Scholarship Program Testimonials

Health Professions Education Foundation (HPEF) testimonials highlight the experiences of award recipients and their service to California’s medically underserved communities.

Associate Degree Nursing Scholarship Program (ADN)#

German Huerta
2014-2015 Advanced Practice Healthcare Scholarship Program Awardee
Concord, CA

As a recipient of both the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Scholarship Program (2014-2015) and the Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) Scholarship Program (2016-2017), I recognize the impact of HPEF’s awards in allowing me to pursue my dream. I completed my service obligation as a Registered Nurse at La Clinica de la Raza in Concord and Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, where I provided direct patient care to those who need it the most.

I was born in Mexico and came to California as a child. As an undocumented immigrant I was ineligible for financial aid which made financing my education difficult. When I was granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status I was able to apply for a work permit and find employment to help pay my educational costs, but it remained a challenge. The HPEF scholarships I was awarded provided the financial assistance I needed to complete my ADN and BSN degrees.

I am proud to say I am currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing degree, and plan to practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner in one of my former service placement facilities to continue to serve the community I care for deeply.

Allied Healthcare Scholarship Program (AHSP)#

Michael Moribe
2013-2014 Allied Healthcare Scholarship Program Awardee 
San Diego, CA

I was a recent MSW graduate from SDSU bright eyed and anxious to leave my mark on the world. Spending a long 6 years of my college life learning and honing my skills as a clinician, I was eager to start accumulating clinical hours in order to provide therapeutic services to clients in any setting. Unfortunately I had other obligations that had to be addressed since I graduated. Having no financial resources I was forced to take student loans to support myself and pay for tuition. When I graduated I was no longer protected by the subsidies of my loans and financial payback was required immediately. Most jobs that I discovered that paid well did not offer clinical hours or required outside paid supervision. On the other hand, jobs that provided supervision and that were formatted to acquire hours quickly paid far less than other available jobs. Knowing that I had a family to support and also having to pay the loans off on a monthly basis, I was prepared to concede my dreams and aspirations for financial security for the family. In doing so I took a job in Escondido providing case management services and acting as a broker for mental health services. Although the job paid well, I was not acquiring any clinical hours and I began to see my dream of becoming an LCSW fade slowly. A colleague then introduced me to Health Professions Education Foundation’s MHLAP (Mental Health Loan Assumption Program). I quickly learned that the program would assist me in paying for my student loans if I were to simply work in a county or county contracted mental health career. This allowed me the opportunity to explore my goal of becoming a licensed therapist again without worrying about loan payments that would be looming over my head for the next 5 years. I applied for the program and was accepted. I now work as a Forensic Mental Health Clinician at a job that I enjoy while accumulating clinical hours and being supervised as part of the regular program. Although I have taken a reduction in pay in comparison with my previous job, I have now set myself up to pursue my ultimate career goal. This opportunity and current situation that I find myself in would never have been possible without the support from the Health Professions Education Foundation and its MHLAP.

Omar Otis
2013-2014 Allied Healthcare Scholarship Program Awardee 
Camarillo, CA

I currently work in an underserved and unserved population in the Oxnard, CA community. I have the opportunity to provide mental health services as a case coordinator and co-facilitator in rehabilitation groups. In my community, there are large needs to help the Transitional Age Youth. My role is to provide supportive counseling services and to help develop coping strategies to improve their quality of life. The scholarship funds allow me to focus on the needs from the community rather than stress about the financial pressures while continuing my education in a Master’s Program for social work. These award funds have helped with furthering my growth within the agency as a clinical social worker. I would like to offer my thank you for the 2013-2014 scholarship.

Monica De La Rosa
2013-2014 Allied Healthcare Scholarship Program Awardee 
Oxnard, CA

I would like to express my gratitude for your support for my 2014 award. Growing up in Southern California has its sunny and warm weather, beautiful beaches, and fabulous homes. However, there is also a different side to these gorgeous communities, and those not so beautiful things are the ones that interested me to work in the field of behavioral health. My interest in working in this field began with my own upbringing, and experience of my family’s lifestyle, neighborhoods, and being part of an underserved population.

