Receiving the Give Back scholarship played a very integral part in my educational career. Because of the generosity of Give Back, I was able to focus on my school work and achieve all of my goals throughout high school and college without the worry of the financial burdens associated with higher level education. I’m proud to say that I graduated with high honors from the University of Illinois and was accepted into a top ten audiology program.

Following my undergraduate education, I went on to pursue my doctorate in audiology at Rush University. I am currently finishing up my fourth-year externship at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Amidst the busyness of school, I had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala for a service trip. We provided audiology services to underserved individuals, including hearing screenings and counseling. Going forward, I hope to put my education to good use, serving more communities in need.

Next month, I begin my full-time position as an audiologist at Advocate Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. I will work with patients to identify and treat hearing, balance, tinnitus and other auditory disorders so that they can better communicate with the world around them.

All of these achievements were made possible through the Give Back scholarship. Though I will begin working full-time soon, I plan to continue mentoring two current Give Back scholars who’ve been rewarded the same chance I was given to pursue my dreams.

Current scholars, I encourage you to be active in the Give Back program and take advantage of all of the opportunities provided to you. The generosity of the Give Back staff and mentors can really help you achieve all of your dreams, but it takes hard work on your end as well. Study hard, embrace new opportunities, seek guidance from your mentors, and don’t be afraid to ask for additional help when you need it. If you do this, you will be set for success!