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Passion For Food Is Lead To Dietetics

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    She smelled the rich, creamy sweetness aroma of the dulce de leche empanadas wafting through the air; its warm and inviting smell was a reminder that she was home. Home was where my new fond passion for food began. My passion for food and cooking began at an early age, as I was fascinated by all the savory rich flavors and textures that brought food alive. Despite my passion for discovering new flavorful recipes I struggled to maintain a healthy lifestyle until my early adulthood. Due to my personal struggles I learned to value the importance that nutrition plays on our overall health as it has also lead me to the path of dietetics. As I discovered how crucial and essential proper nutrition practices are I began to be intrigued in pursuing a career in the field of nutrition. As an aspiring young child I always envisioned that one day I’d be passionate enough to pursue a field that focused on preventative health practices such as adopting healthful eating habits and physical activity. My career objective is to utilize the knowledge and skills I have gained from my personal experiences and college education to empower and educate low socio-economic populations regarding preventable diseases especially type II diabetes as it has been shown to be increasing rapidly in the past decade.

    I am seeking to become a registered dietitian through the UNLV Dietetics Internship program as it offers clinical rotations that emphasize on renal dialysis and 240 hours in community nutrition those of which include multiple site practices. I aspire to achieve clinical experience on type II diabetes throughout my involvement at the UNLV clinical rotation in the hopes to pursue my certification as a diabetes educator. A CDE certification will allow me to focus and further make an impact on patients and underserved populations struggling with type II diabetes and related diseases. Following my internship at UNLV I also hope to address food insecurities and food deserts in Nevada. Along those aspirations I am aiming to make an impact to break social, economic, and language barriers within our underserved populations by working alongside local dietitians to educate in the form of workshops regarding healthful eating practices, costs of healthful eating, and the importance of incorporating physical activity in our daily lives. As a registered dietitian serving low-social economic populations my ultimate goal is to shape and mold positive relationships individuals may have with food and nutrition.

    As a graduate student of nutrition and dietetics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas I have remained involved with the dietetic community. I have been a member of the UNLV Student Nutrition and Dietetic Association, while also a student member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In order to increase my knowledge in clinical nutrition I had the privilege to shadow a local dietitian Julie Suckow, RD, LD, CDE. Mrs. Suckow has allowed me to work alongside her organization Creating a New Norm to better address the importance of following a bariatric diet post surgery. Because Mrs. Suckow often works with the Spanish speaking population she reached out to me to assist her in translating all her bariatric surgery handouts. These handouts varied from what to expect pre and post surgery to the upmost importance of following a bariatric diet. Because a large majority of her clients are Spanish speaking, we both wanted to address and emphasize the importance of adhering to a bariatric diet.

    While being a full-time student at UNLV I worked as a certified chiropractors assistant for over two years. As a chiropractors assistant I was able to effectively assist the patients at Spinal Rehabilitation Center. I was trained to set-up patients on therapy, translate for the chiropractor, and execute cervical, thoracic, and lumbar x-rays. Being a chiropractors assistant at SRC my skills with interacting with patients increased significantly as I interacted daily through initial visits, translating diagnosis, treatment plans, x-rays, and therapeutic therapies. With every Spanish-speaking patient I translated the initial diagnostic treatments and further treatment sessions while addressing any concerns or questions. Even though this job required an extensive amount of attention to detail, I loved working at the SRC facility everyday. My work ethic and ability to work independently has allowed me to take on these various responsibilities. The physician and chiropractor at SRC have been invaluable towards my growth as an individual and student. When I first began learning about taking x-rays I was not confident in executing perfect and legible results. By a couple of times alone I grew more assertive in myself. Furthermore, working at SRC demonstrated my ability to perform well under pressure, to think critically and value the importance of patient care.

    While actively volunteering for the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation (NVCCF) for the past four years I have taken an active leadership role as a fellow volunteer. During this time I assisted the social worker and community volunteer coordinator in various workshops such as the Patient and Sibling, Kool Kids, and Thanksgiving Tree of Thanks workshops. In these workshops I assisted the coordinator in directing the events by offering innovative and fun ideas for children and young adults to enjoy. During my time with NVCCF I have demonstrated my self-direction and ability to work well with others by coordinating workshops and events and assisting young adults and children with projects. Volunteering with NVCCF has taught me invaluable skills such as time management, creative planning and project execution. By using these skills I was able to increase my knowledge and skills to apply in the field of dietetics. As I enter the next chapter of my life I hope to make an impact on my community as a clinical dietitian. I aspire to build a long and meaningful career in dietetics. With great excitement and joy I hope to be chosen to thrive in the UNLV dietetic Internship Program.

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