By Cindy Hernandez

For Miguel Ortega, following a career path where he could help and make a difference in other’s lives was critical.

Ortega, 19, chose to pursue a nursing career because of the time he spent attending doctors appointments growing up. As a child, he had regular visits with the doctor to make sure his asthma was under control.

In 2014, his younger brother was diagnosed with cancer and he made sure to attend every doctor’s visit his brother had. However, in 2016, his brother passed away.

“Looking and observing how all the medical staff worked as a team to make my little brother’s pain be less painful inspired me to study nursing,” said Ortega.

Ortega, a sophomore at the University of Louisville says he hopes to continue his education after receiving his bachelor’s degree to become a Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner.

Despite being close to his community outside of school, Ortega says that attending a Predominantly White Institution is difficult. He says he is aware of the lack of diversity in his classrooms.

“In my major, there are not a lot of Latinx students and joining other extracurricular activities has helped me stay close to my community and you feel like you’re at home,” he said.

Ortega has become a part of various organizations on his campus that help Latinx students including the Compas Peer Mentor and Ambassador Program, a group of students who help other students navigate through their college experience.

Apart from campus, he works as a nursing assistant at Norton Hospital.

Ortega says he is grateful for the support he has received from his family and his community as he navigates through life as a college student.

“It’s important for Latino and Hispanic students to feel supported by our gente because it makes us feel like we can do this and we can accomplish anything we want,” he said.

Ortega was recently awarded the Al Dia en America Endowment Scholarship to help support his education. The $500 scholarship is awarded annually to a Latinx student who meets the criteria.

Al Día en América edición octubre 15, 2020.

Donors please make check out to U of L Diversity Initiatives/ Hispanic/Latino  Programs and mail them to Al Dia PO. Box 206275 Louisville Ky 40250.

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