Home News Dream-following Pre-med Student from Immokalee, Ohio State

Dream-following Pre-med Student from Immokalee, Ohio State

Dream-following Pre-med Student from Immokalee, Ohio State

Despite the fact that she spent a significant slice of her childhood within the Midwest, Nallely Segura, a first-year Ohio State University student, has never had the possibility to experience the colourful colours of fall or the great thing about snow. “The primary time I saw a red leaf, I took an image and sent it to my mom,” she recently shared with The Columbus Dispatch.

Segura’s parents, who’re migrant farmworkers, led a nomadic lifestyle, following the growing seasons from state to state. Summers were dedicated to harvesting tomatoes, corn, and other vegetables in Indiana, while winters were spent in Southwest Florida’s watermelon fields, where the kids attended school. As a consequence of the variability of the harvest season, Segura and her three siblings would often enroll in class several weeks late annually.

As a pre-med student, Segura was in a position to attend OSU through a singular program called Tutor Corps, which was established by the Guadalupe Center in her hometown of Immokalee. This program, which has been running since 2004, employs highschool students to mentor their younger peers while concurrently preparing them for school. Over the past 4 years alone, this system has successfully sent roughly 154 students to campuses across the country.

Reflecting on her journey to this point, Segura sat on a bench by Ohio State’s Mirror Lake on a cold October morning. While college has presented quite a few challenges, she finds solace in remembering her roots. “Every time things get difficult here…I just remember where I got here from, and where I’m now,” she shared. “The Guadalupe Center is unquestionably certainly one of the the explanation why I’m here.”

Students from migrant farmworker families face unique obstacles, starting from interruptions in education attributable to agricultural responsibilities to the impact of natural disasters and the cycle of poverty, in line with Guadalupe Center Director Dawn Montecalvo. Immokalee, a farming town with a population of around 28,000, has a per-capita income that’s significantly lower than its neighboring city, Naples. Roughly 75% of residents are Hispanic, 20% are Black, and 28% of households fall below the poverty line.

Montecalvo recalled a parent expressing their desire for his or her child to “work in air con,” which she initially interpreted as a reference to becoming an HVAC technician. Nonetheless, the parent simply wished for his or her child to work indoors and avoid labor within the fields. Within the Tutor Corps program, highschool students receive compensation for mentoring younger students who struggle academically. They supply after-school support, specializing in reading, math, and homework assistance. Moreover, the high schoolers receive guidance from Guadalupe staff members on college applications and leadership development. Each student also receives a scholarship of as much as $16,000 based on their duration of employment and assistance in securing additional college funding from other sources. This system costs roughly $2.4 million per yr.

Nallely’s group of 27 students have collectively received around $3 million in college scholarships to attend various campuses across the nation, averaging nearly $28,000 per student annually. Montecalvo proudly reveals that just about all of them will attend college without accruing any debt. “It’s a support system that I didn’t know that I needed,” expressed Segura, whose parents each immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico as children. “My parents, as hard-working as they’re, would not have much insight in relation to college life or skilled careers… just because we have done agriculture our entire lives.”

Montecalvo highlights the extra challenges Nallely and her peers faced while living in Immokalee, including the devastating hurricanes Irma (2017) and Ian (2022), in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic during their highschool years. “Resiliency is an enormous thing in our community,” she remarked. “I feel Nallely shows that too.”

Despite coming from a definite background in comparison with a few of her peers within the Health Sciences Scholars program, Segura is regularly finding her place at Ohio State. She proudly wears a bracelet featuring the tricolor of the Mexican flag and recently joined the Mexican Student Association, where she has found friends who appreciate her Spanish jokes and share a love for Bad Bunny’s music. “It’s really helpful simply because it is rather easy to wander off in such an enormous campus… Every time I’m going to those meetings, I’m back at home,” states Segura regarding the Mexican Student Association.

With aspirations of becoming a pediatrician, Segura’s passion stems from her love for youngsters and her firsthand witness of the disparities in healthcare accessibility. In Immokalee, the closest emergency room is nearly a 45-minute drive away. She hopes to sooner or later provide medical services right in Immokalee, keeping her community’s well-being on the forefront. “At the tip of the day, all of what I do is for my community,” she shares, acknowledging that her community and upbringing function her ultimate motivation.

– Connect with Gill at bit.ly/3fNsGaZ or follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at [insert link to Twitter profile]. [Note: The provided link and social media platform should be verified and accurate.]


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