$10k Scholarship Finalist

My grandmother’s name was Betty Jean Allen. Within her lifetime, she buried her parents, husband, five of her six children, and two grandchildren. On August 8th, 2020, we buried her. She did not pass away from old age or from having Alzheimer’s; she died as a consequence of nursing home negligence after having a stroke in February of that year. I truly believe that my grandmother should still be alive. As one of the only Black women in her first nursing home including staff members, she was neglected and heavily medicated, as stated by her medical records. When my mother decided to move her to what we thought would be a better nursing home, she had no idea that my once lively, loving, and loud grandmother, would be further neglected and that this time it would cost her life. The American Bar Association confirmed the tragic medical realities of many Black men and women, stating that “Black people simply are not receiving the same quality of health care that their white counterparts receive.”

There is an overwhelming amount of healthcare disparities as it relates to communities of color, as we are less likely to receive quality care or have our levels of pain taken seriously by some health professionals. After losing a parent, all of my grandparents, and other family members to health related issues, the fire that once burned for the sole purpose of increasing access to quality care for everyone who is at a disadvantage has now spread to a devoted interest in Health Law. I know that becoming an attorney is the perfect way to marry my health care and leadership education with my desire to help seek justice for others, by doing the most good, for the greater good, and this is how I plan to change the world. While the road to becoming a first generation college, graduate was bumpy at times, failing permitted me with the ability to “fail forward,” and use those failures as lessons on how to progress and do better.

I wholeheartedly believe that a scholarship of this generous amount will not only help me to reach this amazing goal that I have set for myself, but it will also help to offset the rising cost of tuition, and my overall student loan debt. Because most of my educational accolades were funded by student loans, I would like to have to minimize my loan amounts taken out for law school and alleviate the stress of making sure that tuition and books are fully covered. Life and circumstances have taught me adaptability and resilience; but losing my grandmother has solidified my passion and purpose: to help others that fall victim to the lack of quality care within minority communities and malpractice in general, my purpose is to be the voice of other Betty Jean Allen’s.

My career goal is to become a Medical Malpractice Attorney, helping victims of medical malpractice.

What specifically drew me to Thurgood Marshall School of Law, was the fact that it feels like family. Aside from it being an amazing History Black College University, located in a city that I absolutely love, Thurgood had always felt like a “warm hug” when I spoke to alumni and current students of the school, in hopes of gaining insight into the program. When searching for a law school that felt right to me, one of the biggest qualities I looked for it to have, was the familial dynamic that I had gained at my alma mater, and Thurgood has just that. Furthermore, it was important for me to attend a university where people who looked like me, taught and attended. I know this journey will not be easy, but I also know that being apart of TMSL means that I now have another family that will be taking this journey with me and supporting me, as I support them.

I would first like to thank God for everything he has done for me, my faith has gotten me this far in life, and will only take me further. Next, I would like to thank my parents, grandparents, and my sister Tasha, for raising me to become the woman that I am today, their love and sacrifices have not gone unnoticed, and I am so grateful for them and I hope that I am making everyone proud. I would like to thank my friends near and far for their faith in me and continuous support and words of encouragement, thank you for being my shoulders to lean on. I would also like to thank my former professors at Western Kentucky University, Dr. William Mkanta and Dr. Gregory Ellis-Griffith for believing in me, and providing guidance and support every step of the way. Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank BARBRI for this amazing opportunity, words cannot express how grateful I am that you all see something in me, and my hopes to change the world. Less than 5% of attorneys are Black women, and as an incoming, non-traditional, first generation law student, this scholarship will help to alleviate some of the financial burden that students who look like me, sometimes face. I am honored to represent you, and Thurgood Marshall School of Law, while simultaneously working towards becoming the change I want to see.

Winning the One Lawyer Can Change The World scholarship would mean that there is one less “thing” for me to worry about and stress over. The financial burden of education that sometimes looms over my community, can become a hinderance to us wanting to do more, and excel. In understanding all that law school will require of me mentally, a scholarship would mean that I can solely focus on my studies while in school, and bar prep upon graduation. It also means that there would be a lesser amount of student loans that I’d have to repay in the long run. It would be an honor to receive such aid, and be seen as a change-maker.

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