Nathaniel M. Kirkland Scholar: Kristina Velazquez-Mendez
This fall I will be an incoming freshman attending the University of the Sciences [*now known as Saint Joseph's University] to continue my studies to get my PharmD. The reason I chose the University of the Sciences [*now known as Saint Joseph's University] was because of its pharmacy program, which allows me to complete my doctoral in 6 years instead of 8. It also allows me to get an associate's, a bachelor and a minor in Spanish. I will be a full-time student who will also be doing federal work-study. While at the University of the Sciences [*now known as Saint Joseph's University] I would like to join clubs that challenge me to think and challenge me to surpass my limits. Going to the University of Sciences [*now known as Saint Joseph's University] will help me accomplish my dream to become a pediatric pharmacist.
Being raised in a community where all we see is violence and death teaches us that life is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. As a community, I believe it’s important for us to uplift each other and to be there for one another. We all go through hardships and we all go through dark times.
To me, the Nathaniel M. Kirkland Scholarship inspires me to accomplish my dreams and to pursue them all the way. Knowing that there are others who take time to read our stories and to support us in any way they can even if they don’t know us shows me the beauty in compassion and helping your community. I was always taught that kindness is something that you should always give. Through your kindness and compassion I would be able to come closer to achieving my goal. Your kindness and compassion would not only benefit me now but it would also benefit those I would help along the way. Although my dreams may seem big now I believe that I will get there no matter how hard it is or how long it takes. Thank you for reading my story and thank you for considering me.
- Kristina Velazquez-Mendez (Excerpts from personal statement)