May 29th, 2015
“My inspiration to study nursing is my mother. She has always helped our community as a health leader and midwife. I was inspired of what she was capable of doing without ever having received a formal education, but was still able to have a profound impact on my community.”
Mariela Martinez, a nursing school graduate from the community of Santa Rosa, Siuna, worked hard to get where she is. Mariela was Bridges to Community’s very first scholarship student from Siuna in 2003, when her family struggled to cover the expenses for her to attend high school. Upon graduating, Mariela was driven to continue studying and enrolled in college, but due to personal financial difficulties, she was unable to continue and had to drop out. “I always wanted to prepare myself with an education to be able to support my family. I come from a family of 8, and a good education paid by my family just wasn’t an option.”
Luckily, Bridges had grown our scholarship program to include University students, and Mariela once again applied to Bridges to complete a nursing degree. “My inspiration to study nursing is my mother. She has always helped our community as a health leader and midwife. I was inspired of what she was capable of doing without ever having received a formal education, but was still able to have a profound impact on my community.”
Throughout her nursing studies, Mariela has also been a great support to Bridges to Community in return; when she had vacation from class, Mariela donates her time and skills to assist in the clinics hosted by Bridges and visiting medical students and doctors, such as Tufts Medical School, Dartmouth Medical School and Lawrence Family Medicine, among others.
Mariela graduated with a nursing degree with a specialty in maternity care from UNAN University in Leon in December 2014. She is now looking for steady employment in the Siuna area, and continues to support Bridges medical brigades. She also hopes to learn English to better support Bridges’ projects and volunteers in Siuna.
When asked where she thinks she would be if she had not been able to receive a scholarship from Bridges, Mariela laughs and says “On the farm surely, taking care of the cows and chickens! I think the best thing Bridges can implement is the scholarship program, education is first. With just a little financial help the investment in our education has exponential results. I am so grateful to Bridges and its donors because thanks to them, I’ve set my life goals high…I hope to one day speak English to be able to personally say…. Gracias Bridges to Community.”