As a first-generation Asian immigrant and someone who lives with a chronic illness, my journey has not been without hardship. However, these experiences have only strengthened my desire to enter the child life profession and advocate for patients and families who are also minorities, immigrants, or have complex needs. Giving up a full-time job to return to school was a difficult decision; graduate school is a huge financial sacrifice, but one I was excited to undertake given how strongly I felt about becoming a child life specialist.
I am therefore deeply grateful to be a recipient of the ACLP Diversity Scholarship, which has significantly reduced the mental, emotional, and financial burden of my internship. I remember the tears of relief that washed over me when I found out I was a recipient. This scholarship has ensured that the energy otherwise spent worrying about finances translates into a positive and calm mindset, not only for the patients and families I have the joy to meet, but also for my personal wellbeing, ensuring I have time and energy to dedicate to managing my own physical health. These internships are such an incredible learning experience. There is so many new skills to observe and practice, and so many different families to encounter. I couldn’t imagine tackling all of these experiences with added financial burden in the background.
Most importantly, I think this scholarship represents the desire to recognize and improve upon the lack of diversity and representation that still persists in much of healthcare. As others have stated before me, diversity creates space for knowledge, understanding, and eventually, acceptance. I want to serve as a role model for minority children, who can be reminded that there is space and acceptance for them to also enter these healthcare roles when they grow up. Thank you to the ACLP, my instructors, my friends, fiancé, and family, for your support of my goals. I am so excited to see where I go from here!
When I received the news that I was awarded the Diversity Scholarship from the ALCP, the moment was surreal, and I was overcome with emotion. My husband and I had discussed our living arrangement options for the upcoming internship at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for weeks with little resolve. Prior to being awarded the Diversity Scholarship, my husband and I had planned on being geographically separated; he would have the kids in the Midwest, while I completed my internship on the East Coast.
This scholarship has allowed me to keep my family together, which is the foundation that allows me to give my best each day.
Upon completing my internship, I will be qualified to work in a field where I can positively impact children and their families. Thank you, ACLP, for helping me achieve my goal of becoming a child life specialist.
Thinking back to the Wednesday evening when I received the congratulatory email that I was chosen to be one of the recipients of the ACLP DEI scholarship still makes me tear up. Since reaching adulthood, I have consistently worked two jobs at a minimum. Even throughout graduate school, I continued to work full-time and pick up shifts as an EMT. When I applied for internships, I knew the only way I was going to be able to complete my internship would be through working at least part-time. The thought of how I was going to balance all my responsibilities while staying on top of my bills was all-consuming. When I received that email, I felt like I could finally breathe. The DEI scholarship gave me the financial freedom to put all my energy into my internship without worrying about making ends meet. I was unable to find a sublet for my apartment in Cincinnati and since I do not know anyone in the Cleveland area, I found myself paying rent on two apartments. While I cannot say it has been easy, this scholarship has significantly eased my worries.
By not having to be as closely focused on my finances, I was also able to pursue educational opportunities I would not have even considered. Earlier in my internship I was able to attend TransOhio’s Trans and Ally Symposium. This topic is personal to me as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and being at a hospital that has a pediatric pride clinic. It was important to me to know how I can better support and advocate for both current and future patients and families. The symposium provided me with knowledge and resources I was able to bring back to the Child Life and Education team at MetroHealth so we can all have the tools to create a more inclusive environment.
As a Jewish Queer future child life professional I am honored to have been a recipient of this scholarship. I intend to take what I have learned through firsthand experiences and from the families I have supported to help advocate for a more inclusive healthcare environment.
It is with deep gratitude that I have received the Diversity Scholarship. I am a first-generation Hispanic graduate student. It is hard to think about my journey to become a child life specialist without thinking about the role diversity has played. My support system, being my family, has shaped me into being driven, dedicated, and appreciative of education as neither of my parents have a college background. Although my parents are supportive, it left me in the dark of what to expect of my academic future and experience. It was difficult that the people that I would turn to the most were no longer to guide me. They could not grasp any higher-level education I was going through to get to this point, nor the process to become a child life specialist.
As child life is a newer emerging career it was also tough to articulate the process of my passion further and to have their understanding. Despite all my challenges I have never doubted my decision to become a child life specialist. I am proud to be entering as an intern as well as a professional in a female dominated field and environment, whereas several other professions woman identifying individuals are looked down upon within the workspace. The hospital setting itself played a role in my decision to become a child life specialist. Within the hospital I appreciate the diverse populations and experiences I will be able to impact and interact with daily. Inside healthcare there is an underlying, “come as you are” feeling: where patients and staff can express themselves freely, have collaboration and representation with a wide variety of diverse backgrounds, and includes compassion and care for all.
As a child life specialist, I will be in a position to meet every family where they are at, and each family will look different by many diverse factors. In addition, representation of race/ethnicity is important to have. Only a small percentage of healthcare workers are Hispanic. My decision to be a child life specialist influenced me to become a role model and to easily identify with my patients and be an advocate for vulnerable populations of many. Receiving this scholarship has impacted my ability to be fully engrossed into my experience as an intern. It allowed me to not have to worry about supporting myself. This scholarship addresses the barrier of personal finances that child life students face when completing an internship. Finding housing in a student budget is a huge feat. Additionally, there are travel costs for gas to move states and daily commute to and from the hospital. In order to complete my internship, there was also a dress code, which added to expenses.
Without this scholarship I would have been worried about how I would make the cost of living and my necessities to arrive to and complete my internship. Now upon completing this internship I will be able to receive my master’s degree and sit for the certification exam, so I will be able to call myself Chelsea Saldana, MS, CCLS, a title I only dreamt of as a Hispanic first-generation college student. This scholarship was the bridge to reaching my full potential of skills and dream of becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist.
As a Latina and first-generation college student, I am honored to represent diversity in the field of child life professionals. Understanding the adaptation, it requires of an individual to move across the world to a different country is incomprehensible. There is separation from family, a new culture, customs, language, and even food that you are expected to accept and enjoy integrating into your life. At a young age, I experienced my mother being faced with biases and cultural/language barriers. Inclusivity is of most value to me because I understand the significant impact it has on an individual to feel valued and to avoid feeling isolated or unaccepted by society. Changing the societal norms surrounding diverse and suppressed populations is a goal I am eager to achieve in my professional practice. My bilingual ability will integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into my interactions with patients, families, and multidisciplinary medical teams by promoting cultural humility and eliminating medical misconceptions.
The ACLP has not only given me the opportunity to represent my Hispanic background proudly but also the financial ability to pursue my passion. I was introduced to child life when my best friend was diagnosed with cancer, I had the tenacity to pursue this dream but understood the challenge that it represented when considering an unpaid internship in a different state. Coming from a low-income family I have always been challenged financially and relied on my strong work ethic to provide for myself. The same expectation of myself remained as I applied to internships and understood that I would be working alongside completing my clinical hours to sustain my rent, utilities, and other needs. This scholarship has given me the ability to focus on my education and make developing my clinical skills a priority. There is no amount of gratitude that can be expressed for having this relief during my internship experience at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This support has been essential for me to become a child life specialist and would have never been accomplished if it were not for the ACLP’s commitment to creating these opportunities for their students. During my first rotation in the outpatient infusion center/outpatient hematology, I had the opportunity to support Hispanic families and promote a more comfortable environment by communicating with them in Spanish. This is one of the most rewarding services I have provided during my internship, and I look forward to continuing to do so during my second rotation in PICU.
Thank you to my child life mentors, supervisors, student programs I have been a part of, and the ACLP for believing in my abilities and providing me with optimal opportunities to make an impact in a predominantly white woman profession. As a certified child life specialist, I will continue to pursue creating a more inclusive practice and profession with the DEI initiatives. My long-term dream is to provide child life services to my home country of Honduras and other third-world countries that are lacking psychosocial services.
Receiving this scholarship has meant more than I can put in to words. According to a recent study, over 70% of Certified Child Life Specialists are white female and only 7% of child life specialists identify with the LGBTQ community. I acknowledge as a white female, I will make up part of the 70% demographic, however I do identify with the LGBTQ community. With the help of the ACLP, and the DEI initiatives, we are working to create more inclusive spaces for not only the patients we serve but also the field of child life itself.
This scholarship has eased my financial burden and allowed me to fully commit and immerse myself in the learning environment of my internship. This has also provided more time for enrichment opportunities in the community, rather than having to worry about separate income responsibilities outside of the internship. When students have job responsibilities after their internship hours, it can lead to burn out before they even begin their career. This also leads to a growing number of people leaving this field to pursue other opportunities, which in turn leads to a decreased number of diverse professionals. Thanks to the ACLP, they are providing additional opportunities to diversify the field of child life and encourage people from all backgrounds to pursue this career.
I am appreciative to the ACLP for providing me the opportunity to create a more inclusive space for the patients and families I will serve in my future career. I am honored to be a recipient of the Diversity Scholarship, and because of this opportunity I am able to pursue my goals and make a positive difference in the field of child life.
I feel very honored to have been selected to receive the ACLP Diversity Scholarship. As an international student living in the United States, I have faced many challenges along the way, including homesickness, language barriers, social isolation, difficulty getting loans and jobs, and financial stress. Despite these challenges, I have always been determined to succeed in the field of child life so that one day I can open the first child life program in my home country (Bolivia). I have a framed quote hanging on my wall that I got the first day I moved to the U.S., it reads: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.” This quote has become my personal philosophy and helped me overcome many obstacles.
Upon completing all my graduate coursework, I was beyond excited and happy to accept a child life internship in a different state. However, I knew finances would quickly become a significant stressor that could negatively impact my internship performance and mental health. After all, accepting this internship meant moving across the country to a state with a significantly higher cost of living.
Receiving this scholarship has made a gargantuan impact on my mental health and internship performance. Thanks to this scholarship, I was able to prioritize my internship responsibilities without worrying about paying rent and other living expenses. This scholarship has taken a massive weight off my shoulders and has allowed me to focus on becoming the best version of myself, both personally and professionally. So far, I have been learning as much as I can from my supervisors and developing essential skills to become an exceptional child life specialist. I am very grateful for all the wonderful child life specialists at Children’s Health Dallas and for all the opportunities for self-improvement that I get every day. But most importantly, I am grateful for this field and the difference that we all get to make in the lives of so many children and families. My life as an international student has been challenging, but child life has made it all worth it.
As I reach the midpoint of my internship, I am reminded of how fortunate and grateful I am to be selected as a recipient of the Summer 2023 ACLP Diversity Scholarship. As a Japanese individual, the only path available to me in pursuing a career as a Child Life Specialist was studying in North America. Over the past few years, my study abroad experience has been prolonged due to the impact of the pandemic. Not only have I faced challenges in acquiring English as a second language and adapting to cultural differences, but the financial burden has also been significant. The ACLP Diversity Scholarship will greatly alleviate the financial burden of relocating to Chicago and completing my internship at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. With the help of the Diversity Scholarship, I can now focus on continuing to learn and grow as best as I can from my internship experience.
The Diversity Scholarship goes beyond just providing financial support. It empowers and embraces my individuality, encouraging me to be true to myself. Throughout my journey in pursuing a career in child life, there have been numerous instances where I have faced challenges and found myself comparing myself to my peers. I have contemplated how it would be better if my English proficiency were slightly better or if I could communicate more effectively with children and families, like those around me. However, all of my experiences and struggles have been valuable opportunities for me to accept the differences of others and approach people without judgment. I understand how safe it feels to be accepted and acknowledged, and I consider this to be my strength.
During my internship, I meet patients with truly diverse backgrounds. Every patient and family has different situations from medical history, trauma, socioeconomic status, social support, culture, race, and language. Furthermore, Shirley Ryan Ability Lab is a very unique environment for an internship because it is a rehab-focused hospital. I like the way the various interdisciplinary team members recognize each other and work together to provide patient care. I will further my unique experience here and continue to strive to be the best I can be. I also hope to continue to advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a member of this community. Thank you to the ACLP, my supervisors, and everyone who supported me to the place where I am today!
