Hi there! My name is Ashley and I recently got into graduate school to obtain a master's in physician assistant studies. I received a bachelor's degree at the University of California, San Diego in biology and since then, I have been working and gaining healthcare experience in preparation for PA school.
Both of my parents are immigrants from Vietnam. Despite the many economic, environmental, and social adversities my parents faced when they arrived, they were able to provide enough for the whole family as we grew up in the U.S. I am the youngest of six children and the first and only one to attend college and graduate. When I was a teenager, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Although she lost her battle a few years later, that time allowed me to recognize the role that PAs had in her treatment and care. They showed her compassion, empathy, and guided our family in making the best decisions for her health. The admiration I developed for these healthcare professionals has ultimately influenced my decision to pursue this profession.
While in college, I began caregiving for a quadriplegic, Chris (main photo), twice a week starting at 5am to gain some patient care hours needed to apply to PA school. He has witnessed and experienced my commitment to this profession these past 5 years working with him. A couple years ago, I had been rejected from all PA schools I had applied to, for the second year in a row. At my lowest low, Chris said to me "you're going to be a PA." I don't think he knew at the moment how impactful these words were going to be, but I took them to heart and immediately began working on improving my application. I began involving myself with my community again by volunteering at a housing residence for the homeless. I then gained more hours shadowing a PA, got a tutor for the GRE, retook the exam and achieved a higher score, went back to community college to take prerequisites, received a 4.0 all year, and awarded a place on the Dean's Honor List. After the third try, I was finally able to feel the joy and excitement of reading the words "Congratulations" in my acceptance letter this past November. Had I lacked commitment, I would have never received an offer letter. I have been exhaustively challenged throughout this journey, but I remained dedicated, resilient and tenacious. I have been rejected and I have felt like a failure, but I am certain there is nothing I want more than to become a PA, so I am asking for all the help I can get on this endeavor.
Tuition alone for the 28-month program will be about $117,000 not including books, lab supplies, or school fees. Living expenses such as rent, utilities, and groceries will amount to about $15,000 for the duration of the program.
I know that loans will be inevitable, but I am hoping to minimize the amount of loans I take out due to the interest that must be paid back after I graduate. I will also be applying to multiple scholarships to help fund my tuition.
My program begins this August so I am trying to raise as much as possible to help pay for any part of my upcoming expenses. Any and all donations, big or small, are very much appreciated. I know that a few dollars may not seem like much compared to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but it will make all the difference during this journey, and in my career. To those who have taken the time to read this and for making a contribution to my goal as a PA, thank you!!
Since gofundme takes a percentage of the donations, I will also be accepting Venmo
- Janny Concha Urday Zaa
- Jackie Wung
- Nathalie Orellana
- James Trinh
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