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MPH Public Health Nutrition, Pediatric

When I left the shantytown I grew up in outside of Lima, Peru, the world was marveling at the 2,200 Incan mummies buried beneath what one newspaper called a dusty shanty town. The bitter irony was apparent to me, how people could be seeking clues to better understanding a lost civilization below, there were myriad public health concerns on the surface begging to be addressed for an existing society. The irony deepened when archeologists remarked 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. 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 now attending the finest educational institution 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, I found that 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 at the XXX School, compensating for my first eighteen months of graduate studies.

At this point in my academics, 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 XXX program in Human Nutrition is the ideal curriculum, and coupled with XXX's incomparable access to resources, grants and contacts in the field, I will be assured of a superlative educational experience.

Moreover, an XXX 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 several rural areas or areas of low socioeconomic status - where it is needed most - and provide. 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. I am convinced of my ability and love of Pediatrics, and volunteering in XXX with the XXX, 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 Drs. XXX, 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 XXX. Being involved with Dr. XXX'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. XXX, I was able to understand the differences between the developed and emerging nations populations and their 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 also 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.

Whether or not I must forget the past is immaterial; I know that I never will. And so I turn my energies, and dedicate my life to the only field that can help bring about the greatest changes for the issues I have lived and seen. There are places where governmental subsidies cannot reach, and others where they do reach, but barely scratch the surface of need. XXX said, We're all in this together whatever struggle one group might have, it's actually a struggle for all of us. While XXX was referring to racial equality, what greater truth can be said or found for the basic necessities of life?

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