As a Japanese, pursuing a child life profession meant I had no choice but to throw myself into an unfamiliar country since Japan does not have child life education or certification yet. I first got to know child life when I was in high school in Japan, but at that time, I thought it was impossible for me, as a shy Japanese who did not speak English back then, to be a certified child life specialist. However, my passion and commitment to child life have become strong enough to pursue this career even if it requires me to come to the U.S.A for education and training. There were a lot of obstacles that I needed to conquer, starting from a language barrier to financial challenges. ACLP’s diversity scholarship significantly alleviates the financial burden of relocating to Houston and completing the internship at Texas Children’s Hospital. Thanks to the diversity scholarship, I can now focus on learning and growing as much as possible from the internship.
The impact of the diversity scholarship is beyond financial support. It has encouraged me to be proud of my uniqueness instead of shaming them. Not being able to speak up has been a big challenge for me, and when I cannot do something well due to being different, I feel miserable. However, I also know how safe it feels to be understood and included. It happens when others embrace the difference and treat me as who I am, rather than putting certain labels on me. All my experiences and struggles, both professionally and personally, surrounding diversity and different abilities were actually my precious opportunities to learn and train myself to be open and curious about a person as a whole and identify their unique strengths, which is my foundational approach in daily interaction with children and families now.
One of the reasons why I love my internship at Texas Children’s Hospital is that I get to see various child life specialists with different backgrounds, personalities, approaches, and philosophies. Working in such a diverse environment made me think about how I can use my unique whole of myself to provide the best child life services rather than molding myself into a constrained shape. So far, I have gained experience in the day surgery unit, NICU, and inpatient rehabilitation unit. No matter where I go, I try to meet the children and families where they are. As a diversity scholarship recipient, I would like to keep advocating this message, “it is okay to be who you are, and we can still connect despite any differences” for children and families, as well as students and other professionals, who deserve to be proud of unique themselves as who they are.
Receiving this scholarship has made a huge impact on my life during my internship. According to a 2022 “Stress in America” study, money was ranked as the number one stressor for adults ages 18 to 57. This is incredibly true (although I believe the age range can be extended to include people older than 57), and I have absolutely felt the stress of money during my internship. To accommodate for my full-time internship hours, I had to change my work hours to weekend shifts. The shift from full-time to part-time lost me my health insurance, and I needed to purchase a plan independently. The funds from the diversity scholarship have helped cover not only this unexpected health insurance plan, but also my rent, car insurance and gas payments for the nearly fifty-mile commute to my clinic rotations. With inflation at an all-time high, even buying groceries on a part-time salary would have been nearly impossible without the generous funds from this scholarship. In short, receiving this scholarship made things extremely easier for me during my internship. Without the stress of making so many ends meet in my life, I was able to put so much more focus into my internship. I’ve just reached the halfway point of my rotations, which have been in an outpatient day surgery center, and an outpatient hem/onc clinic, and I feel like I am making so much progress both as an intern, and as a person. The internship, itself, is forty hours a week, but also requires interns to complete demanding assignments weekly. Between the work-week and the work-load, I don’t know what I would have done without this scholarship award.
In addition to helping me cover my rent and living expenses, the scholarship might also help me pay for part of my moving expenses as I move across the country to accept my first job as a child life specialist. As the final date of my internship approaches, I’ve started applying for full-time positions as a CCLS and beginning the interview process for different jobs across the country. I feel so prepared and so confident for the next steps I take as a CCLS, mostly because I’ve been able to devote so much of myself to my 600-hour internship at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. I feel honored and privileged to have been selected for this scholarship, and I can honestly say I don’t know how prepared I would have felt for my next job undertaking without these funds.
I was introduced to the field of Child Life at a conference in 2012 and fell in love. I have been pursuing child life certification ever since. In South Africa there is only one South African certified child life specialist (who I met at the conference) and I hope to be number two!
It is very challenging to pursue child life in a country with no child life program to intern at and where child life is not a recognised field by professional bodies in the country. This meant I needed to look to other countries to be able to pursue my dream of becoming a CCLS. This challenge was intensified by the COVID pandemic which caused restrictions on travel. These challenges truly seemed insurmountable, but with amazing international supervisors (Liz Kabuthi from Kenya and Morgan Livingstone from Canada) the impossible become possible.
Through the support of the ACLP Diversity Scholarship, I can complete my internship hours within the African context in Kenya. The scholarship supports the cost of international travel, accommodation and cost of living while completing the internship in Kenya. It also enables me to take extra time off work to extend my stay in Kenya for the internship. I get to learn from an African CCLS about implementing CCLS in Africa with its unique strengths and challenges. This internship will be the realisation of a 10 year dream of me becoming a South African CCLS.
This could not have been possible without the ACLP Diversity Scholarship and my supervisors. I envision to continue to pursue improved psychosocial care of children in South Africa to implement the child life principles in the paediatric oncology setting where I am currently working. Hopefully soon, I will be one of many CCLS in South Africa and the rest of the continent of Africa.
Words cannot begin to describe how grateful I am to be a recipient of the Fall 2022 ACLP Diversity Scholarship. From a young age, I have been fighting for my seat at the table. I grew up with no role models to look up to that looked like me or had similar experiences as myself. I am a first generation American. I am Hispanic in a predominantly white area. I am a first-generation college student. I am also the first in my family to have a disability. I grew up advocating for opportunities and experiences. At the heart of the child life profession, we must advocate. Advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and for child life’s seat with the multidisciplinary team. Fighting the battle of diversity in child life is an uphill battle and I am willing to take on because children and their families are all unique and should see a diversity in their medical team and child life specialists. When you search statistics regarding demographics in the child life profession you will find that around sixty seven percent of specialists are Caucasian or white and there was not even a statistic for disability in the profession. As child life specialists we are usually a child's first introduction to the hospital setting and if they see themselves in us, we can encourage them to push for their dreams and achieve any goal they have set for themselves. Growing up in the hospital environment I would have loved having a role model in which I could have seen myself. I hope to be that person for many kids.
My internship at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital consists of rotations in the Hematology Oncology outpatient clinic, the Acute Care unit, and in the NICU. I am getting the opportunity to use my child life skills to advocate and support patients, siblings, and families on their hospital journey. Reflecting on my time so far in my internship I have been able to put the thought of my finances to the side and focus solely on learning and growing. I have been able to learn and grow from current child life specialists while also finding myself in this profession. Receiving this scholarship has also allowed me to continue growing as a professional in this field. I have been able to start seeing things from a different perspective which has allowed me to push the envelope for more difficult conversations. I will continue working on filling the gaps in this profession to create a stronger child life field for all our future patients and families. Accepting this scholarship was my commitment to continuing to increase the diversity in the child life profession and to the medical community at large. Lastly, I want to thank my family, friends, and child life mentors in supporting and encouraging me on my journey through internship and into my career as a child life specialist. I am excited to continue to grow, support, and advocate for my patients and families with the help of the ACLP Diversity Scholarship.
My goal as a child life specialist is to support, educate and empower children and families facing life challenges so they are informed and prepared to handle moments as best possible when challenges are presented.
The impact the diversity scholarship has had on my life has not only a reduced financial burden associated with the cost of completing an internship, but it has also provided me with, time, balance, and reduced stress in my daily life. The scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to move closer to my internship site and focus completely on my internship opportunity and not have to be worried about full time working while learning. Having lived a very full and busy life, trying to balance many different responsibilities, I have learned many lessons and experienced the negative effects of doing too much. This scholarship has allowed me to maintain balance and boundaries in my life. I am able to prioritize my studies, as well as my physical and mental health all which will all keep me preforming at my best when in placement.
The scholarship will have far reaching impact beyond this term; it also impacts my future endeavours by reducing my financial burden upon graduation. It will allow me to return to my job once I am finished my internship with less debt so that I can focus on putting my skills into practice immediately and not stretching myself thin by having to work extra hours to pay debt off.
My philosophy for child life is: Using my head and my heart to help families navigate paediatric illness and life challenges and this scholarship has brought me one step closer to continuing to do just this as a certified child life specialist.
Diversity to me means recognizing the strength in bringing multiple identities together, acknowledging the different intersects whilst creating equal spaces for everyone to become a full participant. The diversity scholarship ignited that potential for me as an international student studying in Canada to be awarded the same opportunity to support my journey towards being a child life specialist. From moving from Zimbabwe to Canada and moving provinces within the country securing an internship here in Edmonton, Alberta, the diversity scholarship has provided me the financial security allowing me to be fully present in the moment without having to worry about the present costs. I have fully enjoyed and immersed myself in the learning process whilst at my internship. I have built resilience and that has helped me in my self-reflective practice. I am beyond grateful for receiving this scholarship and being given an equal space for me to become a full participant.
I am incredibly appreciative to be a recipient of the Fall 2022 ACLP Diversity Scholarship for a vast range of reasons. First and foremost, receiving this scholarship has offered me the opportunity to direct the majority of my focus towards my internship and deepening my child life knowledge. It is no secret that child life is not an economically simple career path to pursue. Many people not only struggle with the financial burden of an internship, but also have to navigate schooling expenses, not being able to maintain a full time job, and personal living expenses all at the same time. I feel very fortunate in that receiving this scholarship has covered most of my internship expenses.
However, the aspect of receiving this scholarship that has meant the most to me is the validation that I am where I am supposed to be. I was born into a household made up of two Egyptian immigrants. Growing up, there was always a common joke that was deeply rooted in reality that stated that as an Egyptian child, you could only grow up to do one of three things. You could be a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. This societal pressure was part of my daily life as it is for people of many other cultures as well. Choosing to pursue a career in child life as an Egyptian American was undoubtedly one of the hardest things I have had to do; and it will continue to be a choice I have to defend for the rest of my life. In some way, receiving this scholarship has provided a sense of confirmation in my decision to pursue this career. Not only that, but it shows that my unique cultural perspective has value in child life and can impact the future of this profession. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to use my background and life experiences during my internship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The patient population at this hospital is made up of people from all over the world and I often feel that I am able to use my unique perspective when working with patients and families.
As this field continues to grow, I hope to see diverse child life professionals as a standard and not an exception because everybody’s voice matters when it comes to this field. Thank you again for your support as I pursue my career as a Certified Child Life Specialist.
I am filled with immense gratitude and joy for being selected as a recipient of the Summer 2022 ACLP Diversity Scholarship. As a first generation graduate student pursuing my Masters in Child Life at Azusa Pacific University, it has not been an easy journey to financially navigate graduate school and all of the additional expenses of Child Life, such as internship applications. In addition to having to take out student loans, I have been working two part-time jobs as a Graduate Assistant while completing my academic and practicum responsibilities to pay for the basic living expenses.
Receiving this scholarship has positively impacted my ability to enter the child life profession for a multitude of reasons. I will use this scholarship to cover basic living expenses as I pursue my full-time internship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). Another reason this scholarship has positively impacted my ability to enter the child life profession is also giving me the opportunity to reserve a portion of the scholarship to pay for my certification exam as, that is the next step after completing internship to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. All in all, this scholarship is a huge blessing to my life to help me focus completely on my internship and develop valuable foundational skills to become the best Child Life Specialist I can be, and get the most out of my internship experience. One of my most transformative experiences that has enhanced my desire to become a bilingual Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS), was studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador. Acquiring this international experience reaffirmed my desire to serve the Spanish-speaking community in the United States. It is vital to be able to communicate with my patients in their native language, so they feel more comfortable seeking medical attention. An invaluable experience that has played a significant influence in my Child Life journey was being trained by my preceptor, a Certified Child Life Specialist, in both English and Spanish to serve diverse families at my Child Life practicum. This has allowed me to practice my Spanish-speaking abilities and grow them in a healthcare setting while learning new medical terms in both languages to not only break the language barriers, but the cultural barriers that diverse families might encounter in the U.S. healthcare system. As a Child Life Specialist, I will maintain an open heart, an open mind, and consistently be self-aware of my own biases to be ready to learn from others while growing in my personal and professional relationships as a CLS in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Lastly, I am eager to walk alongside diverse families in the healthcare setting as a Child Life Specialist that honors and serves each individual that walks into the unit.
ACLP, I can not thank you enough for this scholarship that alleviates my financial burden, so I can grow professionally and personally during my Child Life Internship!
