Scholarship Inspires Commitment to Professional Involvement

Stephanie Robles
Sep. 27, 2016

Stephanie RoblesIn 2015, I was struggling to balance being the mother of three active children, being a full-time student and working two part-time jobs. I had just relocated to Mt. Vernon, Indiana, to provide a better family environment for my children, and the financial burden of school was weighing heavily on me.

Returning to school was something I was determined to do, but it was an added expense I had not anticipated when I moved. When I was accepted into the radiologic and imaging sciences program at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, I optimistically set out to find a way to pay for school while still providing for my children.

That is when I applied for a donor-funded scholarship through the ASRT Foundation. Although I hoped to receive a scholarship, I was not counting on it, and I spent hours — and more than a few sleepless nights — trying to figure out how else to pay for school. When I received the call that I had been selected to receive a Jerman-Cahoon Student Scholarship, I was so relieved and happy that I cried on the phone.

That scholarship was the reassurance I had been looking for. Knowing that others believed I had what it took to be a radiologic technologist affirmed for me that I was on the right path and pursuing the right passion. The support I received from donors empowered me to keep going and allowed me to focus on my academics and not stress about how I was going to pay for it.

I was so grateful for the scholarship that I began to investigate what other ways ASRT supports its members; I have been an active member ever since. I had the honor of participating in the Student Leadership Development Program at the annual conference this past June. If not for my involvement with the Foundation, I never would have known about the benefits of service to our professional organization.

Had I not received this scholarship, there is no doubt in my mind that I would have had to drop out of school. The financial burden of earning my degree would have disrupted the delicate balance I had been keeping between providing for my family and paying for school. Because of this scholarship, I am now two semesters away from graduating and building a better future for my family. The ASRT Foundation and its donors are the spark that fired up my career.

The support I have received from the professional community, and Foundation donors especially, has inspired me to get more involved in our profession. I look forward to giving back to others in the medical imaging and radiation therapy community through volunteer opportunities with ASRT and through supporting the Foundation.

If I ever have the opportunity to meet the donors who changed my life through this scholarship, I plan to hug them, as words alone can’t express the difference they have made in my life and in the lives of my children. Their commitment, dedication and support of the profession are simply life changing.

Their generosity enables people like me, who are passionate about patient care and the radiologic sciences, to keep pursuing their dreams. Donors have helped this single mother inspire her children to work hard, stay focused and be passionate about whatever they do.

The scholarships that donors make possible are a vital source of support for students and professionals who are looking to enhance and advance their careers. I encourage everyone in our professional community to support the opportunities available through the Foundation. It would be a tremendous deficit to our profession if no resources were available to help our colleagues pursue education. Donors are an essential part of ensuring a strong future for the medical imaging and radiation therapy profession, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for contributing to my future success.