David Fuentes

David Fuentes

2013 |  UCLA Graduate Scholarship Recipient
University of California Los Angeles | School of Nursing

I was born in a small community hospital known as Mission Hospital in Huntington Park and grew up in the inner cities of Southeast LA. As a single parent, my mom struggled to raise my three siblings and I. My humbling childhood and teenage years elicited my passion for community outreach, especially in underserved/underprivileged areas. Coming from similar communities I learned that we all have an obligation to one another, to at the very least extend our hand out to those less fortunate and to those that lack the resources many of us take for granted.

After moving in with my aunt, I attended a private Catholic high school, St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. There I engaged in many community and Christian services. Throughout high school, I was also an active youth ministry member at the neighboring parish, St. Dominic Savio Parish. It was here where I fine tuned many of my leadership skills as a coordinator for the parish camp, which was for children kindergarten through eighth grade.

After high school I attended California State University, Long Beach initially as a pre-nursing student. After a tumultuous first two years of college, I worked feverishly to regain good academic standing. My determination to achieve my goal of becoming a clinician and RN was enhanced by a bout my mom was undergoing with her hepatitis C. She underwent interferon treatment which left her bed bound and exposed an underlying manic depression. It was my experiences as a caretaker for her that truly motivated me to continue to strive for dreams that at one point seemed far beyond reach.

I graduated from Cal State Long Beach with my Bachelors of Science in Community Health and applied to UCLA for the Masters Entry Clinical Nurse Program and was accepted for the fall of 2011. While at UCLA I combined my commitment to influencing underserved communities and my passion for health care by taking up many leadership roles in various student and professional health organizations. I aided in providing health education and accessible care to underserved communities here in Los Angeles and in third world countries such as Mexico, Panama and Kenya. I graduated this past June of 2013 and was offered a New Grad RN job in the Intensive Care Unit at ULCA Santa Monica Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital in late July.

my immediate future goals include fine-tuning my skills as a clinician and bedside RN. I plan to return to school with the next 2-3 years to obtain my Doctorate in Nursing Practice to become a Nurse Practitioner. As a Nurse Practitioner, I plan to continue my unyielding commitment to the underserved by working as a primary care provider, whether it be here in Los Angeles, in the US or abroad. I want to increase and enhance the access of care for those that are left to fall between the cracks of health care systems.