Words cannot begin to describe how grateful I am to be a recipient of the summer 2022 ACLP Diversity Scholarship. When I decided to pursue a career in child life, I knew that this field required considerable commitment and determination. I also knew that completing unpaid volunteer hours along with a practicum and internship would be challenging but worthwhile. I recognized that these opportunities would help me gain the experience necessary to grow personally and professionally in my pursuit to be a Certified Child Life Specialist. However, as I prepared to move from Maryland to Texas for my internship at Texas Children’s Hospital, it was hard to ignore the financial implications of relocating 20 hours from home. When I found out I was selected as an ACLP Diversity Scholarship recipient, I clearly remember the relief that filled me. Receiving this scholarship has given me the financial flexibility to be fully present throughout my internship at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The honor of receiving this scholarship extends beyond financial benefit. I feel affirmed in my efforts to pursue child life as a black woman in a predominately white field. This scholarship encourages me to use my experiences to inform how I engage in culturally competent care when working with patients and families. My internship has allowed me to learn and grow by listening to the perspectives of patients and other professionals. As I continue to develop my skills, I hope to encourage further understanding among my peers and colleagues by sharing my own perspective while inspiring further discussion about how child life can best serve diverse populations within the hospital setting. Once again, I am incredibly honored and thankful to have received the summer 2022 ACLP Diversity Scholarship.
As the granddaughter of Italian immigrants, my exposure to diversity and inclusion began at an early age. I became aware of my cultural differences during my early school years. I noticed that other children would have sandwiches and cheese and crackers for lunch. My mother was never shy in packing a lunch complete with cured meats, leftover pasta, and one of my Nonna’s homemade cookies; I could feel the judgmental eyes every day during lunch period. My father was keen on raising us to accept everyone, despite their race, creed, culture, religion, etc. As a musician, he tried to instill this concept of inclusivity through music. We listened to a wide range of music growing up as children: soul, jazz, tribal, French, Latin. As a developing child, I learned to appreciate these cultures, specifically because they made up the soundtrack to my life.
It was not until my early university years that I began to appreciate how my culture has not only shaped who I am as a person but has contributed to my ability to welcome diversity from my peers and environment. I completed my undergraduate degree at York University in Toronto, Canada. At York, the student population is wildly diverse. I met people from different countries, witnessed traditional dances in the student centre, and shared conversations about traditional values and practices. I became aware that for me to truly understand how different cultures operate, I needed to listen to their stories and try to understand their assimilation into a Western society.
The Canadian child life realm is small in comparison to the US, often forcing child life students to seek opportunities outside of the country. With the intention to learn and absorb as much information from my internship and early professional career as possible, I aim to spearhead the expansion of the profession within Canada, as it is a significant gap within our healthcare system. This commitment to the field is one that I will continue to pursue over many years to come. The ACLP Diversity Scholarship makes this possible for me, as I relocate to California to complete my internship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Upon receiving the news that I was a scholarship recipient; I felt the financial burdens affiliated with relocating lift. This scholarship will allow me to focus on my internship and immerse myself into learning, without the financial stress of questioning how I am going to support myself. I believe that a strong internship experience leads to a great child life specialist, and I hope to be that within the coming years. I owe a tremendous thank you to my family, friends, the ACLP, and the faculty at the University of Minnesota for offering support and positivity throughout my child life journey. Most importantly, I must give thanks to my grandparents for their countless sacrifices, which have allowed me to reach my goals and strive for more. Grazie mille nonni – ti voglio tantissimo bene!
Growing up my mom worked in the radiology department at the county hospital. Having the opportunity to observe the hospital landscape through her profession inspired me to work with hospitalized children. Hearing her stories of helping patients and how passionate she was about her job inspired me to follow in her footsteps to work in the medical field. One of the reasons I grew interested in pursuing a career in the child life profession was an experience I had with one of my students as a former preschool teacher. My student was actively receiving treatment at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at the time. This presented a challenge for them to integrate back into the classroom. I supported the student in ensuring that they had a smooth transition back to school at the conclusion of their treatment. I facilitated open conversations about her diagnosis and treatment with the class in which showed so much pride in answering any questions they had about it. She was also very independent and in tune with her body and knew when she needed some extra emotional support throughout the day. Our role as teachers was just to be there for her and to show compassion for her and her family and support them in any way that we could. Their strength and resilience led me to think about how I can continue helping children like her. Seeing my student thrive back in school inspired me to become a child life specialist.
I am honored as a Mexican-American to be receiving the Diversity Scholarship that has given me such financial relief as I start my internship. Knowing that I can go into everyday fully focused on the patients in their families is such a gift. By providing this financial relief I know I will learn so much more about the Child Life field and have the opportunity to focus on my career goals which will propel me forward into this profession. Additionally, it will allow me to perform the best that I can in this internship because I will be 100% focused. Child Life is so important to me and to have the opportunity to live out my goals and aspirations in this field is all I want, and I have the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) to thank for this wonderful opportunity.
It truly has made a big difference in my life and assisted me with my financial situation during this time. At first, I was not sure how I would be able to complete internship and not work at the same time, but when I received the news that stress was relieved. I have been able to focus solely on providing support to patients and families in this child life profession in English and Spanish. It has assisted me with paying my bills during this period that I am unemployed and for that I will always be thankful. This is a blessing that I never imagined would come true for me. My journey to becoming a child life specialist has not been easy. There has been a numerous of hours that I spent attending classes for my grad school program, completing homework assignments, completing my practicum, and working on my part time school job, but it did not stop me from pursuing my dream job. For the past years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with children and families of different backgrounds, and now I get to continue doing that in a hospital setting by providing child life services. I look forward in continuing my education and expanding my knowledge as a healthcare professional. Lastly, I want to thank my family, friends, instructors, and child life supervisors for supporting me through this journey in life. I am excited to continue advocating for patients and families and providing support through diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Thanks to the funding I’ve received from an ACLP Diversity Scholarship, I have been able to continue living out my life’s purpose by becoming a Child Life Specialist.
Looking back on my time at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, I smile with gratitude as I reflect on all that has impacted me thus far in my Child Life Internship. From my time spent in the peri-operative environment, having opportunities to learn from the Hospital Teachers, and co-treating with Music and Art Therapists, my first rotation has given me invaluable experiences that will carry over into my next rotation and future career. I am also ecstatic about the opportunity to be on the transitional care unit for my second rotation! One facet of my internship I am most excited about is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion classes I attend with my fellow Student Interns. We are working together to create an event that celebrates the patients, parents, and families that UCSF BCH serves.
At UCSF BCH, I am gaining the foundation to be a better version of myself from some of the best in the field. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, being a minority in the field of child life, but at the same time being a white man, I recognize the intersectionality of my position and the privileges that come with it. Understanding that my lived experience is not the same as others who are in the same position as me, nor the patients/families I will serve, it is crucial for me to recognize my privilege and inherent biases. At UCSF BCH, I have been given the foundation to be an agent of change and foster inclusive spaces for individuals in pediatric healthcare. I am confident that in my future career, I will be able to create inclusive spaces for the patients and families that I serve as well as those entering the field of Child Life. I am honored to be a recipient of an ACLP Diversity Scholarship, and because of this funding I will be able to accomplish my goals and make a positive difference in the lives of others as I grow as a student and future Child Life Specialist.
I am beyond grateful to receive the Diversity Scholarship presented by the Association of Child Life Professionals. When I accepted my internship, I was determined to make my budget work, no matter the challenges. I would need to move approximately 2000 miles from Wisconsin to California, find housing, and be away from my friends and family, but I knew it would be worth it. However, with this scholarship I was able to breathe a little easier and it allowed me to pursue my internship with less concern about housing and food insecurities. Furthermore, with this mental load off my mind, I am able to absorb the amazing opportunities provided by my internship at UC Davis Children’s Hospital! I have benefitted from this crucial child life milestone exponentially with this scholarship and the hospital’s dedication to serve their diverse population of families.
At my internship I have the opportunity to do rotations in general pediatrics, children’s surgery center, and the pediatric intensive care unit. Through these rotations I’ve supported patients who have physical and neurological differences, served families who speak no English and have newly arrived in America for healthcare or to escape challenges in their home country, and guide families through their experiences of trauma and grief, to name a few of the roles I am learning to master with the gift of this scholarship.
As I reflect on my cultural heritage and diverse experiences as a first-generation college student and second-generation Asian American throughout my internship, I become even more passionate about finding ways to be more equitable and inclusive as a future child life specialist. My long-term goal is to give back to the community in a similar, altruistic fashion as the ACLP has by providing these scholarships. I am driven to increase research in our field to benefit all children and families, especially the disenfranchised. Additionally, I have ambitions to mentor and teach the future generations of child life specialists in a hospital and academic setting. I want to create more opportunities in low socioeconomic communities to be aware of and learn about who child life specialists are through community events and projects.
As I reach my midpoint, I can't help but feel so blessed and honored to be a recipient of the 2022 Winter/Spring Diversity Scholarship. Being a male in the field, I face many challenges and barriers, and the one that has personally given me the most significant stress is the financial barrier. Coming into this field, I did not know how costly it would be to pursue this profession. I do not come from a wealthy family, and I began to be concerned about how I would potentially have to relocate and work for 4 months without income. Growing up, we lived paycheck to paycheck and I did not know the effect of the financial stress my parents endured until I was older. In addition, when I was in my freshman year of high school, I was homeless for a year. During this time, I felt very vulnerable and anxious about the future, wondering if I would ever be in that position again in my life. Thankfully, this scholarship has helped ease the mind of my parents and mine during my internship here at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Like many others, I had to relocate. This scholarship has allowed me to have secure housing and reliable transportation to and from the hospital for the duration of my internship. Instead of worrying about housing and transportation, I am able to dedicate all my energy and focus to my internship in learning how to provide family center care to all patients and families. Having to focus only on my internship will not only benefit me but will also benefit the future patients and families that I will provide psychosocial care for as I refine my skills here at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. I am thankfully for ACLP’s generosity and for all my mentors, family, and friends that have helped me during this journey in becoming a child life specialist.
I am incredibly grateful that ACLP recognizes the need to support individuals of diverse backgrounds such as myself in the journey to becoming a child life specialist. This scholarship has provided me with the ability to afford housing throughout my internship and supported me in my efforts of becoming a child life specialist despite the financial, personal, and societal hardships that I have overcome. It has allowed me to whole-heartedly commit my time, focus, and energy on my passion for providing children and their families with support as they navigate their way through some of life’s most difficult hardships.
The spring 2022 internship application process was the first time I spoke openly in the professional setting about how being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community has influenced my work. I have created a resource guide to provide support to high school students that identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community and have compiled research on how to provide gender affirming care most effectively to transgender and gender-questioning children within the hospital setting. I had been advised by influential adults in my life to avoid mentioning identifying as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community in applications and interviews as they believed it could affect my ability to secure an internship. I refused to hide a part of my identity that I have worked so hard to accept. The experiences and hardships that I have overcome as a queer, Mexican American have given me a perspective unique from many others within the field of child life; a field which has been historically and is currently heavily populated with white individuals of higher socioeconomic status. I was so thankful to have secured an internship, but when I initially accepted my offer from AdventHealth for Children in Orlando, I could not fathom how I would independently support myself as I relocated from Iowa for an unpaid internship. I had to work through my own bias for what I expected life to be like in the state of Florida and have fallen in love with this city that is full of individuals of all walks of life. I served as a catalyst for the development of the DEI committee amongst the child life team here at AdventHealth and have been recognized for continuously putting forth effort to meet the needs of individuals of diverse backgrounds as I strive to create a safe space for all the children and families.
I knew that to be successful, I would need to put in additional work to overcome challenges that others do not experience. To get where I am at today, it has taken hours of financial aid and scholarship applications, taking on extra shifts at work in between studying for exams during graduate school, and developing effective coping mechanisms to overcome my challenges. I want to give a huge thank you to ACLP, AdventHealth for Children, my family, my friends, and my partner for providing me with the support necessary to reach my potential.
I remember it clearly - I came in for my volunteering shift in a general hospital on a Sunday evening and asked an extremely shy 4-year-old patient if she wanted to play with toys. Learning that she and her mom spoke little English, I spoke to them in Urdu which immediately made them feel comfortable with me around. After bringing the patient some toys, she asked if I could play with her. We played together for an hour. She was filled with laughter, unrecognizable from the child I had initially met. At the end of my shift, she waved goodbye, asking when I would return. Her mom laughed and said “sorry, we’ve been here for two days so far and this is the first time she felt at home”. It was after this moment that I realized how crucial child life was in healthcare.
