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Daniela Carbajal – July 2015 Scholar of the Month

2014 CHCI-United Health Foundation Scholar-Intern

Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida

School: Florida State University

Major: Masters in Public Health

Placement: A Women’s Pregnancy Center, Tallahassee, Florida

Daniela Elizabeth Carbajal was raised between the United States and Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In Honduras, Daniela was cared for by her grandmother, while her mother stayed in the United States to work hard as a housekeeper in order to sustain their family.

As a child in Honduras, Daniela’s inquisitive mind was created for science as she always questioned everything around her. Daniela’s heart was also shaped for service through her experience while living abroad. Seeing the challenges of herself and others sharpened her desire to one day become involved in the medical field with the purpose of helping and healing others.

After completing high school in Honduras, Daniela came back to the U.S. to attend Florida State University (FSU). Her decision to go to college was definitely bold because she did not have the means to afford college. Her mother supported her decision to further her education, but as a single parent was overwhelmed by the financial burden and the expense college represented. In 2013, while finishing her BA in science in biology, Daniela had the honor of being accepted as a CHCI-United Health Foundation (UHF) Scholar-Intern. As a 2013 CHCI-UHF Scholar-Intern, Daniela was placed with the Bond Community Health Center, where she supported the nutrition intervention program serving high risk populations in the Tallahassee area. This opportunity made her realize her potential and the numerous opportunities for her to continue growing. After this experience, she became actively involved with her school, including serving as a medical assistant at the FSU’s Health and Wellness Center Primary Care Clinic.

Daniela is currently pursuing her Master’s in public health at Florida State University. Daniela was ecstatic to find out she was selected once again to be part of the 2014 CHCI-UHF cohort. As a 2014 Scholar-Intern, Daniela volunteered with a non-profit called A Women’s Pregnancy Center in Tallahassee. With the center, she has been able to impact her community by supporting women with all the needs they have during their pregnancy.

Daniela is currently working in Peru as a 2015 summer intern with the nonprofit MEDLIFE. In addition to providing health education to to the community, Daniela has been working with nurses by going house to house for follow-up visits in the most distant districts of Lima, Peru. Daniela has also assembled mobile clinics in the most rural slums where vital resources such as water are absent. Once again, Daniela has witnessed the suffering that the shortage of healthcare access produces in people that are living in scarcity. She is looking forward to soon being fully invested in her profession and using the blessing of studying in this country to change the lives of others. Her dream is to continue traveling around the world to provide health solutions in developing countries like Honduras and Peru. Daniela truly believes that if people in underdeveloped countries have access to quality health care, they will be able to get an education and work hard to accomplish their dreams just like she did.

Thanks to these experiences, Daniela has the complete certainty that she will keep working in the medical field for the rest of her life. No other professional path is more rewarding for Daniela, because the feeling she gets from knowing that she has helped make a difference in the life of one person is precious and superbly fulfilling. Daniela is majorly grateful to receive the CHCI Scholarship not only once but twice. This prestige has further motivated her life to one day give back all of the blessings she has received. Daniela is thankful that the CHCI Scholarship is helping her make her dream of making the world a better place come true.