At the Simple Way, we love seeing local leaders emerge, people from our community owning and honing their gifts as they take ownership of the neighborhood. This vision propels the Scholars Program, where young people from Philadelphia can attend university with both financial and relational support (like care packages and phone calls!). We have four scholars in the program at a time and work to add a new one each year. The Scholars Program helps these students get books, housing, tuition, and social support necessary to thrive throughout school.
One of our students, Seth Ortiz, graduated this past May! Since he has completed the Scholars Program, we have gladly received Desirae DeJesus as our new 2018 scholar this fall! We caught up with Desirae, who currently attends Eastern University, to hear more about her experiences so far.
“The professors at Eastern develop great relationships with their students and want their students to succeed in life. The community at Eastern is amazing and the atmosphere so peaceful. The people, the family-feel– it all encourages me to become the best person I can possibly be.
To get there, I’m studying Psychology and Pre-Medicine. In 2015, I went on my very first missions trip to Honduras, and I was inspired to help others around the world. Medication is improving every year, and I want to become a part of that process. I love science and people, and what better way to express your love for both science and people than becoming a doctor!
I dream of becoming a pediatric physician in the missionary field or back in Philadelphia. One of my greatest dreams is to create an office on wheels. I want to supply basic needs, like check-ups and vaccinations, for the those in the Philadelphia community who lack health insurance. I believe this dream will become a reality one day.
The most challenging part of school is being away from my family. I miss my mother’s cooking, my father’s jokes, and my siblings’ tall-tales. Even though I am welcomed here, at times I feel out of place because the way my Philadelphia community carries conversation is completely different from Eastern.
But I know this University shapes me for the real world. I am excited to see what it brings for my future.” – Desirae
We couldn’t be more excited for Desirae’s future, either. We’re grateful to welcome her as a Simple Way scholar.