When I found out that I got into McMaster’s Child Life program, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to create a child life instagram account to connect with other child life specialists, students, and interns. While scrolling through my Instagram feed, It didn’t take me long to realize that in terms of demographics, the field of child life was missing something and I had the unique lived experience to fill that gap. I knew that going forward, I wanted to break down barriers that marginalized groups and people of colour may face in the healthcare system and the ACLP Diversity Scholarship helped me work towards that goal.
I cannot express how incredibly grateful I am for the ACLP Diversity Scholarship. When I found out I was matched at my number 1 choice for my first internship at Alberta Children’s Hospital, it was a bittersweet feeling. While I was extremely overjoyed for this wonderful opportunity, I did not know how I would afford moving across Canada (2705 km away), pay for rent, transportation, groceries, and everything else that came with moving out of my home, especially since I had lost my source of income due to COVID. The ACLP gave me the opportunity to dip my feet into the world of child life and learn from such an incredible team without having to worry about how I would afford doing so.
While completing my first internship, I have learned so much about the foundation of child life practice; procedural preparation, distraction, building therapeutic relationships with the patient and family, professional collaboration, play, and so much more! Something that has really stuck out to me during my internship so far are the many patients and families of colour that I have gotten to work with. It has been so heartwarming to see the relief on their faces knowing that there is someone that understands them and watching that instant connection form as a result of being a face of representation for them.
I am so grateful for the ACLP for taking a chance on me and being invested in my success. I can’t wait to see where my child life journey takes me!
As I reflect on the impact of receiving the ACLP Diversity Scholarship for the Fall 2021 Internship, my heart is filled with extreme gratitude. First off, I want to acknowledge my privilege as a white man and know that many other child life students may find themselves enduring financial hardships while in grad school and working to complete their internships. Like many others 2020 was a year of many losses for me and my family. Throughout the internship application process, I was constantly worried about financial matters and even debated whether or not to continue on in the Child Life program at Erikson Institute as I simply could not afford to go without work during an unpaid internship. As a man entering the female dominated field of child life, I was concerned (and still am) about how I would be able to support my family in an ever-growing and competitive field.
The ACLP Diversity Scholarship provided me the financial flexibility to show up three days a week at my part time internship at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and be fully present, soaking up every rich experience during my time there. I also want to send a special shout out and thank you to my wife for her undying support during my grad school and internship. She has been my rock and I would not be able to pursue a second career in child life without her. In addition to my part time child life internship, I am working full time at an arts integrated preschool as a lead teacher with 3- and 4-year olds. My employer has been really understanding of my internship and been flexible with my schedule so I can continue to provide for my family. I would not have been able to continue to pursue my passion for child life without the additional financial support that this ACLP Diversity Scholarship has provided me. The ACLP Diversity Scholarship promotes further diversity within the child life field which is much needed, and I am very appreciative to have been a recipient of this scholarship.
From a young age, I had an innate passion for helping and supporting others. Throughout high school I explored many professions such as school counseling, nursing, education, and social work. I could never pin-point it, but there was always something missing when deciding my next step. During the summer between my freshman and sophomore year in college, my aunt, who worked in the marketing department at a children’s hospital, informed me about child life. I was instantly intrigued. Fast-forward to today, as I am nearing the end of my child life educational and clinical journey I am preparing to complete my child life internship at The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.
In 2019 I relocated to Maryland to pursue my master’s degree at Towson University in Child Life, Administration, and Family Collaboration. During this time, I discovered passions of mine I did not know existed: advocacy, service to others, and stewardship. These passions came alive as I volunteered in various pediatric hospitals and local agencies within Baltimore, Maryland. In 2020, my child life path became skewed as the COVID-19 pandemic postponed my child life practicum at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital a full year. During this time, I pursued a child life practicum at The Hermann and Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai where I gained a better understanding about the importance of cultural and religious competency, as this community hospital is recognized for serving the Orthodox Jewish population. I was able to complete my previously accepted practicum at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in May 2021. I am feeling grateful, empowered, and in awe of the journey I have embarked upon to be the recipient of the fall 2021 ACLP diversity scholarship.
This scholarship stems beyond financial relief. I feel humbled and blessed to be the recipient of this scholarship. The financial assistance provided with this scholarship will allow me to go to internship every day with no distractions or financial worries in the back of my mind. It will help me to be fully present and make the most of the experience. I want to thank the ACLP for making this scholarship possible for individuals. As the child life field is growing, it is becoming more competitive; I have a goal one day of supporting child life students financially as the application and interview process is getting more expensive. I recognize the tremendous support this scholarship brings me, and I would love to return the favor in some capacity to students one day. Thank you ACLP, I am excited to start my internship and continue paving the path to becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist!
Being notified that I was a Diversity Scholarship recipient was such a huge relief to me, in so many ways. When I decided to pursue child life, I knew it would be competitive, but it wasn’t until further into my student journey that I realized how much of a financial strain pursuing this field would be. As someone pursuing child life as a second career, financial factors were always at the top of my priority list when making decisions for my student experiences like practicum and internship. When I was offered an internship at Cook Children’s, I felt like I had finally made it over the hardest part of the hill that was my student experience. However, I still worried how I would fund my relocation and continue paying my regular monthly bills. Receiving this scholarship meant I was closer to financial security and would not have to work during my internship. I was so grateful to just be able to focus on my learning experience without the burden of managing employment for the first time in my student career. Now as an intern, I can pour my efforts into making the most out of every day without juggling a job or worrying about how I will pay my bills. Having this scholarship has freed up so much emotional energy that I now put toward my learning experience.
This scholarship also means a lot to me as a queer, disabled student. This scholarship has helped pay for health insurance and routine medical expenses during a period that I am not working or qualifying for benefits. It has helped level the playing field by removing a financial barrier that may have prevented me from accepting this position. As an openly queer person, I appreciate the opportunity for a variety of diverse identities and cultures to be recognized by the ACLP and compensated for the unique challenges we face as we pursue the profession of child life. Personally, this scholarship added to my room and board budget, so I could ensure safety and comfort in my living situation in a new city as a gender-queer individual. The security this scholarship provided me touches so many domains of my experience as an intern; I am so grateful to be able to focus all my efforts into growing my professional skills.
I was thrilled when I heard that I had been selected for an ACLP diversity scholarship as this allowed me to focus solely on my internship instead of worrying about how I would survive living in the Bay Area without a job for four months.
The internship program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco was the perfect fit for me as it enabled me to continue to serve the diverse Bay Area community. However, soon after the excitement of getting this internship wore off I started to worry about how I would survive in the Bay Area without a job. Thankfully, this scholarship has allowed me to keep my housing and pay my bills, as well as being instrumental in paying for the daily costly commute into the city and allowing me to purchase the child life books needed during my internship.
Upon completion of my child life internship I look forward to proudly providing my services to patients and families as a bilingual (English-Spanish) Certified Child Life Specialist. In addition, I believe my incredibly rich and diverse background and experiences will enable me to provide culturally competent care. I also plan to be involved in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committees in both my future hospital and the ACLP.
Your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the Child Life field and your investment in my future goals will be remembered and put to good advantage. Thank you again for your generous and thoughtful gift.
The last year and a half was filled with lots of uncertainty, changes, and fear. I am not new to uncertainty and change. My family and I emigrated from South Africa to the United States when I was thirteen years old. With this experience, I learned how to adapt in order to overcome obstacles that my family and I experienced. One of the main reasons my parents chose to move to America was so that my siblings and I could have a better future. My parents have always encouraged us to chase our dreams and pursue our passions. I have been pursuing my goal of becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist for the last 6 years. When I found out that I obtained a child life internship, I was overcome with gratitude. My hard work and dedication was finally paying off. It quickly dawned on me that I was going to have to relocate to a different State across the country. Like many other students I would be responsible for paying for my internship course as well as the costs of relocating. I already have a tremendous amount of student loan debt because this was the only way I was able to pay for both my undergraduate and graduate studies. During my time as a full time student, I have also worked part time in order to pay for my necessities, but I was not able to financially prepare for my internship. Receiving this scholarship has allowed me to pay for my internship course, and it has helped me partially pay for my accommodation. With the financial assistance I have been able to focus completely on my internship, making sure that I can apply everything I have learned and continue to learn into practice. I am so grateful for this scholarship, and during my internship I have been mindful of what it means to be a recipient of this prestigious award. This award has allowed me to build meaningful relationships with patients and families from diverse backgrounds and encourage others around me to treat everyone with dignity and respect.
After completing my first half of my internship I can say that I am beyond grateful for receiving this scholarship. The impact that it has had on me for the last seven weeks has been tremendous. I have been able to keep my focus on my education and growth as a professional and not worry about any financial stressors. I was unaware of the amount of work that a full-time internship entails.
While working 40 hours a week, plus additional homework assignments and readings outside of the hospital, I am finding that my days are keeping me busy. The transition into my internship was stressful and new at the beginning until I was able to find my routine. Without having any additional financial stressors, I have had time to practice self-care outside of internship while also balancing the work load efficiently. I don’t know if I would be as successful and continuing my growth as a child life specialist in my internship if I had financial stressors resulting in me needing to find a part time job or add to my existing load.
When looking for apartments to move down to Los Angeles I was surprised on the prices of the apartments here and where they were located. I was able to find a place that I could afford with my scholarship money that is only 15 minutes away from the hospital and located in a safe neighborhood. I have also been able to cover typical living expenses such as groceries and gas while living here without having to question whether or not I will have enough to pay for these items. Los Angeles is not a cheap area to live in and receiving this scholarship has helped me cover my basic living expenses and not worry about budgeting to choose which is more important or what I need most.
Throughout this first half of my internship, I have had the opportunity to put all of my focus on my continuing education while also taking in the experience as a whole. I feel that I am able to be fully present in the moment every day in my internship with learning, and providing care to patients and families. I feel that I have learned so much the last 7 weeks and I am excited to continue to be present while focusing on my new rotation. I am able to comprehend and put to action the information and new skills that we are presented through our weekly modules. I have also been told by my supervisors that they can tell I am utilizing the new information and feedback I am receiving to effectively put into my clinical practice. I do believe that I am able to do this with the help of my internship because I don’t have any outside factors affecting my ability to stay focused and present during my days.
I am genuinely honored and deeply grateful to be chosen as a recipient of the ACLP Diversity Scholarship. I am not sure that I would have been able to complete my education and internship without this support from the ACLP. My path to becoming a child life specialist has been a long, untraditional and winding one. Having the support from the ACLP has helped me immensely. After an unexpected loss in my family, I ultimately had to switch internship sites to find the best match while I tended to personal matters.
This scholarship has given me the ability to fully focus on my child life education while
achieving my goal of becoming a well-rounded child life specialist. My child life path has been fueled by my passion for creating accessibility and diversity in the healthcare field. I am enrolled in Eastern Washington University’s Child Life MA program, with plans to graduate summer 2022. My thesis is centered on creating a curriculum for accessible community mental health and grief support. This program was recently recognized by the US Surgeon General and will be implemented internationally. My main objective as a future child life specialist is to create more access for community support in and outside of the hospital. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the ACLP for taking concrete steps to increase diversity and accessibility in the child life field with this award.
As I reflect on the first half of my child life internship, I still find myself filled with the immense gratitude I had on the morning I was selected as a diversity scholarship recipient. This honor is one that I have taken pride in and has allowed me to be fully engaged in my clinical experience without having to worry about the financial burden. This scholarship not only signifies a huge financial support, but also allows me to advocate for those diverse individuals that face healthcare disparities.
Growing up in Miami, being surrounded by diversity was all I knew for the majority of my life. It was not until I left my hometown that I realized just how little representation there is within the healthcare field. Hospitalization comes with a distinct set of stressors for both patients and families-language and cultural barriers should not be additional stressors that they face. Every day that I step on my unit, I have a goal of creating an atmosphere with a culture of inclusion, diversity, and nonracial bias in order to ensure the different needs of patients are met. My internship experience has allowed me to further recognize the diversity that I bring to the child life profession through my cultural and educational experiences. It has proved to me the impact that my diversity will have on providing optimal care to patients and families with diverse backgrounds and needs.
Anybody in the child life field can testify for just how competitive it is. Even after securing an internship comes the thought of “how am I going to afford moving thousands of miles away for an unpaid semester?” I am forever indebted to the ACLP for this scholarship and for giving other diverse individuals like myself a chance. Thank you for the chance to bring representation into this field. Thank you for allowing us to bring healthcare to our communities in a relatable way. Thank you for the chance to encourage other young professionals from underserved areas to believe that it is possible.
