“Flash. October. Halloween. Flash. October. Halloween.” This repetitive string of words was how Adrian introduced himself to me. While working with our school’s special needs program through PALs, I mentored Adrian, a younger student with a unique method of communicating: calendar holidays. In the beginning, understanding what he was trying to say was challenging, but as I met with him more, I began to understand the patterns of his dialogue. When I visited, I brought him coloring sheets of his favorite superhero and Halloween costume— Lego Flash. In return, he would clap and say, with the brightest smile imaginable, “Flash! October! Halloween!” Outside of school, I spent afternoons tutoring elementary school students and assisting residents at a local nursing home. I loved the feeling of connection and the lessons I learned from each meeting, whether it was the residents’ thrilling stories, holiday cards and jam out sessions with the kids, or cheering on Adrian’s Lego Flash impression. I held these experiences close to my heart and discovered that even the smallest of actions, when done with sincerity, can have the most significant impacts.
For the longest time, I felt so unsure of myself, worried I might “pick the wrong path” and regret my decision forever. Nevertheless, I knew one thing: I wanted to dedicate myself to service. When I began shadowing nurses, I was inspired by the compassion they showed. They were the bridge between doctors and patients, merging structured medical demands with personalized care. I watched them not only treat wounds, but also maintain their patients’ wellbeing. They comforted families and sacrificed pieces of themselves to help make others whole.
There was no definitive “a-ha moment” where I realized I wanted to pursue nursing. It came slowly; through Lego Flash coloring sheets, music, holiday cards, and donning a gown for the first time. Nursing unites my interest in the health sciences with my love for forming sincere connections with others. At UT, I am eager to learn and grow alongside my peers, and gain the necessary skills to properly care for others.
Other Academic Interests
Social and Behavioral Sciences
What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program?
During Finalist Weekend, I was in awe of the financial freedom and global experience the Forty Acres Scholars Program offered, but most importantly, I admired the bond the current Scholars shared with each other. Throughout those few days, as I met my fellow finalists, I noticed that despite our diverse interests, our sense of ambition and desire to make notable contributions within our respective fields was the same. I hold immense value in furthering my education as best I can— FASP guarantees exactly that and so much more. The Scholars and alumni within the FASP community are eager to see one another succeed, and I am so blessed to get to spend the next four years being a part of something so special.