Archive | January 2015

Tamara Gayle is PurposefullyPretty

“Mistakes are a fact of life: It is the response to the error that counts.” As anyone else I’ve had moments of weakness and made mistakes. Extremely lost and confused when I first enrolled into Queensborough Community College August of 2008, I failed all my classes and eventually had to drop out. I dropped out and focused on my job at a local store by my house with no intentions on ever going back to school. No drive or motivation, my only objective was to work and have money so that I would be able to support myself and help my family. It wasn’t until 2011 that I began to change my perception of life with the support of a very close friend. I readmitted back into school and was dedicated and determined to finish school within 2 years, and I did. It wasn’t easy working fulltime as a home visitor at Healthy Families Brookdale with a full caseload, however I worked hard and obtained my goal, graduating May of 2013 on the Dean’s List. That August I started City College as a science major with hopes of applying to the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education Physician Assistant program. Two weeks into the semester I found myself lost, hurt and confused yet again. My families matriarch, my grandmother passed away and a month later my grandfather was diagnosed with Stage IV Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I again had to put my education on hold. I began to struggle with depression and anxiety disorder that made life and daily routines hard for me to complete. It was at this moment that I knew I needed to seek help and put my life back together. While losing my grandmother and my grandfathers diagnosis proven to be detrimental to my mental health these two experiences made me appreciate life and my loved ones, and helped mold me into the woman I am proud to say I am today. I now know my purpose in life. Realizing the need for compassionate, empathetic and devoted social workers after my grandmothers passing I decided to change my major and remain in the social work field. Naturally a helper, advocate and dedicated to service I knew that I would be fulfilled and given the platform to actualize my dreams. Currently, I am a mentor at Forestdale Inc., working with at risk foster children ages 9-13; a Senior at City College as a Sociology major and a caseworker at Healthy Families Brookdale. I plan on applying to Columbia University to pursue a dual masters degree in Social Work and Public Health. My desire is to focus on combating health disparities plaguing the African American community, specifically mental health and the high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS while dismantling previous stigmas attached to the diseases through education and supportive services. I am PurposefullyPretty because through adversity and loss I was able to overcome obstacles resiliently. My experiences grew me, strengthened me and taught me valuable lessons. We all experience hardships, we all make mistakes but you are in charge of your life and you too can get through it.