It was during the first week of my inpatient rotation at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital when I received the email. I went on my lunch break and my phone reflected a new email from the ACLP congratulating me on being a recipient of the 2021 Winter/Spring Diversity Scholarship! I will never forget how loudly I screamed, the looks on other peoples’ faces around me, and the overall feeling of relief that washed over me because I no longer had the worry of finances hanging over me. Supporting myself through graduate school had posed a big financial stressor, and even more so while completing this internship. This scholarship has equipped me with the safety net I need to be able to whole-heartedly complete the remainder of my internship and graduate program.
I have relocated to Memphis, TN to complete my clinical training, causing me to leave the only familial support system I have ever known. This wonderful opportunity has transplanted me from an area I have always felt comfort and support in, to an area of new surroundings and beginnings where I only have myself to rely on. The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic limited my opportunities to access the resources and establish the stability that I need to support myself for the duration of my internship. This scholarship has allowed me to fulfill my financial obligations as well as my dream of becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist.
Child life is such an amazing field and is one I have grown passionate about. This scholarship encouraged me to reflect on what is important to me and ways in which I can incorporate diversity into my child life practice. As a child life student/intern, I have seen first-hand the importance of having a career field, such as this one, be representative of the populations being served. As an aspiring child life specialist, I am committed to helping bring diversity to the field of child life by currently conducting research to identify ways in which the field can appeal to students of diverse backgrounds and the experiences of diverse students within the field of child life. One of my long-term goals is to propose child life programming to Historically Black College Universities (HBCUs) who have the potential to facilitate the program but may not be aware of the field. Representation matters, and I am so grateful for a scholarship such as this one that celebrates diversity.
In high school, I first became aware of child life when a teacher with whom I was close
suggested that I look into it. My former teacher went to Wheelock College and told me about an event she attended on campus which showed how medical art could help children release anxiety. The activity consisted of putting frosting into a syringe and allowing the child to decorate the cupcake as they wished. This allowed the children to familiarize themselves with the equipment in a less stressful, more playful way. After hearing this, I was inspired by how professionals make uncomfortable situations as enjoyable as they can be. I looked more into Wheelock College and quickly knew that it embodied this very approach.
I was accepted into the ACLP Endorsed Graduate Academic Program at Boston
University/Wheelock College. I have completed child life coursework concurrent with my first internship, fall 2020, at Boston Children’s Hospital and my second internship, spring 2021, at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. In both internships, I have created therapeutic relationships, provided play opportunities, and offered coping techniques for children and families.
While I managed to study full-time and work close to full-time hours as an undergraduate, during my graduate program studying full-time, completing a full-time internship, and working part-time was challenging. Due to COVID-19, I was unable to work the same hours I did, which has taken a toll on how I support myself throughout the school year. Receiving the ACLP Diversity Scholarship has allowed me to adjust my work hours, focus on my studies, and attend additional educational opportunities I did not have the chance to before. This prestigious award has given me the opportunity to prioritize my internship experience this semester and support children and families during their hospital stay. Not only did this scholarship support me financially, but it has also allowed me to continue to reflect on being a first-generation Latina pursuing a child life degree. This scholarship has allowed me to serve diversity through my language and identity. I can continue to provide resources to patients and families by singing songs to children in Spanish with a music therapist during a dressing change, making Spanish preparation books for children and families before their hospital visit, and creating a resource book with common phrases in Spanish and English that will be utilized amongst healthcare staff, caregivers, and children.
This scholarship provides students from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to work in areas where children and families share similar experiences and stories as they do. Just last week, a Spanish speaking family came to the hospital unprepared for an overnight stay and was having difficulty advocating for their needs. I was able to give them a voice in their care during their hospital stay. I am thankful this scholarship is available for diverse students pursuing a child life degree and will continue to support me in advocating for diverse families.
I cannot be grateful enough for the 2021 Spring ACLP Diversity scholarship because it has empowered who I am and allowed me to dedicate all to the children, families, and child life department. I have the privilege of starting my child life internship at UR Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, NY. I felt a balance of relief being able to secure an internship position and anxious at the same time for the additional financial burden for an airline flight, daily living necessities, transportation, and all internship expenses. Due to the Covid-19, I had lost my campus job, the only way to earn money for an international student with an F-1 visa. Also, I have never wanted to be a financial burden to my family due to the family’s financial circumstances and illness.
This scholarship physically enabled the safe commute and housing, healthy food, and extra time for my assignment and project, and all of these have helped my coping and self-care during the internship. I do not have to worry about the rent and living necessities, which allow me to have a sense of peace. I can fully be engaged in my clinical experience in servicing the children, families, healthcare team, and child life department.
Being through my internship at the Golisano Children’s Hospital, I have worked with socioeconomically, culturally, and religiously diverse families. As a child life student, I believe that a concept of diversity means be aware of an individual’s narrative stories, including how they have been, what they value, and what their goal is in life. The communication styles, concept to illness, and coping styles are unique. I have also learned that new diagnoses, treatments, and hospitalization impact the whole family system, and family members’ distress hugely impacts the children’s ability to cope. I am now practicing rapport building, preparation for medical procedures, procedure support, and therapeutic play for the children and families based on the ongoing assessment. I felt that the knowledge that I have gained in the classroom started to click each other. Even though I sometimes feel less confident about my English as a second language, this scholarship has given me self-confidence and proved that being different and a minority is a strength. I would like to show this message from ACLP in the clinical practice with children and families in my internship. This growth as a child life intern helps me implement family-centered care in future work settings. Thank you for the ACLP, the child life team at the Golisano Children’s Hospital, and everyone who guided me to the place where I am today.
Over the years, I have developed multiple passions related to teaching children and adolescents life skills, offering counseling support to anyone who may benefit, and, most of all, participating in a vast variety of recreation/leisure activities. One day, I decided to start volunteering at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), where I learned about a career that involves offering children and families emotional and physical support and providing education and preparation for an abundance of treatments or procedures. Furthermore, the career involved teaching strength-based coping strategies for children and families who are dealing with multiple psychosocial variables while facing an illness, disability, or trauma through the use of recreation/leisure/play therapy activities to promote positive interventions and future outcomes. This career appeared to incorporate several passions I have in life, so becoming a Child Life Specialist (CLS) seemed like the right road to follow.
After spending time volunteering at CHEO, completing one year of the McMaster University Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care Masters program, and now being half way through my first fall internship at the Grand River General Hospital, I have learned how there is unfortunately a limited diversity of males working in the field who also live with a visual impairment disability. During my internship, I have learned how some patients can have a different rapport or comfort level when interacting with female or male CLSs, and I believe we can use this to positively impact a patient’s experience. Also, thanks to the experiences I have had growing up with a disability, I can work with patients and their families with more respect and understanding because I have walked in a similar pair of shoes.
If it were not for the ACLP diversity scholarship, I would not have been encouraged to take the big step of traveling over 500 km from home to live in a new city for my internship. Furthermore, the scholarship certainly does offer financial support but it has also allowed me to purchase a specialized monocular visual aid which helps me to improve my visual field for distance while working as a professional CLS intern. I truthfully think that taking this step has provided me with a lifetime opportunity, to work with a phenomenal yet inspiring small CLS team in a general hospital, who have multiple years of wisdom to share, and who are also passionate about the CLS field.
I vividly remember the day I received news of the Fall 2020 ACLP Diversity Scholarship. I was sitting outside on a summer afternoon, feeling the warm breeze on my skin. Suddenly, my phone vibrated. I looked down and noticed the congratulatory email. A feeling of extreme gratitude grew in my heart. I have been a student ever since Pre-K, and my undergraduate and graduate loan debt has done nothing but grow. Before I received the scholarship, I knew that there might be some financial challenges I would face since I was planning to travel from my hometown in Texas to Ohio for my child life internship, and I had recently paid for an international practicum experience a couple months prior. This scholarship provided relief and support to ensure that I could have the best experience during my internship. I am currently a child life intern at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, one of the best pediatric hospitals in the nation, and my time here so far has been incredible. Because of this scholarship, I received the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the educational and clinical experience without worrying about financial responsibilities. Instead of thinking of ways to save money, I completed the preparation assignments and requirements for the internship in a timely and professional manner. Currently, the lack of stress from financial strain has helped me be fully present during my internship and build meaningful and positive relationships with other child life specialists, other health care professionals, and patients and families. I have also been able to attend community events to learn more about the culture of Cincinnati, which supports me in my work toward becoming more culturally competent.
Before pursuing the career of a child life specialist, I was an elementary and middle school teacher working toward building diversity, equity, and inclusion in my classroom. This work has been very meaningful to me. The ACLP Diversity Scholarship is working toward closing the educational gap that exists when many students cannot travel for their internships due to financial strains, which is also building diversity, equity, and inclusion in the ACLP community. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity. This scholarship inspires me to continue diversity, equity, and inclusion work in healthcare settings as a child life specialist.
This scholarship has not only supported me financially but also professionally and personally. Through this scholarship, I have gained confidence in myself and in my abilities to acquire the knowledge and skills during my internship to be the best child life specialist I can be. I have been able to give myself some time for self-care and self-reflection for continuous growth. Thank you to ACLP for giving me these opportunities for growth and for scaffolding me to reach my potential in my zone of proximal development.
Every puzzle has a piece. Without the last piece, the picture looks incomplete. I found my last piece and that is child life. Five years ago, I walked into Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children not knowing that the next couple of hours would change my life. I was introduced to a child life specialist and her powerful role in educating, preparing, and supporting patients and families during their most vulnerable moments. Since that day, I made a promise to myself that no matter what challenges I would face to reach my goals, I would not give up. It is crazy to think that in just a few short weeks, my dream of becoming a child life specialist will become a reality.
Receiving this scholarship helped make this possible for me. Not only did it help relieve my financial burdens tremendously, it has allowed me to be fully engaged in my clinical experience, which in turn has benefited each patient and family I have had the privilege of working with. It has allowed me to enter the field with full focus on the goal of providing quality family-centered care that is so critical to the future of pediatrics. Most importantly, it showed me that diversity makes us strong, not only as a nation but as a human race and is just as impactful within the child life field where children of all backgrounds and walks of life are represented.
There is a beauty and honor in being a part of each patient’s journey. There is power in watching a child go from “I can’t do this” to “I did it!” We do this because we were called to do it. If this is your calling, don’t give up. Push through the obstacles and the hardships. Never stop advocating. We are needed, we are essential, and there is value in what we do.
As I reach the midpoint of my internship, I am reminded of just how fortunate I am to be here. Being a child life intern comes with its set of stressors, but being a recipient of the Fall 2020 ACLP Diversity Scholarship has eliminated the financial burden and has allowed me to pour my heart and soul into this career. I have been able to focus on my clinical experiences without needing to stress about finances.
In the fall of 2019, my younger sister was diagnosed with Stage III Anaplastic Ependymoma. Three months after that my mom had a stroke from the stress. My family’s experience definitely came with its challenges, but I have learned and grown so much both as a person and as an aspiring clinician. In school, we learn that a new diagnosis or a hospitalization affects the whole family, but I quickly learned that academic experience is so different from life experience. I thought I understood what this meant, but now I have shifted from being sympathetic to empathetic. We did not have the support of child life specialists, so I am glad I can appropriately provide the support to patients and families that I wish we had.
My personal diversity is still something that I am actively working to understand, especially in times of civil unrest like today. I am a second-generation Asian American. My mother is Thai. My mother and maternal grandparents always incorporated our Thai heritage into our upbringing, but there was always a strange balance between the culture we were taught and the culture we were actively being raised in. I grew up in a predominantly white area, attended a predominantly white public school system, and went on to graduate from a predominantly white university.
I decided that I wanted to work in healthcare at a young age. In my young mind, the only way to work in a hospital was to be a doctor, so that is what I set my mind to. During my junior year of college, I decided that medicine was not for me and that child life aligned with my values. I faced initial backlash, especially from my Asian family. Many did not see value in psychosocial and emotional health, but rather they viewed the body as a machine that must be fixed rather than an individual who must be cared for on all levels. This experience with my family taught me the importance of advocacy and showed me how to advocate appropriately and respectfully. There IS a benefit to child life, but some people have not been exposed to those benefits.
