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

This fall, I will be attending New York University to obtain my Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Science and Practice. I became interested in public health because of the emphasis it has on decreasing health disparities. Currently, I volunteer at a health clinic called Shepherds Hope. The clinic cares for those that do not have health insurance due to financial reasons. I was promoted as an Eligibility Specialist where I consult with the patients to determine their eligibility to use our services.
We often see patients that have just recently relocated to Florida from another country. One day, I was going through paperwork with a couple that had just moved from Venezuela, a country facing some of its hardest times right now. The husband had cancer and was taking medications but could no longer afford it because of how high it surged. It was a shocking moment for me because this was my first encounter meeting people who fled Venezuela. Prior to this day I had only heard information regarding Venezuela through the news outlets. Speaking with those that have been directly affected, it made me more grateful for the healthcare I have and further strengthened my desire to fight for those who are not as fortunate as me.
I suffered from imposter syndrome a lot. I always saw myself as less and not worthy to be in college because I was a first-generation student, the first out of all my family to go to a university and low-income. But I found a group of like-minded friends who came from similar backgrounds as myself and was able to succeed and grow from my support system. I recently was offered a competitive public health summer fellowship located at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters where I will be conducting research in molecular HIV sequences, a powerful new tool that enables public health agencies to better understand and respond to clusters of rapid HIV transmission. NYU has always been one of my dreams school. After getting this fellowship and acceptance into NYU, it has proven to be a testament of time of how much I have endured perseverance and see myself for who I truly am which is an educated man that will stop at nothing to achieve in all collegiate and career endeavors.

Rungrote from Florida
New York University