In her own words

Ashley Balducci

When I was growing up, I was never the brightest student. However, when my grandmother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, I knew then what my calling was: to take care of those around me and nurse them back to health. I was only nine when my grandmother passed, but at that age, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, or at least I thought I did. In my eleventh-grade year, I had the greatest honor of being one of ten students eligible for the Nurse Aid program at my school, which helped us obtain our CNA license. Within a few short months, I had achieved my CNA license and was sure I wanted to become an RN. But that summer, I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the University of Lynchburg’s Health Scholar program. For a week, we got to see and visit all different types of medical fields, and that is when I knew I was going to become a Physician Assistant. In order to do that, I needed to work harder than I ever had before to make sure I got into a school that provided me with the curriculum to be eligible for PA school. So, my senior year of high school, I buckled down and worked harder than I ever had before. I was a part of countless extracurriculars, completed numerous community service hours, and even secured a job at my local hospital as a PCT to gain more hands-on experience. Not only do I want to seek higher education because of my career goals, but also because I want to be the first in my entire family to go to college, see it through, and earn a degree in something that I love. My mom tells me every day that my grandma is smiling down on me with each new adventure I take.

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