The ACLP has helped me financially while the staff at Riley Hospital for Children has supported me clinically, professionally, and personally. I am so thankful to have the support system in place that I do. The scholarship helped make the move to Indianapolis possible for me, but it also gave me new confidence. Receiving this scholarship assured me that I am meant to be here.
I am beyond grateful to be a recipient of the ACLP Diversity Scholarship because not only has it been a huge financial support, it has allowed me to have an internship in a field that represents diversity. I believe child life specialists are advocates for the diversities that are unique to each child and family. Every patient and family has different profiles from medical history, family backgrounds, social support, trauma, culture, language, socioeconomic status, and race.
Child life specialists recognize there are multiple contextual factors that make hospitalization different for each patient. Thus, child life specialists play a special role in helping children and their families understand traumatic events, cope with stress, and overcome challenges in life. To achieve this, child life specialists collaborate in an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals and colleagues to provide the best psychosocial care for the patients. I am truly excited to enter a field that increases the quality of patient care. I believe one of the most important role child life specialists have is being a strong advocate for the needs of the child and his/her family; becoming their voice.
The ACLP Diversity Scholarship to me on a personal level allowed me to concentrate on learning clinical child life skills that I will be using throughout my career. It was stressful knowing I had to relocate to a new province but even more stressful knowing we are going through a global pandemic. However this scholarship has truly taken off a layer of distress so I can focus on my first internship at North York General Hospital in North York. Through my internship experience at North York General Hospital, I discovered a passion working with adolescents diagnosed with eating disorders. Prior to internship, I only had experience working with younger children and did not expect to work with youth or adolescents. However that completely changed with my fall internship after I fell in love working with this pediatric population. I am so thankful for this opportunity to work with a new population that is unique to our hospital. Thank you to ACLP for making my internship possible!
Receiving the ACLP Diversity Scholarship for the summer of 2020 has been a great honor. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to move from the West Coast to the Midwest to complete my practicum and currently my internship at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. As I completed many applications for the internship, I focused on locations that were close to family I could live with, as the internship would be very expensive otherwise. During my practicum, I lived with my aunt and spent three hours each day driving to the hospital and back, as it was cheaper than paying rent in the city. Receiving the scholarship has allowed me to move closer to the city and focus on my career rather than my commute.
Child life has been a dream of mine since I was a teenage girl. As a first-generation Pakistani-American, pursuing a career unfamiliar to family and friends around me has come with its own set of challenges. Having the support of loved ones and the financial support of the ACLP has relieved many of the stressors that come with moving away from home for a full-time internship. This scholarship has allowed me the opportunity to spend the entirety of the internship deeply engaged and focused on gaining professional experience and child life skills, without the burden of financial expenses added to my plate. Receiving this scholarship has also come with a sense of empowerment and respect, that I as a Pakistani-American Muslim hijabi woman can too be a part of something bigger than just myself. I have gained confidence knowing that my unique background, experiences, and differences are valued and can be a great asset to the patients and families of similar backgrounds whom I serve and to the child life team as a whole. As I enter the field, I plan to bring this sense of empowerment and confidence in myself about the importance of diversity and inclusion with me, and use it to empower and educate those around me for years to come.
The generosity from ACLP has made me feel significantly more confident in relocating for my Summer 2020 internship. Growing up, my mother struggled to support us as a single parent, but somehow she always managed to go above and beyond by making each day better than the last. As a young boy, I actually thought my mother had superpowers— that’s just how amazing she was as a parent! But looking back, now I understand it was because she scarified so many things… things she really liked or wanted just to make my life better. I still cannot pay her back for all of those wonderful things, but with this Diversity Scholarship I was able to prevent placing yet another financial burden upon her. Now, instead of having to worry about the cost of my living expenses or the strain it would have put on my mother, I have been able to devote all of my focus to providing quality family-centered care to all of the patients and families at UC San Diego Health and further develop my skills as an aspiring child life specialist. I wish my internship was not going by so fast, but I’ve had such great experiences here as a student, and I couldn’t be more excited for the next steps in my career. Without the support from my mother growing up and from ACLP now I certainly would not be here today, and for that I am ineffably grateful!
When I was offered a child life internship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, I was so excited to be one step closer to my dream. After celebrating my achievement, there was personal concern about how my husband and I would afford two living expenses on one income. It was during this time learned about the Diversity Scholarship. How greatly honored I was to be chosen as a recipient of the Diversity Scholarship for the Summer 2020 Child Life Internship.
This scholarship was such a blessing for my husband and me, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. My summer internship start date was moved to the fall due to the pandemic. In the midst of the unknown, ACLP communicated this award would still be given to help with achieving my dream. The Diversity Scholarship has helped pay for my ability to move away from my family, pay for living expenses, and tuition. This award has given me financial peace to pursue my dream of becoming a child life specialist.
My child life journey began about five years ago. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and a Master’s Degree in Child Life at Texas Woman’s University. I completed two child life practicums at Children’s Health Plano and The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center. Currently, I am very grateful to strengthen my child life clinical skills at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. This scholarship reminds me to take pride in my diversity.
I was diagnosed with dyslexia in fifth grade. Growing up, I put myself down because I learned differently from others. Dyslexia has taught me perseverance and new perspective of self-worth through my academic abilities. It has challenged me to grow personally and professionally by understanding individuals are different and face diverse battles. I have learned first-hand that the battles you face do not define you, but strengthen you to be the best version of yourself.
My diversity has played a role in my decision to become a child life specialist. I know how easy it is to believe the lies that affect your self-esteem. Children battling illnesses deal with similar challenges and emotions. At times, they wonder why they don’t have control and why they must overcome certain struggles their friends don’t endure. My diversity has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the psychosocial challenges children may face. This scholarship allowed me the opportunity to celebrate all the accomplishments I have achieved during my child life journey. Looking back, I wish I could tell my twelve-year-old self that a prestigious children’s hospital will choose you as their student to help mold you into a child life specialist. I am beyond grateful for this scholarship and how it has given me the opportunity to fulfill a goal that has been my pursuit for years. I am excited to continue learning from the amazing team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and complete my child life internship in December.
As I write this reflection on my time as a child life intern, I can’t help but think back to when I received the news that I was selected as a Diversity Scholarship recipient. I was packing my moving truck to make the journey from Georgia to Pennsylvania to settle into an apartment in Pittsburgh when I found out. I had accepted an internship at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, knowing it was the best environment for my learning. A month after accepting, the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down and required everything previously in place to be halted. I was devastated because what I had worked so hard to get to was out of my reach. I had no clue how I would continue to support myself while waiting for the all clear to begin my internship. I was aware that it would be at least four months before we could begin, and I frankly had no clue how I could live in a new city, during a pandemic, without an income. Just as my world began to spiral, this scholarship arrived and made me feel secure again. Thanks to the Diversity scholarship, I was able to add to the savings I had accumulated leading up to my internship and am now at the halfway point in my clinical experience.
Throughout my time the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh I have had many “ah-ha” moments where I know that I am in the right line of work. Working in an outpatient department allowed me to hone my skills of quickly building rapport and preparing children and families for what is to come. I found that I love a fast-paced environment. My current inpatient setting has allowed me to better my long-term relationship and therapeutic abilities and learn how to provide diagnosis education to a wide range of patients. Having spent an extensive amount of time in and out of the hospital setting with my siblings, I was aware of how difficult hospitalization can be on the entire family system. Child life has allowed me to learn how to provide support to families where they need it most. Through all of this, the diversity scholarship has allowed me to fully focus on the experiences that I have had each day and dedicate my time outside of the hospital to furthering my knowledge and skills. I have not been pulled away from child life to focus on working to meet my basic needs.
I hope that receiving this scholarship can mark the beginning of my lifelong mission to provide the field of child life with increased diversity and inclusion and the commitment to always raise up those with different lived experiences.
The 2020 Diversity Scholarship completely changed the outcome of my career. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of interning at one of the best hospitals to gain experience and make a difference. When I received my acceptance into Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, behind the overwhelming excitement—I was troubled. The first thing I thought of was—how am I going to afford moving to New Haven from this small Texas town? The ACLP Spring Diversity Scholarship provided me financial aid in a time where I needed it the most.
I can never underestimate the power of providing financial security. Now that I have received this financial aid, I do not have to work an additional job to make ends meet. I am able to fully focus on my internship and the tasks at hand without worrying about affording rent and other expenses. This scholarship has truly helped eradicate the financial stressors that could have negatively impacted my ability to have an optimal internship experience. Receiving this scholarship has eliminated my financial anxieties and allowed me to focus solely on my intern responsibilities, clinical work, additional intern scholar assignments, academic coursework, and self-care. Through my determination to have an optimal learning experience, along with this scholarship, I am confident that I will attain the required knowledge, skill sets, and goals necessary to successfully enter the child life profession.
Besides the financial aspects, this scholarship has enriched my confidence on a professional and personal level. This scholarship has allowed me to further recognize the diversity that I bring to the child life profession through my cultural and educational experiences. It has only further encouraged the impact that my diversity will have on providing optimal care to patients and families with diverse backgrounds and needs. Being a recipient of this scholarship has given me the all-embracing confidence and ability to continue my child life journey. Scholarships like these give professionals of my Hispanic background a chance—a chance to bring healthcare to our community in a relatable way, a chance to diversify the field, a chance to truly encourage more young professionals from underserved communities, and a chance to be represented and bring linguistic and cultural capabilities to the child life practice. The professional and personal growth that I have obtained during my internship at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital would not have been possible without this financial scholarship, that much I know to be true.
My journey in becoming a child life specialist, which began about four years ago, has been filled with many unexpected adventures and plentiful opportunities for growth. In the last year, I was given the opportunity and privilege to complete both my practicum and internship outside of my home state of New Jersey. In the fall of 2019, I completed a practicum in Tampa, Florida, at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. In the months following the completion of my practicum, I learned that I was offered an internship at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and subsequently that I was a recipient of the ACLP Diversity Scholarship.
Receiving this scholarship has been momentous in terms of my ability to complete and succeed in my internship. The financial burden of moving hundreds of miles away from my home and my family to pursue a full-time internship was an incredibly daunting obstacle. However, through this scholarship, I have been given the security necessary to focus primarily on developing child life skills and gaining professional experience in my internship. The scholarship has relieved and addressed an abundance of potential stressors that would have negatively impacted my internship experience. Moreover, the ACLP’s support of individuals with diverse backgrounds in pursuing an internship has allowed me the potential to contribute my unique perspective and experiences to the field. Being a child of Middle Eastern immigrant parents has afforded me personal insights into some of the strengths and challenges many families can face. I look forward to working as a child life specialist advocating for, working with, and supporting those children and families who may not have a voice otherwise.
I can still feel the anticipation I felt when the email regarding the scholarship popped up in my mailbox. I had recently returned home from my first of two 360-hour clinical internships that are a part of my Master's program, where I had relocated from Ontario to Alberta. My second clinical internship was going to be community-based in Ontario, and there were potential travel opportunities for myself to participate in (if I had the money to do so!). Working with children had always been what I wanted to do, but it was not until I was in high school that I was introduced to the child life profession. My own past negative hospital experience had led me to what to have a positive influence on future hospitalized children.
Becoming a child life specialist has been my dream since I was in high school, and I had dedicated many hours to undergraduate placements and volunteering in pursuit of that dream. During those experiences, I repeatedly witnessed a lack of diversity in the field and wanted to be a part of changing that. Both my first and second internships are what I viewed as the final and most crucial step, but I had definitely underestimated just how expensive the final step would be. Receiving the Diversity Scholarship changed everything for me!
I have been able to travel across Ontario to work with patients in their homes, which I would not have been able to do without receiving this scholarship. Community child life work is a growing branch of the profession, and I feel so incredibly lucky to get to experience that so early on in my career. Being able to travel to different regions of Ontario has allowed me to understand the varied and diverse needs of families and how child life can have an impact on patient's lives even after they have left the hospital. Traveling to Thunder Bay, in particular twice so far, has allowed for immersion into a population that I have highly enjoyed and credit entirely to receiving the scholarship.
Not only has this scholarship impacted my current internship, but it has changed my first internship as well. Relocating from Ontario to Alberta was a fantastic opportunity for me. I knew that by deciding to do so, it would have an influence on what opportunities I took hold of in the future due to the associated costs. The Diversity Scholarship allowed me to cover the remaining costs associated with that internship, and move into my current internship, worry-free.
