I first heard about the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) from some of my friends who attended other programs on the campus. My higher education journey has taken place over the course of about 10 years now — starting at Montgomery College (MC), then UMBC, then a return to MC where I eventually learned more about the programs offered at USG by nine different Maryland universities. There were a lot of learning experiences that I encountered during this time, for example, how critical time management is, and simply finding a field that inspired me.
From getting placed into an uncredited, remedial critical reading class to begin with at MC, to falling into academic probation at UMBC, having to retake classes, and transferring back to community college before landing where I am today — I would say that this pathway through different schools has taught me so much, and has been a reminder that even with the setbacks, my perseverance has, and will pay off.
I selected the University of Maryland, College Park’s Public Health Science program at USG because I’ve always had an interest in the health of our community, our environment and just healthcare, in general. I believe that health is so important for all individuals and that a greater sense of knowledge to better health is vital to everyone. At USG, I love the smaller class sizes, because I’ve been able to organically build close relationships with my classmates and professors. I also enjoy the many resources offered on the campus, especially the high-tech breakout rooms which I’ve often used to study and collaborate with classmates.
Within my program, I was particularly inspired by my capstone class. This class really challenged me to think about what I could actually do within the public health field once I graduate. A big takeaway was the importance of self-awareness and mental health.
My anticipated graduation date is fall 2021. After graduation, my goal is to build on my knowledge of healthcare and create my own brand/company, “PRODIGAL,’’ which will acknowledge self-awareness and purpose in people’s lives. Our mental health plays a big part in the way we choose to direct our lives, and I believe the need in our community today to help others seek purpose is so critical.