Receiving Royce Osborn Scholarship Is Just the Beginning

Lorraine Allen, B.S.
Aug. 3, 2017
Lorraine Allen

As a single mother of two children under the age of five, it is not easy finding the time to attend the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology — much less take time to complete scholarship applications. However, receiving the Royce Osborn Minority Student Scholarship is an affirmation to me that following my instincts and my dreams are my path to success.

Because of this scholarship award, my outlook on life is so much different now than it was just a couple of years ago. Back then, my financial world was ruined after a divorce. I lost my house, I was forced to file bankruptcy, and my kids and I had to go on welfare.

Even after I decided to make a serious life change and pursue a career in radiologic technology, things were still tough. A day didn’t go by when I wasn’t concerned about paying for textbooks, online tools to pass the ARRT exam, ASRT conferences, application fees and tuition for advanced certification programs — in addition to food, gas, ridiculous Los Angeles rent, babysitters (since all of my family members reside on the East Coast) and Pull-Ups® for my three-year-old.

Venturing Into Uncharted Territory

Until now, my adversities have remained confidential, as I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me. But sometimes the lack of money — and the feeling of shame that poverty elicits — are the only things preventing a person from fully manifesting their dream.

So earlier this year, I dared to venture out into uncharted territory and ask for help. Despite a hectic schedule with kids, school and seeking part-time hospital employment, I took the time to complete and submit a scholarship application with the ASRT Foundation because I wanted to prove to myself that I believe in my own potential.

When the negative voices in my head said, “Don’t bother to complete that application; you need to study anatomy and positioning, and you’d be better off spending time eating dinner with your kids,” I ignored them. Instead, I forged ahead, following my instincts and, more importantly, holding onto my dream of carving out a lucrative career.

I’m most proud of not giving up on my dreams. Thus, I’ve become a living example of what it means to be unstoppable in the face of fear, abuse, poverty and isolation. With each roadblock, I have learned to be focused, tenacious, courageous and grateful for what I have.

Lorraine with son Tristan and daughter Trinity

Raising the Bar on Career Path Choices

Going through the application process and winning this scholarship has changed me. I’ve learned that in sharing my adversities and struggles, I have developed strength, tenacity and “unstoppability.” I've learned that being completely transparent and vulnerable has in fact made me more compassionate and sensitive to my patients. Lastly, it has inspired me to take even bigger risks, to take steps to balance my life and to expand my goals. It has inspired me to raise the bar in terms of my career path.

When I first joined the ASRT, I was perfectly happy with simply being a radiologic technologist, but winning the award opened my eyes to the possibilities. In addition to working as an R.T., I hope to eventually have the opportunity to speak at conferences and maybe even one day open my own imaging center.

Obtaining my R.T. certificate is just the beginning for me, as I plan to give my gifts and talents wholeheartedly to the health care community. I am truly a rad mother starting over.

Gratitude Creates Philanthropic Goals

I have had some amazing mentors throughout my voyage, and I am so grateful to them. I also am grateful for the many generous donors to the ASRT Foundation whose gifts have made it possible for me to pursue my dreams. Winning this scholarship makes me want to earn a large enough salary so that I can become a donor myself one day. I would love to be at a place in my life where I can give back to the Foundation.

In addition, I want to one day create my own scholarship for single mothers entering the radiologic sciences. One of the ways that I will know I’ve arrived and earned my wings on this planet is when I can do these things.