Michael Guerra, a student in the bachelor of science nursing program at UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, overcame hurdles to join the school.
Here’s his story:
“I almost was not able to become a nursing student. Not because I lacked the desire — I always knew since I enrolled at UC Irvine that nursing was my dream. I almost was not able to become a nursing student because of the simple and practical difficulty switching majors at UC Irvine.
Changing a major is an experience that maps out how nearly invisible intuitional limitations start to literally change the trajectory of one’s future, and I know such limitations exist in healthcare access not just in education.
These experiences I have had are shaping me into becoming a leader who has a deep and abiding commitment to my community, the Latino community, who like every community deserves access to healthcare without limitations and barriers that can profoundly change not only the quality of people’s lives but whether or not they live.
Healthcare accessibility sounds academic and even euphemistic; the reality is that small systemic obstacles can harm people irrevocably, and I want to be a part of the solution that makes an equally permanent step in the right direction.
For over three years I worked, planned, and after being rejected my freshman and sophomore year, I redoubled my efforts and committed to the “why” that animates my pursuit of this path. I fought to overcome obstacles to serve my community in such a way so they will not have to fight for what so many take for granted: the ordinary healthcare support that protects and preserves the well-being and simple happiness we all deserve.”
BS, Class of 2022