Monica Detomas received a scholarship and a global fellowship underwritten by the Annual Fund. In the interview below, Monica describes how she came to Columbia Nursing and what she hopes to achieve.
Q: How did you decide to come to Columbia? Was there a specific moment when you made that decision?
A: Columbia was my dream school. I was accepted to other great programs, but I knew that my heart was with Columbia the minute I received my acceptance. It was the most amazing feeling ever.
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself prior to coming to Columbia?
A: I was born in Peru and came to the US when I was 7 years old not knowing a word of English. I eventually graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in Psychology and became a health educator for seventh graders. Soon after, I began volunteering for one of the geriatrics units at a NYP hospital which is where my love for nursing started.
Q: How do you, or how do you hope to, effect change on a personal level or in a broader context?
A: I have experienced and seen how the healthcare system has often failed immigrants. I hope to serve this population and provide health care that accommodates a patient’s lifestyle, background and culture.
Q: What role does Columbia play in that? What opportunities have you found or created through your connection to the university?
A: Columbia’s curriculum incorporates case studies that expose students to cultural conflicts that may arise in the workplace. Participating in international clinical placements like the one I experienced in Ethiopia builds cultural competency and an understanding of people from around the world.
Q: How has financial aid helped you accomplish your goals?
A: Financial aid underwritten by the Annual Fund has given me the confidence to push myself a little harder to accomplish my goals. It is amazing knowing that there are alumni and friends of the school who believe in me and want me to excel in this field.