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

Many things inspire me to pursue a higher education, but the one that holds the most weight is my mother. She has showed me what it means to live a life of worth. My freshmen year of college, the most shaping experience in my life happened, and that is what has continually inspired me to pursue a graduate degree. During this year, my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and lymphoma. The doctors needed to operate of this metastatic cancer as soon as possible, and my instant thought was to dropout. The treatment was very aggressive, and my dad was having to work multiple jobs and overtime to continue to support my sisters and my mom’s medical bills. I worked 20+ hours a week while being a full-time student, and any extra money I had was used to help transport myself back and forth to where my family was to help my dad take care of my mom and my younger siblings. I am super grateful that my mom has a good prognosis, but because of the advance stage and aggressive treatment it has taken a toll on her body. The doctors have told her that she will need to continue to receive treatment for 6 more years, providing there is no set back. So, for the foreseeable future, there is always a fear that it could all happen again. She doesn’t let it stop her. She continually fights, not just for herself, but for me as well. She inspires me to continue to pursue research and the healthcare field, to continue to help support myself, but also to make a difference. She has ensured me over and over on how I can make a change, whether that be in her life or someone else’s- she encourages me day in and day out. Not only encourages me, but also challenges me. She has shown me what a true fighter looks like- and even though I haven’t had to fight a physical disease the same way she has, I am ready to fight to improve the medical field both here and across the world. I owe this inspiration to my mom, a true fighter, the one who will fight for me before herself.

nicholas from Iowa
Des Moines University