Mariajesus Elgueta

Age: 22

Education: Bellevue College, Associate in Arts and Sciences, 2017

SU Major: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2019

Service:

  • Tutor, Academic Success Center, Bellevue College, 2016–2017
  • Program Assistant, Japanese Summer Program, Bellevue College, 2015–2016
  • Volunteer, Patient Escort, University of Washington Medical Center, 2015
  • Volunteer, MRI Center, Evergreen Hospital, 2015

Awards/honors:

  • Alfie Scholars, Seattle University, 2017–2019
  • Messina Scholarship, Seattle University, 2017–2018
  • Lee Kraft Scholarship for Hispanic Women, Bellevue College, 2016–2017
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Bellevue College, 2014–2017
  • Academic Excellence Award for international students, Bellevue College, 2014

Goals:

While working towards getting a Bachelor’s degree, I plan to get involved as much as I can with activities, clubs, and decisions being made on Seattle University’s campus, as well as working to help paying for my education. In this way, I want to contribute with my experiences, ideas and enthusiasm to make positive change. In addition, during Summer 2018, I would like to participate in a short-term program to help people who are in need of healthcare.

Once I have my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, I plan to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) to get additional knowledge and expertise before going back to my home country. As a long-term goal, I wish to become a nurse practitioner to strengthen skills even more together with incorporating civility into my daily life.

Civility:

I would like to define civility as a commitment to the world. By this, I mean that people must be dedicated to other people, animals and to the earth itself. Therefore, when we want to contribute to a society, we have to take into account more factors than only considering how we treat other people. In the same way, I think that a key point of civility is to be aware that none of us own this world; we are all part of a community, and as such, we have to be kind, generous, polite, respectful, and most importantly care and show love for each other.

I want to foster civility in my personal life in everything I do. Always being respectful, compassionate, generous, open to diversity and different backgrounds, and by being conscious and understanding of people’s perspectives. As the Alfies’ blog says, “civility at its most basic is to treat others as you wish to be treated”; thus, I want to take that vision and make it part of my daily life and the lives of others. As a matter of fact, civility is important because when we all collaborate to create better relationships among ourselves, people are happier and perform better.

Autobiography:

I come from a place where English is seen as glorious and, more precisely, a privilege. I come from a place where justice exists only for the rich. I come from a place where most people’s dreams are unrealized, but still, a piece of my heart belongs to that place.

I am someone whose first language is not English and who was raised in a different culture. I am a strong, honest, noble, kind and confident woman who moved to America three years ago looking for better opportunities. I come from Chile, a beautiful country at the end of the world that taught me that respect and politeness are crucial elements for establishing harmony within a society. By living in Chile, I also learned about compassion and sympathy after seeing so much injustice and misery, and even so, that motivated me to be a hard worker and not to give up easily. Certainly, I was not part of the privileged group but I was more fortunate than my peers. I overcame many difficulties, including being raised by my teenage mother and without a father, enduring financial hardship and many barriers to achieve my goals. Still, I am a very cheerful and charismatic person, and above all, I love to make people feel happy and comfortable.

The first time I traveled to another country was the time I came here. I was scared because it was a new culture, a new language and the first time I was away from the people that I love. In the same way, I was afraid of failing and disappointing the people who had given away their dreams to make mine possible. I remember myself struggling to buy basic stuff because I did not know how to express myself in English. I remember surprising people because when greeting them, I would kiss them on their cheeks and I also remember the times that people told me that they could not handle a conversation with me because my accent was too strong.

A few months after I came to this country, I started the ESL program at Bellevue College to improve my English and by the next quarter I was placed into college level English. Just then, I faced the real challenges of studying in a different language. I recall myself needing up to 5 hours to read 25 pages from Deep Economy since I had to translate 1 out of 10 words. I felt frustrated many times because of comparing myself to my classmates seeing how easy it was for them to write essays and how hard it was for me. But I never stopped believing in my capabilities. By the end of the quarter I was rewarded with a scholarship recognizing my academic achievements which continued to be granted to me several times in the following quarters.

Notwithstanding all these challenges, I was able to excel because of my strong determination. I am someone who likes to challenge herself, even when knowing that I may fail, because I understand and accept that failing is part of the learning process, too. In the same manner, living in America has taught me about tolerance; thus, it has given me the skills needed to embrace and actively seek diversity and justice, as well as finding ways to empower others.

My vocation is to help people in suffering. It saddens me to see little kids begging on the street, growing up without a home, families with no access to medical care, people dying at the entrance of a clinic because they cannot afford to pay for treatment. Therefore, I want to become a nurse because through this educational field, I can improve the lives of others. Maybe I will not be able to help as many people as I would like, but even if I can improve one patient’s day, I’m fulfilling my goal.