Hi everyone, we are so very happy to announce that we have accepted Elizabeth Espinoza Torrez as our newest scholarship recipient for her university studies!
Elizabeth was our student for her last three years of high school, and she was such an impressive student, in all ways. She graduated in 2019, and received a partial scholarship from the university in Leon, where she is studying clinical bioanalysis. She is only able to live there during the week, with three roommates in her dorm, and she has to return to El Sauce every weekend. The university pays for most of her food during the week, but not supplies, exam costs, travel, and other food. So she applied for a scholarship, and we were only too happy to accept her. We will be paying $600 per year for the next four years (since she has already completed one year) and we can’t think of a better way to spend the money you have all so generously donated.
Elizabeth is a wonderful young woman. She is so dedicated to moving forward, making a successful life for herself, and helping her community. She loves her classes, and is doing really well in them, despite the challenges of traveling back and forth every weekend. We’ve attached her application answers here for you to read.
SECTION 1: Your personal experiences
What qualities and attributes make you special?
Among the qualities and attributes that distinguish me and make me special that I have always been told about, and which have helped me be myself and strengthen myself as a person: I have always been sociable, kind, caring, intelligent, a good friend, charismatic and fun. I always look for the positive side in everything.
Who is someone you admire and why?
I have always admired my mother. I admire her because she has always been a hard-working woman who fights for what she has. Though she doesn’t have a degree from a school or university she works hard to get ahead and faces problems head on. I admire her abilities and skills, her capacity to love, the values that she has used to show [me] a good example of a woman who struggles to care for and improve life for her family.
Describe an experience from your life and how it has changed the way you think about the world.
An experience that has affected my life and my personal development has been being separated from my brothers and sisters. I have not been able to see or be with them often because they had to look for work so they could have a better life. What has affected me even more is that my sister is now a mother, and I have two beautiful nieces/nephews, but I can’t share with them during their early years.
What is a big challenge you have faced, and how did you overcome it?
A challenge I’ve faced: has been going to study in Leon and being separated from my parents because I have to spend the entire week in Leon in the dorm studying. I have to share with and know how to have a positive relationship with the 3 other young women who are my roommates, which is a challenge that I am facing. I am overcoming this challenge with perseverance knowing that this is for my personal development and success.
SECTION 2: Your influences
Who has been your biggest influence and why?
The person who has most influenced my life has been my mother. She has been my example to follow and she continues to push me to work hard and progress in life. She does this by helping me with her advice, her economic support and with her love. She has always understood me and encouraged me to keep going and not let myself stop trying. I feel that I am the person I am today thanks to her.
How has education contributed to who you are today?
My education has helped me so much. It has helped me grow as a person, it has enriched my knowledge and understanding, as well as my values. My education helps me contribute to society by sharing my abilities and skills. [Because of education] I know it is very important to support love and harmony amongst different people.
How has your community / education affected your personal growth?
In my personal growth, my school has affected me deeply. Not all of the teachers believed in me. There were times when in a competition or contest, they wanted other students to win because they favored other students rather than me. This has affected me because it has made me doubt my own abilities many times.
SECTION 3: Your Career/ Course of Study
Why and what do you want to study at university?
I want to study at the UNAN-Leon because it is a nationally recognized university, and one of the best universities in Nicaragua. The major I am studying is Clinical Bioanalysis.
Why does this profession interest you?
I want to study this major because I am interested in learning about bacteria and how to do things like glucose and fecal tests, and other medical examinations. This will allow me to help my community by carrying out tests to learn what kind of illness someone is suffering from.
Describe your goals for your future. How will this course of study help you reach those goals?
My future goals are to have my own home and have my own practice or office to complete [laboratory or health] tests and examinations. My studies will help me because through them I will be able to have the capacity to do tests well for people and offer them good service.
How will this career help your community?
This profession will be a huge help for me because by doing this, I will be able to do free tests and read the results of the tests [to members of my community]. I will be able to do vaccinations and injections, and in addition, people in my community will have a friend and neighbor in solidarity with them.
Why will you be good at this career?
This profession is very good because we are part of the medical family. We help people by knowing different illnesses, how serious the condition is. This career is a successful one because with hard work and dedication, you know you are helping and contributing to bettering the population.
How will your university studies help you reach your career goal?
My university studies will help me reach my professional goals because they will help to prepare me to be a good professional and above all, be a bioanalyst. By being a good and professional person, I can reach goals, and I want to be a bioanalyst because it will help me have a degree and to build my own home.
SECTION 4: Challenges
What kinds of challenges do you think might occur for you during your studies (for example: school work, your life, your family, your health, etc.)?
Among the challenges I may have are my health problems. I get sick frequently. Also, one of my family members could pass away, there could be economic problems, and I could also miss class, for example if the bus doesn’t go to Leon.
Describe how you might respond to some of these challenges so you can continue studying.
The best way to respond to these is by communicating with my professors about the situation. It’s important that I receive their assignments so I can continue learning, and so I don’t miss any, to be able to continue to progress with my studies.
SECTION 5: The Future
Describe your goals and where you imagine yourself to be in life in the next three years, five years, and 10 years.
Well, my goals in the next 5 years are to graduate from university. Then I want to work for the next 3 or so years and then be working on building my house. I would like to have space in my house where I can build my laboratory. I plan to always live here in El Sauce, Nicaragua, but maybe after having my house for a couple of years, I’d like to travel to other places such as Costa Rica where I was born.
How will you use your education and your career to help other girls and women with their education?
The main way that I would help other women and girls is by having my laboratory. I would give work to other people who are also specialists in this field. I also would support 1 or 2 girls with their studies, and give them encouragement to continue on. I could even tell students from the different schools about how I worked to overcome my challenges.
What do you think is the biggest challenge to your community, and if possible, how could you help your community overcome this challenge?
The biggest challenge to my community is having sufficient resources for the education of all of the children because most families have 2 to 5 children in each home. Providing enough school supplies for all of them is very difficult and it results in many children having to work / child labor. The best way to help them is looking for ways to educate and share information with them [women] so they can learn how to protect themselves and not have too many children. Raising awareness about the potential hurt they cause [by having many children] and the risks that the kids run by selling in the streets is important. Oftentimes the eldest child does not study because they are taking care of the younger children or they have to work to eat.
SECTION 6: The Scholarship
Why do you think you should receive this scholarship? Tell us about you, not your circumstances.
First of all, I have always wanted to make it to the point of having a profession and a degree. These have always motivated me to be a good student, to work hard, and to not let myself be defeated by the first obstacle I encounter. Since I have been studying, there have been so many challenges, and I have always taken my problems as another motive to keep going. I have always wanted my parents to be proud of me and to feel good when they see my grades. I want them to hear that their daughter is one of the best students that [the school] has.
What makes you stand out from another applicant who is a ONE scholarship recipient or recent graduate?
By completing my studies in clinical bioanalysis I will be able to work, and I will be able to do the year of social work [required for medical students in Nicaragua]. [I deserve this] because I have demonstrated that I am a responsible person who is committed to my goals and my studies, and more than anything, to my future. I know I can receive this scholarship because of my excellent performance as student and as an individual.
Congratulations, Elizabeth – we are so very proud of you and excited for you and your community, which will have a wonderful support in you.
And thank you, everyone, for your generous donations that help all these young women help themselves, their families, and their communities. Your donations have allowed them to dream and accomplish things they never thought they could, and it’s been such a delight to watch.
Stay warm, safe, and healthy, and have a wonderful holiday,
Birgit, Christa, Heather, Janeece, Leslie, and Meghan