Carolina is a first-generation scholar currently pursuing her master’s in public health at GCU. She was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and immigrated at the age of five. As the youngest of five, growing up in a small town in rural Southern Oregon has taught her the importance of preventative health access especially for those that are not American natives. Her academic interest coincides with her strong commitment to medicine. As a future professional, she wants to pursue an MD degree in pediatrics and pediatric research. Her goal is to provide underrepresented community children and families access to early healthcare and treatment. Today, she is a board member of Jackson Care Connect of Southern Oregon; a program focused on developing an innovative state-wide platform for medical data entry. Through the grace of the Lord, she hopes to one day serve in third world countries to improve the health of those in need.
I am an online student, currently living in Jackson County of Southern Oregon. I knew from very early on I wanted to pursue higher education. Thus, I was the first in my family to graduate from a four-year university. I attained a dual degree in biochemistry and psychology from Portland State University and Southern Oregon University respectively. When we first immigrated to the United States my parents worked in a number of difficult orchard jobs, as an outcome, they suffered from an extensive plethora of health problems. As a result of this exposure, I became aware of the decrease level of healthcare my parents and their co-workers were attaining, mostly due to lack of insurance, and/or their inability to express their health problems because of lack of English comprehension. In hopes for change, I decided to join SO-Health E (Southern Oregon Health Coalition). SO-Health E is a non-profit organization that is focused on decreasing healthcare disparities amongst rural Oregon communities. My hope is to one day become a practicing medical doctor or family nurse practitioner here in Southern Oregon.
After visiting GCU, I was attracted to the Christian community and devotion cultivated on campus. Councilors I encountered from that day forward were encouraging and genuinely wanted to support my career aspiration. As an online student, I still feel like I am still part of the on-campus community; the online platform has encouraged me to make connections with peers and professors. Becoming a Lope is a decision I will never regret!
I definitely enjoy getting to know my peers through the online platform. Since starting the program at GCU, I have been able to connect with individuals from all over the country. Analyzing different perspective associated with public health has brightened my mind and encouraged me to approach my studies from a worldly view. Furthermore, I have enjoyed the opportunity to make meaningful connections with my professors. My professors have not only encouraged me to think out of the box, they have also cared for me in times of need through prayer and positive thought. I feel confident that the connections I make with GCU staff and students will enable me to become a better professional in the upcoming future.
As a current GCU student, I would advise current and prospective students to realize the possibilities that GCU has to offer. Do not limit yourself for what others say or think you can do, only you can create your own future. As a believer, I admit that sometimes I can neglect 100 good things for one thing that goes wrong in my life; don’t be this person!—I would advise students to be faithful and give God his grace for the things he has given you.