Norma Castro - Pacific Medical Training scholarship essay

Submitted 2023-04-28

After learning about the role of dietitians in healthcare as a middle school student, I knew that was the career I wanted to pursue. Since then, I have gained experience in the field by working in various food industries. My undergraduate career at Washington State University has been so remarkable that I want to continue my education at WSU. I am a first-generation Latina from Wenatchee Washington, an area that has a predominantly Hispanic population. During my undergraduate program, I learned that Hispanics are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes which has motivated me to exemplify WSU’s Nutrition and Exercise Physiology’s mission statement of promoting the health of individuals and communities. Through my education in nutrition and exercise physiology, I will be able to apply the skills I gain from pursuing this program. Working in different environments with patients, clients, and customers has given me a more diverse background, showing that I can adapt and work well in different areas while providing excellent care and service. For these reasons, I believe that WSU’s Masters of Dietetics program is the next step for me to achieve my educational and career goals, allowing me to go back to Wenatchee and serve my community as a diabetes educator.

The prerequisites and program have been challenging at times, but so rewarding. I know that all of this work has prepared me to reach my goal of providing diabetes education in my community. I love that I get to dedicate my time and effort to something I am passionate about. I am so excited to be able to give me the skill set to work with clients holistically across both nutrition and exercise. The program offers diversified training that will strengthen my skills across a range of client needs and practice settings. I also look forward to the hands-on experience offered by the MS-CPD, such as working with standardized patients and offering real-world experience. Getting a broad background and practice will help me be successful in my career. For these reasons, I am confident that the WSU MS-CPD will prepare me to reach my goal of specializing in diabetes education and giving back to my community. My goal is to work in Wenatchee at Confluence Health and serve my community by helping individuals improve their quality of life through education and support in managing diabetes. Having a diabetes educator like me, who is bilingual and bicultural, would benefit the community. Because of my interest in working with different populations and abilities, as well as my desire to serve my community, I believe that the CPD program at WSU will be an excellent fit and an amazing opportunity that will prepare me to be able to serve and educate patients on diabetes.