I accrued educational loans in order to obtain my Masters in Social Work to make the changes in my communities that I have experienced and observed. Currently I provide therapy to transitional aged youths (TAY 18-25 years old), who have a severe mental health disorder, little to no support from family, are homeless, have medical health issues, and struggle with functioning in their day-to-day life. So I hope that all of you at HPEF know my deepest gratitude for your trust and financial support in assisting me to pay off my educational loans, as it empowers me to become healthier, in both my physical and emotional state, as well as in my work performance to bring about lasting changes in myself and to those I serve (Transitional Aged Youth and their families).

Bachelor of Science Nursing Scholarship Program (BSN)#

German Huerta
2016-2017 Bachelor of Science Nursing Scholarship Program Awardee
Concord, CA

As a recipient of both the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Scholarship Program (2014-2015) and the Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) Scholarship Program (2016-2017), I recognize the impact of HPEF’s awards in allowing me to pursue my dream. I completed my service obligation as a Registered Nurse at La Clinica de la Raza in Concord and Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, where I provided direct patient care to those who need it the most.

I was born in Mexico and came to California as a child. As an undocumented immigrant I was ineligible for financial aid which made financing my education difficult. When I was granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status I was able to apply for a work permit and find employment to help pay my educational costs, but it remained a challenge. The HPEF scholarships I was awarded provided the financial assistance I needed to complete my ADN and BSN degrees.

I am proud to say I am currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing degree, and plan to practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner in one of my former service placement facilities to continue to serve the community I care for deeply.

Angela Enright
2013-2014 Bachelor of Science Nursing Scholarship Program Awardee 
Yuba City, CA

Going back to school was a huge challenge for me. I come from a very poor family and after high school graduation I was pretty much on my own. I had always dreamed of becoming a nurse but didn’t know how I was ever going to get there. I went to college shortly after graduation and become a medical assistant. It was a great job but with a family I didn’t have time or money for school. I worked as a medical assistant for five years before I went back to college to get my LVN degree. In 1999 I started working in an ambulatory hospital, and I loved it. I love being a nurse. It’s the most rewarding job that there is. I was determined, somehow, some way I was going to be a RN one day.

After about ten years I finally had the courses needed for the RN program. I did the step-up program from LVN to RN and in one year I became the RN that I’d dreamt of becoming. With all the changes in the hospital, I felt it was important for a nurse to learn and to know all that I could and to be the best nurse that I could be. So, on that note, I started checking into BSN programs, and they are expensive!

The HPEF gave me the opportunity to achieve my goal and helped in a way that’s indescribable. It has helped me live my dream, and I can’t thank them enough. I am now the first person in my family with a bachelor’s degree. I continue to work in the hospital that, I myself was born in and in which I delivered my babies. I work in labor and delivery and with my BSN I am able to work in management to maintain the highest quality of care for our patients and to continue growing in the health profession.

Valeria Flores-Rivero
2013-2014 Bachelor of Science Nursing Scholarship Program Awardee
Palo Alto, CA

I was granted the HPEF award during a time in my nursing school career where I was feeling discouraged and overwhelmed with the many bills that kept arriving for my nursing books and supplies as the school year was getting more hectic. I am currently attending San Jose State University and am in my fourth semester- with only two more to go before I can be one more wonderful “hero” of a nurse in the world with all the knowledge and inspiration that nursing school has been building in my persona for the past year and a half.

I’m very excited to become an RN and to help others the same way I have been helped. I will forever be grateful to have been awarded because, without it, I wouldn’t have been able to buy books that I needed for the semester. Without books, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the semester in such a strong way! I believe it is in the essence of the basic things that a human soul encounters a passion and dedication to continue- and when there is help and support, the dedication and journey are just that much more pleasant. Thank you, Health Professions Education Foundation for believing in me and helping me during my journey through nursing school!