2013 American Medical Respiratory Therapist Scholarship Essay Winner

We are proud to announce our winner for our 2013 Respiratory Therapist Scholarship! It was Amanda Baker of Fruitland, Maryland; a junior in Respiratory Therapy Program at Salisbury University located in Salisbury, Maryland. She plans to use her scholarship reward for a summer internship course. Here is her winning essay:

I have been fascinated by babies since I was a young girl and know in my soul that I was placed n this earth to help them. I am pursuing a career as a Respiratory Therapist with the desire to work in a neonatal or labor and delivery unit so that I can help save the lives of newborns with breathing issues.

I started pursuing my dream early by attending Harford Community College part time while I was still in high school. When I graduated from Joppatowne High in 2010, I had completed an entire semester of college and was ranked 3rd in my graduating class. As the President of the National Honor Society, I sponsored fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Kidney Foundation. I have been involved in two mission trips where I helped rebuild the home of a woman with multiple sclerosis and also helped repaint a nursing home. Learning to work with people through these life experiences has taught me how to deal with and relate compassionately to people that are in tough circumstances. I know these skills will serve me well as a Respiratory Therapist.

Sports are my passion. Having asthma myself, I understand what my patients are dealing with. I was an avid lacrosse player and played 4 years at my high school as well as on a summer league and winter league. I also played field hockey for 3 years and served as a Student Aid to my high school’s Athletic Director for 2 years. I was a competitive figure skater for 6 years through my freshman year of high school. In my last year of skating I was the United States Figure Skating Association National Dramatic Entertainment Showcase Champion. My own breathing difficulties affected my sports career, but I had a great team of medical professionals who helped me learn how to cope with my condition. I want to be able to provide the same service for my patients with breathing issues.

I am now Junior at Salisbury University in the Respiratory Therapy Program. After graduating from college, I plan to begin my career and return to school part time to earn a Masters Degree in Health Care Administration so that I can one day run a Respiratory Therapy Department or possibly teach students of respiratory therapy.
My father and mother separated when I was six years old and divorced shortly thereafter. Although my father was ordered to pay child support, he rarely made any payments. He is currently $52,000.00 behind in child support payments. He has been unemployed for the past year due to layoffs and has no way of helping to pay for my college education. An additional financial burden is that my mom is the caretaker of my 83 year old grandfather who has been living with us for the past 20 years.

If you choose to award me a scholarship, I promise to use it wisely. The Harford County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly recognized me as a “2010 Outstanding Scholar”. The Harford County Commission for Women honored me as one of their “Women of Tomorrow”. I am deserving of this scholarship because I am a leader who not only takes charge, but helps others succeed as well. When my life is over, I will know that I left this earth a better place then when I got here because I continually strive to make a difference in the lives of other people. I know there is a purpose for my life and I have a sense of accountability to learn how to continually express that purpose as I mature.

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