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Although this is a bit unorthodox, I will start the description of myself with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."
The quote above resonates with me and describes the purpose in my life as I start a new chapter in my career. I believe that humanity starts with individuals and communities which is where my focus lies as I pursue my passion for public health. My college major was health science which was geared for professions in public health. While studying, I took some courses in occupational health and safety that reminded me of my father who was often injured during his lifetime career as a welder. This sparked a passion in me to help find ways to build and maintain safer and healthier work environments so employees could go home to their families every night. I developed my safety skills through positions as a training coordinator, emergency preparedness planner, ergonomics evaluator and safety program manager. It is these and other skills that I hope to take into my future career.
Personal experience not only influenced my safety career choice but also my selection of hobby which has become a personal passion. My mother's thirty year struggle with diabetes, and the resulting amputations, surgeries, and loss of eyesight, motivated me to find a way to avoid this family disease. Like many people, I could never stick with any exercise or nutrition program. Then one day, my sister talked me into running a half marathon. My only previous running experience was a 5k and I had struggled with that. I trained very hard and completed my first half marathon in 2011. From there, I jumped into completing a sprint triathlon and I was hooked. Even though I was one of the last finishers in my first triathlon, I enjoyed the variety of training and challenging both my physical and mental strength. I have since competed in several triathlons and now exercise six days a week and follow a healthy diet which help me in my pursuit of this passion. I continued to follow my love of the race environment by volunteering at several events to provide support and encouragement to every racer in the field. There can be no greater feeling than watching even a stranger accomplish what they never thought they could. These experiences fueled me even further to find a career that would allow me to help people make positive changes to elevate their health, self-esteem and confidence.
In summary, I am a public health professional with a passion for keeping people healthy and safe. My personal experiences have influenced my choices and given me the ability to empathize with people who struggle daily to live healthy lives. I believe everyone can help others by sharing their experiences and giving others encouragement based on those experiences. My commitment to myself and my future is to find work that will allow me to follow Dr. King's suggestion and bring my passion to individuals and communities that need my skills.