As most of you may already know, Dechen recently got acceptance into a Physician Assistant program in California. As of today, she has been offered interview invites from three other highly reputable programs. Dechen has reached this far in her academic endeavors because she is driven. She attended high school in England and undergraduate in the US both of which were fully funded through scholarships. However, although Dechen’s desire for higher dreams has never diminished, she is facing the biggest roadblock right now, not knowing how she can possibly find the means to pay for her higher education. Due to Dechen’s residency status in the US, she is not eligible for any sort of federal or state funding including loans. After frantically looking for grants and scholarships, Dechen realized that she is in the worst category when it comes to eligibility. She is neither a Dreamer nor an international student. She has applied for asylum but it could take years before she hears anything back, especially with all the new immigration rules under Trump’s presidency.
Dechen escaped Tibet when she was around eight years old with her father to find a better life, one that is not under the oppressive regime of China. She risked her life to get across by walking at nights and sleeping during the day to avoid the Chinese patrol. It took them almost a month to finally get to Nepal where they were received by the Tibetan Refugee Reception Center. She still remembers those moments where she thought she was going to die: when flashlights shone in their direction and had to quickly hide behind bushes; when one of the rivers they had to cross was too deep; when they ran out of food and had to kill animals to survive; when they were transported in a goods carrier freight almost choking and crying with pain; and every time when they slipped on icy sheets and snowy mountains.
As a dear friend of hers who is also a student in the same boat as her in terms of financial status, this is the only way I can help her. Since she doesn’t like to ask for things from people, I decided to start this campaign for her as a birthday gift. A PA education’s tuition is around $90,000 and every bit of your contribution will make a difference. Bear in mind that as much as pursuing a PA is of a personal goal, I know without a doubt that she will benefit various communities not just in the US but also across the world through her medical knowledge. She wants to bridge health care gaps by working in underprivileged communities with a focus on patient education and preventive medicine. Dechen has drawn a lot of her inspiration from the works of Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health.
Your generous donation towards her education will go a long way. Five years ago when I was struggling to find the means to pay for my education, Dechen gave a part of her scholarship money to me because she thought that I needed it more than she did. Dechen is the kind of person who would buy food and give to homeless people on the streets. Despite her busy schedule, she finds the time to volunteer in underserved communities in NYC. Some of her projects include teaching computer basics to immigrants, filing income taxes for people from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and delivering food to senior citizens. Through this education, Dechen will be able to extend her generosity in a larger capacity.