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Congratulations to my Dawg!

I’m late to share my pride, but nevertheless proud.

Last month, my sister, Alex graduated from University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotions. Upon graduation, she returned to Albany and promptly began a one-year internship with One Source Healthcare before she begins applying to PA school in hopes of becoming what they now refer to as a Physician’s Associate.

Alex’s path has been a little more winding than mine.

She was destined to go to UGA. She had studied hard and graduated with honors at our high school, Deerfield Windsor.

She knew what she wanted to do, too.

Alex had suffered several injuries throughout her high school athletic career. She tore her ACL, meniscus and ischium, but throughout the recovery period she learned that she really loved working with her doctors, therapist and her Physician’s Assistant.

She shadowed her Orthopedic Surgeon and knew she wanted to go into the medical field.

When admissions rolled around though, UGA denied Alex and our family was crushed. The amount of work and time she put into studying and perfecting every small thing she turned in for admissions blew what I did out of the water, yet she wasn’t accepted.

Alex persevered and immediately enrolled in summer classes at Georgia Southwestern. She then completed her freshman year there with enough credits to transfer into UGA. She was determined to graduate a Dawg.

We all moved her into her new home away from home in Athens and said goodbye her sophomore year, knowing she was where she belonged all along.

She got involved in various activities to increase her knowledge in the medical field.

She became a contributor to Stethoscope Magazine, writing articles on health issues college-aged students face and discussing current health issues seen around Georgia.

She also became a caretaker for two adults through the Georgia Options Program.

As a caretaker, she worked with two adults that had special-needs, but wanted to live independently.
This job gave me an admiration for Alex like no other. She truly loved working with them. She would take them to the mall or to the movies or even their favorite restaurant. She would trade gifts with them on birthdays or holidays, and the adults responded with like joy. During her senior year, one of the adults passed away, and while Alex never spoke much about it, I know it was difficult for her because of the bond she formed over the three years.

She went on to become a certified nurse’s aide her senior year. She would drive an hour and a half every other week to Lawrenceville to complete various lessons on immunizations, various analyses and blood drawing.

Through this, she was even able to give flu immunizations to immigrants one year, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Finally, this year she found a new part of the health sector to immerse herself in. She became a crisis hotline operator, helping people in their most desperate hour.

I can’t imagine how she keeps her composure, knowing what she may say could influence a person’s life or death decision. Yet, somehow she does it, while still maintaining her daily schedule.

Alex never ceases to amaze me. Her dedication to her field has been proven throughout her years at UGA and I know it will only continue in the years to come.

I wish her all the luck in the world. She has a real talent in medicine that I do not possess and watching her graduate brought me all the joy. I hope that one day, when I have children she can be there and help me and provide me with all the medical guidance that I know will be much needed.

So, glory glory to old Georgia and Go Dawgs, Alex! I am forever proud and amazed by you.