D.R. Scanlan Jr.
Memorial AORN Education Scholarship
Often when people think of Africa, they associate us with poverty, war, and disease. Sadly, this perception is reality. I grew up in the southwest of the Sahara Desert, where healthcare is all but non-existent. In the town where I was raised, 2 out of 3 newborns succumb to influenza, measles, or polio.
On one occasion, the rebel factions blocked the roads, burned down my school, and destroyed the radio station. My mom and I hid under the kitchen table as she used her body to shield me from harm and disease pandemics poisoned whatever patches of life remained. As we emerged from underneath the kitchen rubble, I looked at my mother. She had Malaria. Yet my community did not have a hospital or clinic. Desperate for a cure, I dragged mom to a bush doctor who fed her herbs. Lucky for us, the international community intervened and provided us with medicine and food. But most importantly, they gave us hope.
These experiences have guided me to understand that my first and foremost goal in life is not as a professional, but as a human being. In my capacity as a human being, I would like to become a Nurse dedicated to a career in community health. The dream of bringing quality medical care to people in underserved and impoverished areas is one that has stuck with me over the years. It is my strong belief that a quality medical education is paramount to the realization of this dream. This is why I have to go to nursing school.