Charlotte Boyakins

Submitted 2022-09-22

Applying for this scholarship as a nursing student, I would like to share with you my story involving the most challenging times in my life and how I was able to overcome those challenges. My journey with healthcare professionals started with my OBGYN doctor who was such an inspiring and trustworthy professional that it continues to inspire me to provide a quality of healthcare to others like this person did. I was having troubling concerns with my sexual health and this doctor was very empethetic, made me feel less anxious about the situation and helped me walk through the process of screening and treatment. For many years I went in for my annual or bi-annual check ups and one time there was something spotted. I was very scared for my life. I have a little of a hypochondriac tendency however that is because in my family someone had died of cancer. This instance of a positive finding of something cancerous made me depressed, anxious, and in doubt of myself. The OBGYN doctor who made such an impact on my life by reassuring me that we were doing everything right and because we had been doing annual check-ups that they caught the cancerous lesion in my uterus early. I struggled at the time with overcoming fear and my doctor helped me by giving me their phone number to call them or to call the councilors in his office if I was feeling distressed. When it was time to do the procedure where they would burn off the lesion, I was very scared and worried for my health. My OBGYN helped me believe in myself that I would get through the procedure, despite all of my doubt that I would end up with cancer. I have such a fear for cancer because my older sister who would have been 50 years of age today, had died of breast cancer sixteen years ago. My belief is that if she had done early screening then it could have been treated or even reversed. Not only has my physical health been impacted majorly by healthcare professionals, but my mental health as well. When I was a child, born amongst 7 other children from a mother who was very neglectful and emotionally abusive, I was very vulnerable to trauma. When I was between 4 and 8 years old, I was molested by my neighbor in the apartment complex that we lived in. Not only was I molested, but because I was left home alone so often from my mother and that she did not see any signs of a threat, I was allowed to spend time with my molester. I actually became used to going next door to their apartment because I had no attention in my home from my parents. Father was not in the picture. This sexual trauma and emotional trauma from a mother who would yelled at me and was a bad mother causes me to continue to struggle with PTSD to this day. I am grateful for my mental health counselor that I am currently talking to because she is guiding me with ways to resolve that past trauma and work on weekly goals to reduce my anxiety levels.

Seventeen years ago I started my work as a healthcare professional working as a Certified Nursing Assistant. I worked at several facilities that specialized in senior living, where I cultivated my passion for healing those who are in pain and helping them to age well. I learned the importance of accommodating people who are disabled physically and mentally. My specialty is caring for elderly patients. My special interest in health is women’s health issues and health equity. Other than healthcare professionals, seeing my family members struggle with health problems has compelled me to become a great nurse and help others by being their advocate. Firstly, my older sister, who passed more than 15 years ago from breast cancer; my mother who has diabetes, are a reminder of how important early-treatment, access to healthcare, and equity are to me. I have a half-brother who is cognitively impaired and requires special assistance from family members taking care of him. I want to bring health and knowledge to patients who struggle with debilitating disease. I want to provide hope to people who are desperate for answers.

This opportunity allowed me to transform that hope and trust into my own experience helping others heal from pain or just looking to find a steady road towards recovery. My sister’s breast cancer, along with some other family member’s ailments, had woken me up to recognize that many degenerative conditions can only be prevented if the causes are addressed in time to prevent irreversible damage. As of spring 2016, I returned to community college with the goal in mind to transfer and complete a bachelor’s program in nursing at a 4-year or private institute in order to achieve my certification as a registered nurse. As of writing this letter, I have accepted admission into Samuel Merritt University’s Bachelors in Nursing Science degree program for Spring 2022. I am currently in my second semester at SMU. I am scheduled to graduate Fall of 2023. I believe I am a qualified candidate for your scholarship for overcoming the most challenging times in a person’s life when making sacrifices for a successful future career and enduring the challenges of raising a child alone, working, and keeping life in order. I do not come from a wealthy family. One of my older siblings and myself are the only members of my family who have any college education. I will be the first medical professional in my family and pursuing this scholarship means I can be a model for my family of how education can be rewarding with dedication. Please be a part of my success story.

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