I feel honored to be invited to share with you some thoughts about myself and the way the Blue Heron Foundation changed my life.

My childhood was deprived of the warmth of a loving family. As a child, I suffered from a very serious form of asthma. The poor conditions I was living in at home were threatening my life, so I was sent to several hospitals and then I spent 10 years of my life in a TB Prevention Sanatorium. Living among strangers taught me a lot. Not having anyone to guide me, I had to keep an open mind and pay attention to everything around me if I wanted to learn.

Luckily for me, I’ve always been creative; I can keep myself busy and never get bored. I got admitted to an art high-school and moved back in with my parents. My parents, simple people without much of an education, imagined my life would be only about making a home and a family and didn’t conceive that I would dream of pursuing a higher education. Shortly after, I was given into the care of the state. I decided to go on my own. I had faith in my abilities. I got a job to cover the basic financial needs. I was doing great in school. I even became an academic National Olympian. In my senior high-school year I decided to apply for medical school. I prepared the best I could on my own for the biology and chemistry admission exams. I got accepted but did not receive a scholarship; the tuition ($2,200 a year) was very high for my meager income. Then, I heard about the Blue Heron Foundation and was thrilled when, after considering my case, they accepted me in their program. It was such a relief not having to work non-stop and borrow money for tuition and textbooks, not worrying constantly about having to drop out, being able to dedicate all my time to attending school, studying and doing my volunteer work. Consequently, my academic performance has improved greatly and I have a strong vision about being able to receive my doctorate in medicine.

I believe the most important part of the program is the mentorship element. I benefit from the guidance of a mentor I always dreamed about, not only because she has the same profession, but also because she is a highly educated, cultured person, who is a perfect fit for me: she enlightens me on so many levels. She knows what I need and helps me beyond my expectations.

I take this opportunity to send my gratitude and consideration to my mentor, Dr. Liliana Cerepnalkoski, and Stefania Magidson as well as to all the people who make the foundation’s work happen and who choose to support Blue Heron scholarship recipients.

Elvis, Blue Heron scholarship recipient 2010-2016, M.D., Carol Davila Medical University, Bucharest.

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