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

Around the age of 12 I noticed behavioral differences in my parents. It started out small, forgetting what time we got off school, sleeping in past their alarms, forgetting to cook us dinner. As the years went on the mistakes got larger, forgetting to get us from school all together, forgetting to come to my softball games, and not getting out of bed all day. When I was 15, I figured out what was causing these changes in my parents, drugs. My parents had developed serious drug addictions that slowly took them away from our family. In a matter of a couple of years we lost our home, my parents got divorced, and both spent time in the hospital. I tried to take care of my brother and I while I worked part time and went to school. I struggled to have enough to keep us fed and we truly learned what it was like to be in need. I felt hunger, distress, and worry and I knew that I wanted to go to school to get myself and my brother out of this situation. I left home and went over eight hours away to get my bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. I was completely alone but I was able to persevere and graduate with my degree. While obtaining my degree I spent a lot of time volunteering for the local food pantries, medical clinics, and homeless shelters because I hate to see people struggling. I feel as though knowing what it is like to be in need made me want to help people even more. I decided to pursue a masters to become a physician’s assistant so that I can treat patients and help their families through the hardest times. My childhood is my biggest motivation because I know what its like to have nothing and to need help. I want to be the one to support and take care of people who are medically in need. As a PA I hope to be able to work in an underserved community where people need affordable healthcare. I also intend on continuing to volunteer at the local free medical clinics in Orange and LA county but this time as a mid-level provider.

Erika from California
Marshall B. Ketchum University