By Cynthia Rucker
Like many high school seniors, Yanise Jenkins anxiously awaited a response from one of several potential colleges of her choice. Then, the mail came.
Finally, an envelope embossed with the University of California Riverside logo in the upper left-hand corner had arrived. "I simply could not contain myself when I learned that I was accepted to U.C.R," said an exuberant Jenkins. "It was definitely at the top of my list, along with U.C.L.A., which I would like to attend following my tenure at U.C.R," said the future pediatrician. "It is a great beginning for me, and it has excellent educational opportunities that will help to pave the way of my career path and lay a solid foundation to that end."
"It was no surprise to me that my daughter would essentially pursue a career as a pediatrician," said Galtney. "Since she was a young child, she has said time and time again that she wanted to be a doctor when she grew up, so she made no secret that she wanted a doctor's bag or a nurse's uniform whenever Christmas and birthdays rolled around," she said. "Since she was old enough to play with toys, Yanise has shown signs of being destined for the medical field." Galtney maintains that Jenkins has maintained both discipline and focus, with regard to her career choice, and others are eager to agree.
"I have witnessed Yanise's hard work and dedication first-hand," said Ontario High School math teacher Clinton Hunter. "She has always kept me abreast of her goals and plans of becoming a pediatrician," he said. "As her instructor, I have seen her reach her full potential through that hard work and dedication, and I am proud to have been a small part of her education." Hunter said that he was excited when Jenkins informed him of her acceptance to U.C.R.
"I realize that my chosen field is highly demanding and will require a lot of me, especially where education is concerned, but I am up for the challenge," said Jenkins. "I am saddened by the increasingly alarming rate of children who are infected with AIDS, and I am passionate about becoming a part of the solution," she said. "When I see the number of children dying each day from the disease, I am more committed than ever to my calling."
Jenkins credits an early start in education for opening her windows to the future. "Preschool really did prepare me for my studies," she said. "It was there that I learned organization techniques and developed learning skills." With the support of teachers, counselors and her environment, Jenkins feels that she gained all the necessary tools to secure a solid future. "None of this would have been possible without the help of those individuals, as well as my mother," she said. "Being the loving and caring person that she has been, I knew that I could accomplish anything. She gave me a healthy, well-balanced life, which inspired me to care for the well-being of other children."
It is apparent that Jenkins is certainly off to a good start. "The desire to see all children living a healthy life has been my inspiration," said Jenkins. "I feel that life is too short to just pass through it, when we can all strive to make a difference," she said. "Each and every one of us is here for a purpose."
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