Nanette Chacon, studying Clinical Counseling, is a LatPro Scholarship Finalist

[T]hroughout my life, I have always tried to set my goals and aspirations high. Although my career choice has changed from what I aspired to be as a child, I have always known I wanted a career where I felt like I was making a difference. I realized the importance of helping people early in life. Since no one in my family has graduated from college, I decided at a young age I wanted to break that cycle. At the age of 20, my life changed forever with the events surrounding the birth of my daughter. 

She was born 5 ½ weeks early with a rare terminal disorder that was not discovered until after her birth. She lived for nine days until I had her baptized and taken off life support. I sat with her for seven hours until she passed away in my arms. I would never have been able to make it through such a traumatic time period in my life if there had not been a neonatal grief counselor with me every step of the way. That experience changed my life in so many ways, including the career path I believe I am supposed to be going down. I am currently only four classes away from achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. I want my children to see just how important education is. Knowledge is power. Education is the one thing in life that no one can take away. 

The traumatic experience I went through with the loss of my daughter taught me so many things. In many ways, I believe she saved me. She gave me a new outlook on life and helped me realize just how precious life is. It is important to live each day to the fullest and help as many people as possible. My daughter’s death made me realize just how important a grief counselor is.

I have already applied to the Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling program for the 2013-2014 school year at the University of Phoenix. Upon graduation, I am going to pursue a career as a grief counselor. My ultimate goal is to work in close relationship with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at a respectable hospital to support families who experience similar misfortunes. 

Throughout my educational journey, I have faced many obstacles that I have had to overcome. I grew up in a family where college was not important. When I graduate I will be the first one in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and I will be doing so with honors. I will not stop there. I have chosen to pursue graduate school. I have had to overcome the overwhelming grief that came with the loss of my daughter. I chose to use that grief to push me to succeed rather than letting the grief consume me. The financial obstacle of raising three young children, working full-time and attending college full-time has been a difficult to overcome but with hard work and perseverance, I have succeeded.’s scholarship program is proud to announce Nanette Chacon as one of the finalists for its December 2012 application deadline. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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