Disadvantaged Status Essay for Medical School, 300 Word Limit, Cuban in Miami

I am a disadvantaged student for several reasons, economic, physical, and psychosocial. My mother arrived in the USA on a boat from Cuba in 1982, at the age of 18, speaking no English at all. She would meet my Cuban father in Miami where I was born and raised. He was alcoholic and abusive and I was raised primarily by my maternal grandmother and my mother who was almost always at work – one of her multiple, menial jobs. I was born into the lowest echelons of a highly-stratified Cuban immigrant community with the odds stacked against me from the beginning.

My skull was operated on at the age of 2 and I was left with a scar from ear to ear. My mother and I never qualified for any kind of public assistance while I was growing up. She did the best she could to make payments on this surgery; and we suffered in the shadow of these medical bills throughout my childhood. I was left to grapple with an emotional wound as well as a physical scar since I was subjected to derision by other children because the scar was quite noticeable; I felt as if I were somehow branded as inferior.

My medical bills represented a great challenge for my mother and I, since she was selling flowers at traffic stops during the day and working as a Nursing Assistant at night. Thus, when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 15, I felt obligated to quit school so that I could work and help to pay the family expenses. I have always worked two jobs, throughout college as well as high school. Beginning in a car wash, I moved up to food service and became a manager, then a security guard. I thank you.

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For more than 20 years, I have assisted students applying to Dental School or Medical School with their Disadvantaged Status Essays. It pleases me to contribute to diversity in dentistry this way and to making dentistry a truly global profession.

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