Lauren born in NY and raised in Colombia, inspired by the American Dream that she only saw in movies, at age 19, moved to New York to pursue an academic carrier and build her own dream. She started a Liberal Arts program in 2004 and soon realized that working full time and getting an education in the Big Apple was extremely challenging. In 2012 she enlisted at the US NAVY and this when her path manifested Health Care carrier.
After completing medical training in Ft. Sam Houston, TX, she was stationed in Naval Hospital in Beaufort, SC where she worked as a surgical technologist for over 5 years. During her years of service in military medicine, she learned the importance of communication and diversity, Lauren remarks: “Languages build bridges, community, and appreciation for diversity.” Her joy and passion for the medical field were followed by a decision to enroll in the nursing program at the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB).
She reflects upon her college journey with enthusiasm “USCB nursing program combines quality education and modern-day technology offers hands-on experience in the state of the art laboratories while offering a safe learning environment; it was a great experience thanks to the amazing faculty.” She added that its gem is the Nursing Study Abroad Program, where USCB students have an opportunity to travel to different countries and learn about diversity and health care delivery systems in other parts of the world. Lauren remarks that for USCB nursing students it is an eye-opening experience as the level of medicine varies around the world and we need to appreciate how much we have in the USA.
In preparation for a 2020 study abroad in Perú, Lauren enrolled in a Medical Spanish Experiential Learning Course. She recalls prof. Pawelek’s class is “an excellent educational opportunity to gain experience and confidence in a foreign language as it applies to patient care at local non-profit clinics”. Although the volunteering course component and the study abroad program were both canceled due to the C-19 pandemic, she underlines an important life lesson: “USCB plays a crucial role and builds a bridge between education, diversity and Hispanic community.” Moreover, Experiential Learning courses like the Medical Spanish are transforming students’ learning process from a passive to an active model that connects professional aspirations with the community.
When asked about recommendations for the prospective Latinx generation, Lauren responded:
“I am drawing my willpower from God that way nothing is impossible, find and believe in your purpose, work on balanced communication skills, focus on self-mastering, appreciate others, empower yourself and build the bridge between generations and the community and may your American Dream come true”.