How is Success Measured
We think the Holiday Season is the perfect time to answer that question so many of you ask throughout the year. Statistics are one way, but stories like Marie's reveal so much more. Pictured are Marie and her daughter, Zila
"When I was accepted into PA school, I didn't think I'd be moving my family across the country halfway through my education due to my program closing. From the start, COVID made the move a difficult transition for my kids by not being able to make friends in our new location, so we had to deal with ongoing mental health struggles with our family unit.
"With moving 4 times, food and housing insecurities became a heavy burden on my shoulders since I was the sole breadwinner for my family, and I was a full-time student, unable to take on a regular job if I was going to be able to complete school.
"We struggled with finding ways to make money for gas so I could attend my clinical rotations all over the phoenix metro area. With a larger city, it was next to impossible to sell things online in a timely manner, if at all. I applied for every assistance program available in hopes of saving us from homelessness.
"The risk of losing it all was so overwhelming, I decided to start a GoFundMe in hopes of making it to graduation, and not giving up on my dream and everything I had worked so hard for since my daughter was born 12 years ago. Starting a GoFundMe was a very difficult decision. I had to swallow my pride and ask strangers for a helping hand by telling them my struggles, and my family’s struggles–which is not something you talk about–but I could no longer suffer in silence if I didn’t want to watch my dreams slip away.
"Thankfully, with the help of a community of people (strangers, acquaintances, and ATSU) and my family supporting me, I graduated from A.T Still University with a Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies on September 16th, 2022. I thought I’d never see the day.
"My family and I will be moving back to the Pacific Northwest, so I can practice medicine in Oregon. We hope to start a mini farm and get back to growing our own food, which we have found next to impossible in Arizona. My next goal is to become fluent in Spanish to serve my medical mission trips to Mexico and in my new community health clinic.
"I have accomplished what I used to think was unattainable for me, from where I came from. I have even been told I would end up in prison and be a nobody– not black enough, not white enough, not Hispanic enough to be anybody.
"Through those lessons and my winding path in life, I have found me. I am a person I am proud of. I am a positive influence to my children and my community. I am enough.
"My educational journey: AA from Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, WA, BHS from Pacific University in Hillsboro, OR, MPAS from A.T. Still University in Mesa, AZ.
"It is critical to remember, when Bethany House found me, I was homeless and pregnant with my daughter. Lost in life, not knowing where to turn. Beth has been a positive light in my life since I met her. She helped me learn to trust people and was one of the first people to tell me she was proud of me.
"I hope to provide that same love as I move forward into a new chapter of my life as a medical provider. I don't know and hate to think about where I'd be in life if we hadn't crossed paths. I don’t have a lot of people in this world, but I’m glad I gained one more in my circle with Beth. Her life's mission helped to save mine. There are no words that will ever be able to fully express my gratitude."
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PO Box 3278
Gresham, OR 97030
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