Since my injury and hospitalization at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA, my life has changed for the better. As a patient in the Intensive Care Unit and then the Transitional Care Unit, I received life-changing treatment from the hospital staff. Before I was shot in the face, I had a promising modeling career. Now disfigured, I felt I could never become anything in the world. It was during those times where I felt my depression at its peak. I was full of fear, anxiety and doubt.
That is, until I started developing relationships with the surgeons, doctors and nurses at Highland. I remember the day I was enlightened. I was alone in my hospital room, I had a pink makeup mirror in my hand and I was staring at my face with disbelief, anger and disgust. My nurse Mohammed came into my room. He looked at the mirror and looked at my facial expression and speed-walked to my bedside. He snatched that mirror away from my hand and closed it. He looked me in the eye and said "Listen my dear, things have changed a little, you are now different in a better way." He told me that it was time to forget about this (he pointed at my face) and then he said "and now it is time to work on this," and pointed to my head. He told me that beauty only takes you so far and that, ultimately, it was your education that helps you prevail in life. I didn't say a thing, but I soaked up every single word that came out of his mouth. From then on I was hopeful and inspired. I wanted to be just like him. I took advantage of the time I had with my doctors, nurses, respiratory and physical therapist's to ask them how and why they became health care providers. I asked about schooling and about their personal connection to the work. Their stories were very inspiring. As I recuperated, I knew more and more that this was the field I wanted to get into.
I am now a student in the Peralta Colleges, studying to become a nurse. I am about a year and a half away from applying to the nursing program at Cal State East Bay. (I would love to hear about any other great nursing schools that any of you might have in mind!) My educational goals are to receive my Nursing Degree and then to attend Cal's School Of Public Health. My personal experience as a patient will make me a phenomenal nurse. I know how a patient wants and needs to be treated, with all of the care, patience, honesty and sensitivity that my health care providers gave me. My experience at Highland gave me confidence and generated momentum in me. I am working hard to make those goals a reality.
I am the first in my family to graduate from high school and to attend college. Currently, I support myself and my family as a full-time violence prevention educator working with middle and high school students in Oakland. I also regularly give talks to groups about my life, my injury and my recovery.
As many of you know ...school has it's cost's and without my family's help I am the only one paying for all of my college expenses. I am writing you wholeheartedly to support me in my academic goals. It cost anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 per semester to attend community college. If given I would spend the money on my classes, books,a tutor, a laptop, and project expenses. As a Violence Prevention Educator and a public speaker, I am willing to help you in anyway that I can, if the occasion arises. If you would like a reference or speak to me personally you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org