My name is Jhonathan, I’m 28 years old and I’m a postgraduate student at UCLA. I’m from Venezuela and I came to the US to make my dream of being an Esthetic and Restorative dentist come true. I have worked extremely hard to come here and get accepted into the program; I had to learn a new language, study hard to pass the exams, went through rigorous interviews, left all my family and friends behind, as well as the comfort of my home to live in a small room, just to pursue a dream - my passion.
At the beginning, I had financial support from my godfather who was the one paying for my tuition since my parents could not afford it. But my dreams were soon shattered when my godfather passed away just a quarter after the program had started. Since then, my mother has had to work extra hours and to send me all her savings to help me achieve my goal, and thanks to her I was able to finish the first year of the program; but the program is two years long and she is not able to keep paying for my tuition.
The second year of the program has already started and we still don’t have the money to pay for the tuition. I have just received a letter from the Dean letting me know that if I didn’t pay my tuition fees I would have to drop out of school, and as a result, I would have to leave the country, lose my student visa and be forced to give up my dreams.
Dr. Ed McLaren (Director of the UCLA Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry Program) and all his staff are aware of the situation, and they have tried to mediate for me at the School of Dentistry, thus, giving me time to get the money to pay for the second year of the program. However, time has already lapsed, and I still do not have the funds to continue my studies; even with the small amount of money that my mother sends me, including all her savings and mine, I’m still short.
To make things worse, my country (Venezuela) is currently going through a very difficult financial situation because our currency has been devaluated drastically, and it’s almost impossible to exchange Venezuelan Bolivars (VEF) into United Stated Dollars (USD) due the tight control and restrictions set forth by the Venezuelan Government. I invite you to watch the news about the current situation in Venezuela so you can get a better idea of what the circumstances are over there.
I’m going through some rough times at the moment due to this situation; sometimes it is frustrating to think that your career could end just for not having enough money to pay for it, but I still have faith that I’m going to get through this rough patch and make my dreams come true.
I’m majoring in Advanced Esthetic and Restorative dentistry, in the hopes of contributing to major dentist advancements, and giving smiles to those who are in need. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance for your help and the contributions given to my education.
I will be forever grateful and thankful if you can make my dreams come true by way of your donations.
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