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This is My Success Story KAYLA TEJERO

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When I was a little girl, playing with my dolls was my favorite thing to do. I look back at these childhood memories and felt inspired to become a nurse one day! I grew up inspired by my family. My parents were instrumental in imparting to me their joys and challenges at work. My mother works as a nurse in a geriatric setting, and my father works in a social service field for individuals with intellectual disabilities. My father has taught me how to deal with challenging situations, and difficult people. I learned from my mother how to be patient in dealing with co-workers, and the management.

I want to become a nurse where I could take care of others, not only because it is my profession, but mainly because it is my passion. Nursing is one of the most trusted and noble professions. It is truly an honor to be there for patients in one of their most vulnerable states.

I believe that becoming a nurse requires a lot of determination, hard work and commitment. One must seek a good balance in life, where studying or working as a nurse and living a purposeful life are accomplished at the end of each day.

When I started my freshman year in college, I felt anxious. I have gone through many challenges in life. I had just started college when my parents got divorced. It distracted me for a little bit, but I studied hard and made it on the Dean’s List (With High Honors) consistently until I finished nursing school. I positively accepted my family situation and surrounded myself with supportive friends and encouraging relatives.

Outside of school, I remained active in my community life.I fulfilled my involvement as a columnist- writer for VIA TIMES, participating in fashion shows, and performing in charitable events. I have also continued my active role in the youth ministry of my church, as I always prayed to God to grant me my wish of becoming a nurse and giving me strength.

Over $100,000 in scholarships and grant money.

I am blessed with several scholarships and grants throughout my college years. The first scholarship I received was the Alice Mae Brown Memorial Scholarship in 2019, with a value of $1,700. Upon enrollment at Aurora University, I obtained the AU Board of Trustee Scholarship, worth $15,000 per year for the whole time that I was at AU. For two years – 2019-2020, I was a recipient of the Iowa Filipino American Society with a value of $1,000. In 2020, I received the Asian Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) Scholarship which has a value of $20,000. My essay was chosen from over 6,000 applicants. In 2021, I received the Albert M. Zari Scholarship worth $20,000. And finally, in my last semester at AU, in 2022, I was honored with the Aurora Puerto Rican Cultural Council with a one-time scholarship grant in the amount of $1,000.

The world out there needs nurses. I am responding to that challenge. I have my degree in nursing, and I am going to work on getting my license soon. NOW I AM READY! I encourage my fellow youth to work hard, invest in themselves, to aim high and make their dreams a reality.

Photography in this cover story by Broderick Labtis

Broderick Labtis is a Wedding, Event, Portrait, and Wildlife photographer based in U.S., Originally from the beautiful lowlands of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Broderick is a nurse but consumed by the art of storytelling through photography. When he is not glued on his desktop, you’ll find him hiking outdoors with his camera or in his kitchen cooking for his family. For photography needs, please contact Broderick on IG @brodericklabtis.

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