In her own words

Jasmin Martinez

The words “Jasmin, you’re leaving early” were music to my ears as a 7-year-old. Growing up, I was taken out of school for doctor’s appointments. My parents made it a task to take me to get physicals to ensure I was a healthy child. I did not realize it back then, but this was a privilege. My parents always ensured I had the opportunity to see a doctor, even if it meant sacrificing their time and their health benefits. I saw this type of sacrifice all over my community, especially at Sunday church services. The use of home remedies and prayer in place of medical treatment was common and offering baskets were passed around so members could place an offering to help sponsor a person’s surgical operation. All these sacrifices were made to ensure the health of the community was not compromised by the mounting out-of pocket costs of healthcare, so every child could go to school and every parent could work regardless of the lack of healthcare resources.

I am passionate about helping the people in my community and those in similar positions who need medical attention, but cannot afford it. I am eager to start a clinic that offers free or reduced preventative care in my community in Northern Virginia. I want to help those around me prevent illness. I hope to also offer cultural competence to avoid shame, embarrassment, or confusion experienced by Non-English patients. Although my professional goals are attainable, I had few mentoring, educational resources, and financial freedom in my adolescence, with the opportunity to receive the Shattering the Glass Ceiling scholarship, I know I will be one step closer to reaching my goal and giving back to mi amada casa (my beloved home).

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