4th Quarter, 2007
Minority Scholarship Winner
“Graduate studies are very expensive and loans are too high in interest. By receiving a StraighForward Media Minority Scholarship it will help reduce my need of applying for loans and even to buy my books. Any financial help will help minimize expenses from graduate school.”
A Portion of Jose’s Winning Essay:
When I first started College I was sure that I was going to end being a Doctor in Medicine with a specialization in Pediatrics. I was accepted in the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon Campus and I started my studies in Pre-Medicine. I needed to be transferred after 2 years from Bayamon to Rio Piedras (main campus) because that’s where they have the whole Pre-Med program. As part of my Pre-med requirements I needed to take one Psychology Course and that’s when I started to realize that my heart and my soul was not going to be a doctor in medicine but a doctor in Psychology.
What really made me realize that I wanted to be Psychologist was that as Doctor in Medicine I was going to be able only to work with patient’s symptoms. But also as a patient, I saw myself sometimes going to the doctor to get treatment for something but I figured out that I was also looking for someone to speak to.
So, I understand that being a doctor in medicine would not let me do a little bit more with a patient because I was going to be trained only to work with symptoms rather than talking to the patient and listening to what his/her needs are. I was drawn to the humanity aspect of the patient and seeing him/ her as a whole and then it became completely clear that I wanted to be more than a doctor to my patients. I wanted to be someone who listen and understand the patient’s needs and worries and be able to be a tool for them to overcome their problems and help them to make changes in their lives. I wanted to make a difference in their lives and a facilitator of change, a permanent change.
I decided then, after 3 years in Pre-Med school that I wanted to be a Psychologist and be transferred to the Psychology school, and so I did. I switched programs and I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Then, I decided to enter graduate school in the field of Clinical Psychology. I took a year for personal reasons out of school and after that year I decided to apply. I applied and was accepted at the Interamerican University in Puerto Rico in the School Psychology Program because I always saw myself working with children and adolescents and there was no other school in Puerto Rico that offered a program where I would be able to work with this population.
While completing my first year in the School Psychology Program one of my Professors approached and asked me what my plans were in regards to my career. I explained him that I wanted to be a Psychologist for children and adolescents and he explained to me that School Psychology was not the field for me. Although he complimented me saying that I was good in Psychology but that what I was looking for was not in the field or within the School Psychology program. He instead told me about the only school in Puerto Rico that provided a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology where I was going to be able to obtain a Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology and then decide what are was going to be my field of studies or specialization.
I applied to the Carlos Albizu University (formerly know as Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies) and I got accepted to the Clinical Program (Psy.D.). I started to work towards my Doctor’s Degree and I almost immediately understood that I made the right decision when I decided to transfer from Pre-Med school to Psychology School.
I started to see myself helping people by listening to them and their problems and to try to help and be a facilitator to them to resolve their issues or those problems that were keeping them away from living a better life. I saw myself as a useful professional in other people’s life by just being a facilitator and listening to them and helping them to see where the problem was and how they can manage the situation.
As part of the requirements I had to do some clinical practice in the Community Clinic at school. That opportunity helped and allowed me to use the skills I learned in classes and put them in practice by seeing clients/patients and providing individual therapy.
My journey in school constantly confirmed that I was in the right field and that I made the right decision. It is not until you see the success in a specific client when I understand how important I was going to be in somebody’s life by being a Psychologist. Sometimes people get the wrong misconception about Psychologist and I did too at some point in my life, but being a Psychology student made me understand that as a Psychologist you become part of your client’s life in a good and permanent way. You could help them to understand where their problems are coming from and you guide them through the whole process of dealing with it and living with it. Sometimes you don’t, but it’s also part of the job.
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