At Ivy Coach, we proudly offer our pro bono college admissions services exclusively to veterans of America’s military. Today, we thought we’d share with our readers an update from U.S. Army Veteran Pablo Chavez-Hernandez, whom we helped with his case for admission to Columbia University.
I hope all is well! I apologize for not reaching out sooner, but the truth is I really wanted to have some good news before contacting you again. I’m very blessed to have met you and kind of didn’t want to message you empty handed. That being said; it’s been one year exactly since I left the service and I feel emailing you is long overdue. I wanted to personally thank you again and update you on how my first year at Columbia went!
This past spring, I had the opportunity to work at the Ryan F. Larkin Field Hospital and help out with the surge of COVID cases NYC faced. I originally offered my services as a nationally certified lab technician to run test kits, but my Spanish Speaking skills ended up being one of the most valuable things I could offer. A lot of patients only spoke Spanish and I was surprised to be one of the only few translators on the team. Being admitted to a hospital during a pandemic can be a traumatic event, so I can only imagine how it must have felt not even understanding what the medical staff were trying to say. I’m not sure how they felt, but all I know is that they were probably having one of the worst days of their lives.
I was able to help make some of the worst days people were facing significantly better for both the patients and their families. Over 800 health care professionals applied and I was honored to be one of the 150 hand selected to help. You helped provide me with a once in a lifetime opportunity to give back to the community, so I am forever grateful!
I’m proud to say my passion of helping others will hopefully continue after graduating from Columbia. The hospital was named in honor of a Navy Seal medic who unfortunately suffered from service related complications and took his own life. I also met a nurse at the hospital who was the widow of another service member that sadly killed himself after suffering a traumatic brain injury. This opportunity made me realize I really want to help other service members struggling with TBI and PTSD through clinical research. I’m declaring my major in Neuroscience this fall and am taking classes accordingly.
Thank you again for the opportunities that are impossible to find anywhere else!! I still can’t believe I go to Columbia (: I genuinely appreciate all the help you’ve given me and continue to give to the Veteran Community. Hopefully we can still grab lunch when the city opens up!!!
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