Mirla, 19 – FUNDED

Mirla, a second-year undergraduate student at Boston University, is currently studying psychological and brain sciences. That’s because this 1,000 Dreams Fund Scholarship recipient is passionate about advocating for mental health — especially for those who might not have access to the care they need. She’s working towards her doctorate degree to provide this kind of support. Read on for more about Mirla and her inspiring advice to other young women.

What is your professional dream?

My professional dream is to be able to help young people who struggle with psychological disorders in lower income areas. Growing up in one of these areas myself, I understand the stigma that surrounds mental disorders and the lack of resources that are available to treat them. Children, teenagers, and young adults who grow up in areas like these already have stressors that come from their environments. But, I ask, why can’t they have more resources in their schools and hospitals to help them cope with everything mentally? While I am aware that there are many political and financial factors that go into providing more resources to lower income areas, I would like to contribute as much as I can.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

The scholarship will help me cover some of the residential charges that come with living on campus. With tuition and room and board costs increasing every year, scholarships like these help students like me, who do not have the necessary funds to attend private universities and cover all these costs.

How is this scholarship helping you get closer to your dream? 

I would not be at the university where I am today without the scholarships, like this one from 1DF, that I have been able to receive.

What advice do you have for other young women who are wanting to pursue their dreams?

Regardless of where you come from — poverty or wealth, and whether you are a minority or not — there will be people who will tell you that you are not enough. Use those negative comments as fuel and let them drive you to a level of success that not only proves them wrong, but that will shape you into the extraordinary person that you are destined to become.

Have you had any setbacks? How did you move past them?

Moving to a bigger city and a more competitive environment has been quite a culture shock and there have been many times when I have felt that I was not enough. But my family has been my strongest support system and they have always been there to push me to do my best.

What’s next for you? What is your next goal?

My next goal is to further my education and research experience in graduate school where I plan to work towards a doctorate degree.