“Growing up, I knew I wanted to go to college. My dad dropped out of school in ninth grade, and though my mom has an associates degree, she always told me how much she regretted not going to a four-year college.
With that in my subconscious as I went through health struggles, my dream of becoming a Child Life Specialist emerged.
I have been sick my entire life; however, it wasn’t until sixth grade that it got serious. I found myself rushing to the ER almost every other week, undergoing test after test, and visiting multiple doctors just to find out what was wrong with me.
I finally got an accurate diagnosis, two to be specific, but my life in the hospital did not end there. Though all this was stressful, there was always a Child Life Specialist helping me and my mom. I always explain a Child Life Specialist as a therapist, doctor, social worker, and a friend all wrapped in one.
In my life, they helped me in all three of these places. Keeping me company when I spent six weeks in the hospital, they helped calm me down, distracted me, and always explained all of the procedures and tests. They brought me things to do, took me to their Child Life activities, and hung out with me. By the time I was 13, I knew being a Child Life Specialist was what I wanted to do.
After working as a Child Life Specialist, I hope to one day lead the Child Life Program at Children’s Mercy Hospital — where everything began for me.”