Thank you to the ACLP for not only opening the door to amazing travel opportunities to see patients for my second clinical internship, but for also helping me to close the door of my first clinical internship by covering the remaining financial costs. This scholarship has played a significant role in me achieving my dream, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities is has afforded me!
As I sit here in my apartment typing this, I can’t help but reflect on how grateful I am to be a recipient of the Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship has not only taken a huge financial burden off my shoulders, but allowed me to focus on my passion to advocate for children.
The initial spark that ignited this passion started when I was a 16-year old children’s swim instructor at my local YMCA. From there, I was able to expand my work with children throughout my undergraduate career through various philanthropies. In my undergraduate career, I was a Speech-pathology major and discovered that this profession was not for me halfway through my studies. It wasn’t until the near end of my undergraduate career when I discovered child life (thank you Dance Marathon). I immediately applied for graduate school for child life and began expanding my education. Consequently, I obtained a license to work in the Acute Care pediatric nursing unit at Nemours Children’s Hospital. This allowed me to expand my medical knowledge while being able to experience patient care through a ‘nursing’ lens.
Flash forward to today and I am steadily nearing the end of my internship experience at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. I am now able to implement my studies into my scope of practice. I am now able to transfer my ‘nursing’ lens into ‘child life’ ones. I am able to find the right balance of confidence and clinical skills to become a credible clinician. But most of all, I am now able to be another step closer to becoming a CCLS that gets to advocate for children during their most vulnerable moments.
Diversity has played a significant role in my life. Growing up as an Asian-American male has definitely had its many challenges. Being considered a ‘minority’ became second nature to me. Heck, I remember being so shocked to discover whenever another male was enrolled in either my speech-pathology or child life courses. However, the blessings that come from my diverse background heavily outweighs the challenges. I was able to learn how to be compassionate and culturally-conscious, which are two strongholds I want to continuously develop in my child life practice. Today, I am able to assess and meet the individualized needs of children and families of all different cultures with compassion and humility. As an Asian-American male committed to increasing ethnic diversity in the child life workforce, I hope to represent a crucial minority that is willing to be challenged to dig deeper throughout my career. How lucky are we to have a profession that works with patients and families, rather than just doing to or for them?
If child life is your calling, I encourage you to find that right balance of compassion and cultural-consciousness. Dig deeper. Stay committed. Challenge yourself. And, allow yourself to be silly with play! There are children and families who need us now more than ever. It’s not about the ‘art’ of our work, but it’s all about the ‘heart’ that makes us child life specialists.
My gratitude for receiving the Association of Child Life Professionals’ (ACLP) Diversity Scholarship extends beyond financial gain. The existence of this scholarship is an affirmation that the child life field is working towards diversity in its workforce, which is a key part in addressing the healthcare disparities of an increasingly diverse population. Through this scholarship, those who face unique barriers due to their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity, among many others, are better equipped to attain the education and training needed to be child life specialists. In a paper by Wilbur, Snyder, Essary, Reddy, Will, and Saxon (2020) they stated that, “increasing diversity in the healthcare workforce is essential in the provision of culturally responsive care, expanding healthcare access, and enriching the pool of leaders and policymakers to meet the needs of a diverse society.” We know that actions such as this scholarship is responsive to what patients and families need and I am optimistic to see the ACLP take steps in this direction.
Like many others who are in this field, my path to internship took considerable time and enormous effort. As fulfilling as it is to be in this career path, the education and training necessary to become a Certified Child Life Specialist requires perseverance and financial sacrifices. In the final leg of my M.S. in Child Life, Administration, and Family Collaboration at Towson University, I was faced with the stressors of moving and acclimating to a new city. I was beyond elated to accept my Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Internship but was also aggrieved by the financial reality of this amazing learning experience.
I am immensely grateful to have the ACLP Diversity Scholarship as I am able to concentrate on learning child life skills at this monumental time of my career. I can be completely focused when I assess the coping of a 3-year-old who is about to have a dressing change. I can be emotionally present when I provide procedure support for an adolescent who is undergoing a forensic medical exam. And I can be all hands on deck when I assist a school-aged child in finding the “best dinosaur sticker” for their therapeutic art project. Without this scholarship, a part of me would always be clouded by the worry of balancing my books. I am happy to say that I have been able to concentrate on honing the skills that I need so that I can be the best child life specialist that I aspire to be.
As a Filipino-American, an immigrant, and a person raised in a single-parent household, I feel validated by this scholarship which supports candidates such as myself through such a challenging part of our career. I hope that we, as a unified child life field, can continue taking more steps and moving towards equity, inclusion, and diversity.
Wilbur, K., Snyder, C., Essary, A. C., Reddy, S., Will, K. K., & Saxon, M. (2020). Developing workforce diversity in the health professions: A social justice perspective. Health Professions Education. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hpe.2020.01.002
After graduating from nursing school, my first job was in a tertiary pediatric hospital. This is where I first learned about child life. While working with the pediatric multidisciplinary team, I was especially inspired by the way child life specialists
used their knowledge in child development to educate and empower children and families. Having a career where I could help children feel empowered, even in challenging situations was important to me. As such, I decided to pursue certification in child
life. While continuing to work as a pediatric nurse, I upgraded my courses, I volunteered in local hospitals and community settings, and I completed a child life practicum in Israel. Through different volunteer programs and my practicum placement,
I found that I truly enjoyed child life in global and community settings. In the fall of 2019, I began my internship placement in a private practice that allowed me to work in both community and global health care settings.
My internship started with a three week trip to Kenya, where I worked with the Sally Test child life team at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. In Kenya, I had the opportunity to work in several different areas including oncology, medicine, surgery,
burns, and neonatal intensive care. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience to see child life at work in a different country. Kenya was a wonderful chance to learn about cultural competence, global health, and developing a child life program.
In the next few weeks, I will be traveling to Calgary and helping to host a day of medical play and fun for children with retinoblastoma and their families. In between traveling, I have been working with families in the community, and learning about the
ways child life specialists can provide services beyond the hospital setting. Some of my community work includes working with children and families surrounding genetics, traumatic injuries, cancer, and more.
Committing to a 600 hour internship is not without some financial sacrifice, even more so when travel is involved. Nonetheless, these opportunities have been invaluable to my learning. For this reason, I am incredibly grateful to be one of the recipients
of the ACLP diversity scholarship. This scholarship not only helped me to be financially able to participate in my internship, but it has allowed me to partake in one that is completely unique and in line with my personal interests. With financial
support from this scholarship, I have been able to put my energy into learning and contributing all that I can as an intern. Each day, I am consolidating more theory into practical skills, and feeling more and more confident in my ability to offer
psychosocial support to children and families in the near future.
When I began on my path to becoming a Child Life Specialist, I had no idea of the roller coaster I was hopping on. I am fifty-one years old. I was a Special Education Teacher and a Camp Director. I am a mother to three children. I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, cousin and friend. And now I am uprooting my life to begin a new chapter. What I didn’t know was how far out of my comfort zone I would need to go.
I am currently living in Pittsburgh, PA and halfway through my internship at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I just completed my first seven-week rotation in the Emergency Department under an unbelievably gifted CCLS. I am confident, learning and growing. It is difficult to be three hundred and fifty miles from my home in New Jersey. Far from my husband, and family and 100% out of my comfort level. My husband recently sent me a card in the mail. On the front it says: “Courage.” Inside it says: “I really admire the way you’re walking toward the life you want and the happiness you deserve. It takes a lot of strength and patience to choose the path you know is right for you. I hope it helps to know that you’ve got a friend along for the journey.” My husband supports me endlessly.
I am empathetic to different cultures as I come from a minority culture. I have explained to CCLS working in the NICU about Jewish traditions of a bris and not having a nursery set up before a baby comes home. I encountered a teen girl from an Orthodox Jewish community who asked specific questions on her inpatient tour. I explained to my supervisor that she needs the food to be Kosher, she was modest and covered most of her body, and she could only swim with other women. We have a large Amish population that comes to UPMC Children’s Hospital and I am open minded to their cultural needs and research and ask questions so I can make a patient more comfortable. I want to give comfort to all patients in a stressful situation, whatever comfort means to that specific family.
I quit my full-time job to follow my dream. We have two children in college, are paying my husband’s cancer treatment bills, and supporting my mother in law. We have a second rent payment and living expenses for me in another city. We pay for my online classes. This Diversity Scholarship impacted me tremendously. Without it, I would not be able to bring my dream to a reality.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” (Anne Frank). My father was a Holocaust survivor, and I am first generation American. He survived and sacrificed for his children. I am able to pursue a career and use my culture and experiences to help others. I am proud of my diverse background and how it helps me be an open-minded person. My family and ACLP are assisting me on my journey. I will make a difference and improve the world.
Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to work with children in a medical setting. Originally, I had my heart set on becoming a pediatrician, however the more I learned about their role, the more I realized that doctors don’t always get to spend
as much time with their patients as I had imagined. I began exploring other options within the medical field like nursing, medical social work, and pediatric physical therapy but nothing seemed right for me. It wasn’t until a mother at a homeless
family shelter where I was working shared her experience with child life during her daughter’s heart surgery that I finally had that “aha” moment.
The role I had always envisioned for myself wasn’t that of a doctor, it was everything I found within child life! I soon enrolled in a graduate program focusing on human and family development to supplement my undergraduate background in biology.
I also began to volunteer at Randall Children’s Hospital (RCH) in Oregon to gain more exposure to child life and the hospital setting. My plans were further solidified after I had the opportunity to further explore the world of child life through
a practicum also at RCH in the summer of 2018.
I knew early into this journey that I would have to move out-of-state to complete a child life internship as there weren’t any programs offered in Oregon at the time. I spent countless hours working on essays, making application packet checklists,
and reviewing my child development flashcards in preparation for internship interviews. After two intense rounds of internship applications and interviews I received the life-changing phone call I had been waiting for--I'd been offered an internship
position at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles!
Being a recipient of the ACLP Diversity Scholarship has provided me with the opportunity to make my dream of becoming a child life specialist a reality. Every day I am able to direct my full attention to observing, learning, and maximizing the experiences
I will carry with me into my career, rather than having the worry of finances running through my mind. I am so fortunate and humbled to be surrounded by an amazing team of child life specialists who are willing to sharing their knowledge and friendship
as I continue to learn how to best support children and families.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the ACLP and everyone guiding me on this journey to becoming a certified child life specialist.
My journey to become a child life specialist started about 7 years ago. As English is my second language, nothing was easy for me in pursuing an academic career in child life. Fortunately, I received the internship offer at this time, though, finding an affordable apartment near the internship placement and moving from state to state was challenging for me. Especially, the big differences of living expenses damaged my finances. Since I couldn’t miss this opportunity to pursue my career, the diverse scholarship from ACLP was very meaningful and helpful, as was support from my family members, friends, professors, and my supervisors from the internship placement. I have also been encouraged to go through the internship experience by reading through the essays and experiences of previous recipients. In addition to the diversity scholarship, staff from ACLP were so supportive when I was struggling with the internship application.
Now, I have passed the halfway point of my internship, and I am heading towards wrapping it up. Although I have to overcome some more difficulties to become a child life specialist, I couldn’t make it without support from all who are around me,
including ACLP. Thankfully, the population of my internship placement, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is very diverse and I have experienced a variety of interventions with those populations. I feel that I am not the only person who
has a diverse background during the internship. This diversity scholarship reminds me not only that I am a diverse student, but also that I would be able to work as a diverse child life student. I sometimes cannot have a confidence in my interactions
due to ESL, but no one blames me about it. I am able to build rapport with a patient and family no matter how I speak English. I realized that diversity is not a disadvantage, rather, it makes me become a unique child life student. I really appreciate
that ACLP chose me as a recipient of the diversity scholarship.
I still remember the day that I received the news that I had been awarded the Diversity Scholarship from the ACLP. It was in the final weeks of preparation for the big move across the country to start my first internship at the IWK Health Centre
in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I accepted the internship with great excitement for a new adventure and the opportunity to work with a child life team that I had heard so many wonderful things about. However, moving over 1700 km across Canada also came with
the stress of figuring out relocation costs, housing, transportation, and learning to cope with being away from home. Receiving this scholarship from the ACLP provided me with a huge sense of relief over financial worries and allowed me to focus on
the amazing placement I had before me. In addition to providing financial support, receiving this scholarship also helped to boost my confidence as I was heading into my first clinical internship. This scholarship helped me to recognize the value
that my diverse set of experiences has to offer to the field of child life and was a symbol of the ACLP’s support for my future potential as a CCLS!
