. Due to my children being younger and needing a lot of care and their father working most of the time, my time is consumed by my children. I have no time to volunteer within the community or participate in any school organizations. Having to take charge of two little ones has greatly positively shaped my leadership skills, along with patience. Being a parent is the biggest leadership role that you could possibly have in my eyes. I have two little lives that depend on me to help them thrive within theirs everyday. Previously, when I was working within a school district, I would always help my coworkers if a student's behavior became out of hand. I believe it is not only important to be a leader but to also be a member of the team.

 

 

Oiza Aliu - Nursing

The payment for my tuition is usually supported by my family in my home country. There is currently an unexpected change in my financial support due to the current economic condition and recent COVID-19 pandemic. My sponsor is no longer able to support all my finances (tuition and living expenses) due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and poor economic condition, as businesses and work are grounded in my home country. I have tried applying for an on-campus job at GWCC which has proved almost impossible for two semesters now. I hope to reapply as soon as school opens for in-person classes, to help cover some of my living expenses. I do not have access to a loan for my tuition, as I have had to miss payment plans several times (and also charged for late fees). For this academic year, I hope school resumes for in-person lectures so I can apply for on-campus jobs to become a tutor to support my college expenses. This scholarship will make a positive impact on my study in the upcoming academic year.

My career goal and aspiration are to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetics. To eventually attain my long-term goal, I have set smaller goals along the way. I'm currently enrolled in a concurrent enrollment program that will enable me to earn my associate degree in nursing in May 2021 and a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in December 2021. Then, I intend to enroll for a nursing doctoral program after obtaining my bachelor's degree in Nursing, while also practicing as a registered nurse to acquire more clinical experience and support myself financially. Once I can complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a specialty in nurse anesthesia, I will be the first doctorate holder in my entire community back home and will help stabilize my family's poor financial status. One value I hold so dearly is treating people with kindness, and also putting a smile on people's faces. I intend to use my profession to leave people better than I met them, and that is what success means to me.

As an international student, I can only work on campus. It has been a challenge to secure an on-campus job because most classes are virtual and limited activities are going on on-campus. Nevertheless, I have volunteered in several capacities in my community. I am currently the lead coordinator of social welfare in my church where we host the homeless for a sleepover once a month. During this period, we feed, clothe, and attend to their needs. Besides, I also volunteer at the Mesa Food Bank to assist with sorting groceries so families who are in need could come to pick them up. I loved the experience and decided to keep going back. Furthermore, I also volunteered at two assisted living homes whenever my schedule permits. Moreover, volunteering in assisted living homes has impacted my life greatly, it has improved my therapeutic communication skills, which has made me a better person to everyone around me.

 

 

Theresa Acuna – Respiratory Care

I will be enrolled in 12 credit hours for the 2020/21 school year and would need financial assistance to cover my tuition. I have applied for financial aid for the 20-21 school year and I am waiting to see if I will be approved. I have also applied for loans, although I would like to use loans as a last resort as to not put myself in more debt. I currently work part-time at Gateway Elementary School and will try to pay what I can from my checks towards tuition. However, due to COVID-19, I have been without work. I am now having to use the money I had been saving for school to meet the basic needs of my family. I currently live with my parents and they help with making sure we can financially maintain our home. With my loss of income, it has taken its toll on our combined finances, leaving little left over for me to continue school. While I can cover a portion of tuition, I will not be able to afford the entire amount including required textbooks. I am willing to complete work-study to cover tuition and I intend on applying for a full-time job once the economy recovers and allows for it.

I am the first person in my family to attend college. All I have ever wanted was to be successful and break the cycle of poverty that has affected my family for generations. Ultimately I want to become a Physician Assistant specializing in Pediatrics. I have always enjoyed working with children in an education setting. However, I want to go into the medical field and help children in a different way. My academic goal is to complete my associate's in Respiratory Care at Gateway Community College. I have completed most of my prerequisites for the Respiratory program and only need two more classes before I can apply for the program. I should complete my degree in Respiratory Care by 2022, then transfer to ASU for my bachelor's degree and begin my career in respiratory care, becoming familiar with the health field and gaining experience. Once I have completed my Bachelor's degree I will apply to the Physician Assistant program at Midwestern University. I am hoping to graduate from the PA program no later than 2026. Although it may seem far, I tell myself I can continue doing nothing and will be in the same position in 6 years or I can work hard and have an amazing career in 6 years. I choose the latter, to be successful.

I have worked with children, from infants to 10 years old for the last 8 years. I initially started working in Early Head Start then moved on to working in special education for preschool. I worked with children who had special needs and disabilities. I now work with students in kindergarten through 4th grade, primarily in a classroom setting, assisting students who need extra help in small groups. I then pull out those who need more help and provide individual instruction based on their needs. Later in the day, I provide 1:1 support for a child who has a disability, providing assistance with completing class work and basic needs. I think I have a knack for getting through to children who have behavioral issues. Some staff go straight to consequences when students are acting out, but I always pull the student to the side and listen to them. I have found that most times they just want to be heard and need a safe place to vent. I have volunteered at my children's school to provide assistance in class and extracurricular activities.  I also volunteer with an Early Head Start program my youngest son attends. At the end of the day, I lead the children through an activity since I have had experience with Early Head Start. I wish I could do more volunteer work but I try to volunteer within my community at my children's schools.  I feel like doing this shows my children the importance of helping others and being a part of a family at school.

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