When I left my childhood home on the outside of Lima, Peru, the world was marveling at the 2,200 Incan mummies found buried beneath what one newspaper called a dusty shanty town. The irony was apparent to me, how people could be seeking clues to better understand a lost civilization from centuries ago, while there were myriad public health concerns begging to be addressed in the land of the living. The irony deepened for me when archeologists began commenting on the high infant mortality rate of 15th century Incans.
Poor sanitation, crushing poverty and being bereft of healthcare are things that most Americans will never have to experience, and thankfully so. But these issues and more have left their indelible mark on me forever. Rising above my past, I came to America with my mother, and a pocketful of hopes for a better life. Seven years later, I am proud of how far I have come, my ability to acculturate, and the fact that I am now attending one of the finest educational institutions in the world.
While my path to Public Health has not been linear, having discovered Public Health, I have found that no other field brings me greater personal or professional satisfaction, or greater relevance to my career. Indeed, during my undergraduate pursuit of chemical engineering, my mother contracted breast cancer. As a result, I found myself reflecting on my life, my scholastic route, and reassessing what truly mattered. In the end, chemical engineering mattered, but not the way that people do. Public health was a natural choice given my compassionate temperament and all that I had seen growing up. To bolster my academic performance, I took as many graduate level courses as possible at the ____ School.
I am intent upon pursuing research into the physiological and behavioral effects of micronutrient supplementation in prenatal and infant development, and more specifically, their effects at the prenatal and infant stages of development. Such research and its findings will prove invaluable for advocating for the implementation of preventative health measures. The ____ MPH Program focused on Human Nutrition is the ideal curriculum, especially coupled with ____'s incomparable access to resources, grants, and contacts in the field, I will be assured of a superlative educational experience.
Earning the MPH will be an excellent foundation from which to build my career in Pediatrics, the vehicle by which I will be able to conduct micronutrient supplementation interventions in several parts of the world. My future focus will be rural areas or areas of low socioeconomic status. Repeatedly, I have read in academic journals articles dealing with the supplementation of several micronutrients and have become fascinated on how most of these are truly low-cost ways to improve maternal and child health and reduce the educational achievement gap. My love for Pediatric Nutrition led me to volunteer for countless hours in numerous settings, visiting and interacting with children in pediatric wards as well as teaching volleyball during summer vacation for middle and high school aged students in New York City.
Having worked with Dr. ____, I have built up my research acumen, as both an observational coder and research assistant. The work has been decidedly relevant to my future, and involved returning to my childhood home, comparing, and contrasting the issues of a shantytown outside of Lima, Peru, and the population of inner city ____. Being involved with Dr. ____'s work has convinced me that literally and figuratively, we speak the same language. Increasing my exposure in the field, understanding children and their mothers' realities, behaviors and their needs has fueled my passion for the work. In addition, working with Dr. ____, I was able to better understand the differences between the people of developed vs. emerging nations and their different views on raising children.
Research work has also exposed me to the practical applications of finding better ways to provide parenting and nutrition education at the primary care setting, and micronutrient supplementation in a Peruvian shantytown. Having seen several states in central and northern Peru has only given me a small overview on how children from the inner parts of the country are raised and fed. It is often the case that in these places, food obtained from the ground is available, however, the children from these towns do not always receive all the micronutrients and balance diets needed for a healthy development, realities that are reflected in many communities worldwide.
Thank you for considering my application to the MPH Program in Public Health Nutrition at _____ University.
Pediatric Nutrition and Public Health Personal Purpose