My placement here at the IWK Health Centre has challenged me to adapt to a completely new environment, and to push myself out of my comfort zone as I develop the skills to become a future child life specialist. Luckily, I’ve been welcomed with
open arms by the child life team and the people here in Halifax who have shown me the full extent of Maritime hospitality. In my last few weeks here at the IWK, I am confident that I’ll continue to grow as an intern and future child life
specialist, with every shift offering a new and exciting opportunity for learning.
children and also working in the medical field. I started my journey once I finished my Bachelor’s
degree and throughout this process I have worked with children in various settings, volunteered
in multiple hospitals and locations, received a Master’s degree, completed a practicum, and now
I am currently completing an internship. I have accepted and enjoyed each part of my journey
because it has allowed me to work and support various children and families. Each interaction
and observation I have had, has ultimately developed my cultural competence and expanded
my knowledge on how to support children and families in need. My road to becoming a CCLS
has been lengthy, however it has been enjoyable and educational.
In February, I was offered an internship in Chicago, IL at Rush University Children’s
Hospital for the Summer 2019 term. I was ecstatic when I received my offer because it was
going to be one of the most important and insightful steps of my child life student career. I
accepted and mentally prepared myself for the move away from home. I knew that moving away
from home to complete a child life internship was common, however I was unaware of the
financial responsibilities that was included. I began to become afraid of how I was going to
finance myself in a city that I had no family or friends. Before moving, I worked multiple jobs and
long hours in order to save for my move. Then, I received an email stating I was awarded the
Diversity Scholarship from the Association of Child Life Professionals, and I couldn’t help but
shed a few tears of happiness and relief.
Where to begin? My journey to child life has been full of twists and turns. From a young age I knew I wanted to work with children and families, but I didn’t quite know what that would look like. It was in the middle of my
junior year at Biola University in Southern California that everything started to unfold. A routine cardiology appointment revealed that I would need to leave school, return to Northern California, and would need to have my second open heart
surgery. It was during my hospitalization that I had a personal encounter with a child life specialist. She had such an impact on my life that I realized this was what I was meant to do.
I returned to Biola in the fall and graduated a semester late. After graduation, I moved home and began working with children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. I did this for two and a half years while saving money for graduate school.
In September 2017, I began pursuing my master’s in child life at Loma Linda University in Southern California. While at Loma Linda I was able to participate in numerous child life activities including a once in a life time trip
to China where we provided child life services in three different children’s hospitals.
Now, almost a year later, I am on the greatest adventure yet. I am living in Houston, Texas completing my 640-hour internship at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. With Children’s Memorial Hermann being a Level 1 trauma
center and being part of the largest medical center in the world, I know that I have been given a wonderful opportunity. As I get ready to wrap up my first rotation in the Emergency Department, I can’t help but feel incredibly
thankful for the experiences that I have had throughout the last eight weeks. The internship has been very challenging, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. The child life specialists here at Children’s Memorial
Hermann have supported, challenged, and encouraged me in ways I could never have imagined. I have learned so much about the field of child life and about myself. I am growing, changing, and becoming more confident. As I prepare
to transition to the General Pediatrics Unit, I look forward to continued growth and learning. Being an intern at Children’s Memorial Hermann has exceeded all of my expectations.
With all of that being said, I am so grateful to the ACLP. I feel incredibly blessed to be one of the Summer 2019 recipients of the Diversity Scholarship. After working while going to graduate school, I am convinced that it would have
been impossible for me to work while meeting the challenges of an internship. This scholarship has allowed me to focus entirely on the internship responsibilities, it has softened the financial burden associated with living out of state,
and it has given me the opportunity to explore and enjoy this amazing city.
I cannot thank the ACLP enough for choosing me! Thank you!
My story speaks diversity in many ways. My parents are the generations of traditions, sacrifice, and will. I am the generation of firsts. First to pursue a higher education, first to break traditional expectations, and first to lead my purpose my
own way. I am where I am today because of the sacrifices that my parents made. Receiving the Diversity Scholarship means so much more than relieving financial stressors. This scholarship has been a symbol of gratitude for all of the hard work
my parents set to support my purpose. Being awarded with the Diversity Scholarship has tremendously impacted my internship experience at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. I have the opportunity to solely maintain my focus on the learning
experience of the child life profession and discover my potentials as an aspiring child life specialist.
Although I only discovered the field of child life about three years ago, I knew my life purpose was to empower children and families in distressing environments. When I found out about child life in my undergraduate years, I jumped to the opportunity
of learning more about the field. Since that moment on, I knew I was meant to take on a role that would make a positive, hopeful, and empowering difference in a child's life. I built my child life experiences by volunteering and completing two
undergraduate internships with the Child Life department and Family Resource Center at Miller Children’s Hospital, Long Beach. I further my education by completing a MS in Child Life at the University of La Verne. Additionally, I enhanced
my clinical learning experience through the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Child Life Practicum program. I enhanced my professional skills by working as an assistant teacher at an NAEYC accredited center, worked as a nanny for a few
families, and worked as an assistant volleyball coach for my high school’s alma mater. I continued my involvement in my community by volunteering at The Painted Turtle Camp, Ability First, Thomas House Family Shelter, Safe Kids events, and
attended Child Life related conferences. Lastly, I trained and certified in Children’s Disaster Services and in Mental Health First Aid.
It’s incredible to witness the growing influence of child life in professional settings, however, it’s no secret that it has become a competitive field for aspiring child life specialists. I have experienced an abundant of obstacles, setbacks,
and dead-end streets, not only in my child life journey, but throughout my life. A positive and hopeful mindset is what continues to push me to keep aiming high, along with the unconditional support from the people in my life. If Child Life is
also your calling, believe in your potentials and trust the timing that was given for you.
As I have reached the midpoint of my internship, I have been able to solely focus on the internship and take in as much knowledge as possible from my preceptors. I have also been able to interact with families of diverse backgrounds and observe firsthand
the value that the hospital places on diversity. I am extremely grateful to have been selected as a recipient of the ACLP diversity scholarship and excited to continue my path in becoming a certified child life specialist.
Ever since I took my first Introduction to Child Life course, I knew this was the field for me. Since then I have volunteered in child life departments in three children’s hospitals, completed three practicum experiences, attended a national
conference, and taken advantage of many other professional development opportunities along the way. I am also a first-generation college student, working towards receiving a master’s degree in child life. My child life journey has been nothing
short of incredible; however, it has also been filled with its setbacks, usually related to finances. There are many financial obstacles on the path to pursuing child life, and completing a 600 hour unpaid internship was intimidating. The ACLP’s
diversity scholarship has taken a seemingly unattainable dream of becoming a CCLS and made it a reality. This scholarship has made it possible for me to excel during my clinical internship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Not having to
worry about my finances has allowed me the time and space to focus on my education and professional growth. I have been able to take full advantage of the learning opportunities my internship has to offer, while simultaneously finishing my master’s
program at Western Michigan University. Without the support of the ACLP I would not have been nearly as successful in completing these final steps towards certification.
The ACLP’s diversity scholarship has also allowed me to recognize the value and diversity that I bring to the field of child life. Our field is dominated primarily by a homogenous population of child life specialists that is not always
reflective of the populations we serve. Through my internship I have worked with children and families from all over the United States as well as many other countries; these families come from a wide range of cultural, religious, and socioeconomic
backgrounds. For these families, it may be isolating to look around a room and not see one person that they identify with. I am thankful to the ACLP for recognizing this lack of diversity, and for taking steps towards promoting the success
of diverse professionals such as myself. I am continuously inspired by the resilience I see in the children and families I have worked with thus far. I am excited to continue to support diverse patient populations throughout my career as a child
As a passionate upcoming professional in the field of child life, I have found myself continually aspiring to go above the baseline and always strive for more. Upon receiving the Diversity Scholarship, I was given the opportunity unlike ever before
to simply focus on being a student, and only a student. Since beginning my internship, I have watched myself flourish in a new environment and achieve more than I ever could have imagined as I move towards certification.
Throughout my journey to becoming a child life specialist, I encountered many obstacles that proved my commitment to the profession, my passion, and myself. Before starting my internship at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford,
Connecticut; I had a story that echoed that of many students working towards the title of “CCLS,” and the struggles associated with being financially disadvantaged. As an undergraduate student at Eastern Illinois University, I found
myself adapting to multiple titles during the seemingly unending hours of each day as I pursued child life. I reflect on my time with pride in the ability to remain a student eager to learn in the mornings, an after-school program coordinator
excited to play in the afternoons, a volunteer ready to serve in the evenings, and a security supervisor prepared to lead by example until 4am during the night. Moving towards my graduate program at Western Michigan University, I took on the challenge
of 40-hour work weeks, full-time graduate coursework, and the competitive nature of child life through conferences, volunteer work, professional development, and an international practicum that offered new perspective.
I have been waiting for the right timing to return to school to pursue higher education that allows me to work with children and families in healthcare settings. My passion for hospitalized and traumatized children comes from the journey I had with
my own child when he was diagnosed with leukemia 17 years ago at the age of three. There was no Child Life Specialist in the picture for us at that time. "I wish there was a Child Life Specialist to support us!" was my immediate thought when I
first discovered the profession of Child Life during my search for a master's program that related to child advocacy in healthcare setting. Therefore, there was no hesitancy in my decision to apply to the master’s degree program in Child
Life at Azusa Pacific University.
Because of my first-hand understanding of how scary, confusing, stressful, and devastating it is for the patient and family when a child is hospitalized, I wanted to help make the experience less traumatic by attending to pediatric patients' psychosocial
and developmental needs when I can remove some of the unknowns by explaining diagnoses, procedures, and what to expect to children using honest, child-friendly language and developmentally appropriate tactics. Guiding children to cope with their
healthcare experiences and grief is also a very noble task. Apart from the clinical side, helping children be children (both the patients and their siblings) amidst their challenges through play and other developmentally appropriate activities
is extremely valuable. Under the notion of family-centered care, Child Life Specialists can help parents feel more informed and confident about their child's healthcare experience.
I feel very blessed and grateful to be awarded a Diversity Scholarship from ACLP. Hence, I can enjoy the privilege to take a leave of absence from my part-time teaching position to relocate to Kansas City, Missouri during my internship at Children’s
Mercy Hospital (CMH). With this internship, I am one step closer to the finishing line to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. I appreciate everything I have learned and experienced thus far in my internship. My rotation in the Hematology/Oncology
and BMT unit, as well as in the Emergency Department have enriched and inspired me greatly. At CMH, I have seen Child Life practiced under exceptionally high standards. This scholarship also allows me to embrace the virtues of “blessed to
be a blessing” and “more blessed is to give than to receive” by sharing the award with some struggling families amid their crisis.
Moving to a new place and going through an intensive internship program has been exciting but hard to me. Since there has been no relatives and friends, I had felt stressful for the first a couple of weeks. However, with the scholarship, I could
explore the Sacramento city and join in some communities, and now I have built good relationship with some local people in the capital of California. I now receive some supports from people around me and have spent times to learn the field of Child
Life through the internship.
This scholarship has helped me improve my quality of life so much as of yet. This scholarship obviously provided me with safe housing, high nutritious foods, and any stuffs that I need to get through my internship. Since I could not earn money in the
United State due to the rule of student visa, I have saved money in every single moment of my daily basis. In other words, I have sometimes sacrificed my health to save my money by buying instant cup noodles or just cheaper junk foods that has no
nutrition. Now, because of this scholarship, I could buy some foods with plenty of nutrition at the organic supermarket and have gained enough nutrition to keep myself healthy. Since most of my self-care is related to exercising, such as running,
playing basketball, and bicycling, now going to the gym twice a week has helped me so much to refresh myself and sustain my health. Actually, I have never felt sick since the internship started. In addition, because the scholarship allowed me to stay
in the housing just 4 blocks away from the hospital, I have gotten huge advantage of it and I could spend times efficiently to do my assignment after the internship. Moreover, since next rotation is going to be Pediatric Day Unit, I will need to wake
up before 5am and get to the place at 5:30am. I am convinced that my current housing place will benefit me to go through next step successfully.