“I do not want my parents’ sacrifices to be in vain. I have worked hard, concentrating on my studies… their hard work has paid-off in my education. Even though difficulties might detain me, I maintain my smiling face and walk with my head held high. I must look towards the bright future and stay optimistic. Surely, the end will not be a vision – but a reality”
2008 Scholar Rose Gao is always smiling. Though she has battled challenges throughout her life, she maintains a smile on her face and forges onward. Today, Rose is smiling even more, as she has just accepted a nursing position at an assisted living home for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. “I am so excited about my new job,” says Rose. “The field of nursing is very competitive, so I am grateful to have found something – a position where I can learn and grow in.”
Rose graduated from University of San Francisco in 2012, and received a Meritus Scholarship through Kaiser Permanente. She hopes to enter a graduate program in the near future. “That is where I can get deeper training and acquire lots of clinical skills,” Rose says.
Rose lived with her grandmother for most of her childhood, as her parents remained in the Philippines to work and save money. They wanted Rose to get a good education and go to college. Rose and her grandmother slept in bunk beds within a small studio apartment, Rose also serving as her caretaker. “I dreamed of going to school, getting an education, becoming a nurse, and buying a house that my whole family could live in,” Rose says. “Taking care of my grandmother made me realize that I wanted to become a nurse and help people.”
We at Meritus are incredibly proud of Rose and her accomplishments. Her ambition and optimism will take her far in life. Congratulations, Rose!