Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

Growing up as a minority and first-generation American, my parents have always
instilled in me the importance of education and hard work as the best means for creating a better
opportunity for oneself. My father immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico with little income,
working in the lettuce fields of Northern California to build a better life with better opportunities
for his children. One of these main opportunities he sought for his children was education. Since
I was a little girl, my father taught me that education is not only the means to stability, but is one
of the few things in life that cannot be taken from you. I regard educating oneself as extremely
important and believe that education does not stop on the individual level; it gives the
opportunity to educate others, providing access to information and empowering the greater
public to be well-informed. My goal is to aid underserved communities by implementing prevention-based programs to strengthen existing interrelationships between people and their environments, overall building a more sustainable, safer, and thriving community in which we live.
Furthermore, I am committed to graduate school as I know this next step will be life-changing, fulfilling, and will provide me with the necessary tools to become an expert in the ever-changing field of public health. I am confident in my abilities and determined to complete this program and become further involved in the realm of public health. My professional aspiration is to focus specifically on environmental health and working toward creating healthier habitats to prevent avoidable illness and premature death; the environment in which we live plays a vital role in the overall health and well-being of our society. I am pursuing my master’s degree to advocate and protect the health and quality of all life through the environment.

Gabriela from California
Azusa Pacific University