Samaria Ramos of Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a $1,000.00 student scholarship from the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) at the 2023 HOSA International Leadership Conference.
Samaria Ramos is a natural leader with a passion for helping those in need. She aspires to become a travel nurse so that she can use her ambition and desire to improve healthcare equity, help her community and educate others.
Passion for Community Service
Samaria Ramos knew at 14 that she wanted to work in the medical field after attending a career fair where she learned emergency medical skills like how to pack a wound and how to suture.
"After that, it sparked my interest in working in the emergency room," she said. "I think this moment stuck with me because it was a perfect way for me to be hands-on and to help my community. The emergency room is where you can make a difference and probably one of the most important."
Samaria is passionate about her community and sees her future role as a way to make an impact through healthcare. She is particularly motivated to help people who have been affected by gun violence, as she has lost many friends and family members to this issue.
"This is significantly important to me because I've seen the effects up close," she said. "Some (deaths) could have been prevented with the right care," she said, noting that gun violence affects everyone.
Advocating for Healthcare Equity
Samaria's passion for helping her community extends beyond her work as a healthcare professional. She is also an advocate for healthcare equity, particularly for people of color. She believes that everyone deserves access to quality healthcare, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.
"Black women's pain is not being taken seriously," she said. "We (Black women) still have the highest risk of dying during, and after giving birth."
She hopes to see changes in health equity and equality for all people of color.
Samaria's commitment to her community and her passion for healthcare equity make her an inspiration to others. She is a role model for young people who are interested in pursuing careers in healthcare, and she is a tireless advocate for those who have been affected by gun violence. She is a force for good in the world, and she is sure to make a positive impact on the lives of many people.
Samaria was an active leader in high school, serving as a HOSA Parliamentarian in the HOSA Future Health Professionals chapter and softball team captain. As a HOSA Parliamentarian, she had opportunities to serve her community, like organizing a blood drive.
"We help save many lives with the blood drives and I'm happy that we do things like this," she said.
A Head Start in Her Medical Career
Participating in HOSA also gave her a head start in her medical career. She has already earned three certifications: OSHA, CPR and First Aid. She has also shadowed and interned in a hospital and emergency room, learning new skills like how to draw blood and administer COVID tests.
Samaria is in her first year of college at Western Illinois University, pursuing a pre-nursing major before moving to a nursing major in her junior and senior years. In addition to becoming a travel nurse, she hopes to educate and inspire others. "I see myself also teaching other people that aspire to be in the healthcare field," she said, noting that she was encouraged by a doctor at the career fair who taught her those first skills that sparked her interest.
Samaria’s Hopes for Change
As a Black woman in the medical field, healthcare equity is very important to Samaria, who hopes to see positive changes like more affordable care and equal treatment.
"Black women's pain is not being taken seriously. We (Black women) still have the highest percentage in death while and after giving birth," she said, adding that she hopes to see changes in health equity and equality for all people of color.
Her experience with HOSA has given her hope.
"Seeing people from all different states and countries made me excited seeing that more people of color are getting involved in healthcare makes me feel really good," Samaria said.
Samaria knows that self-care and a healthy work-life balance are essential in healthcare.
"Burnout is a real thing that many people go through," she said. "I feel like the most important thing to do is ask for help, if nothing else."
She feels burnout for healthcare professionals is often a result of a lack of social support, overwhelming responsibility, and insufficient self-care.
"I also think that we need more therapists and psychiatrists of color, so people have someone to relate to," Samaria said.
NHA Scholarship Winner with a Bright Future
Samaria Ramos draws inspiration from the fictional Dr. Miranda Bailey of Grey's Anatomy. Dr. Bailey is a minority female who faced many challenges in her medical career, but she didn't let that stop her. Samaria is passionate about healthcare equity and is committed to making a difference in the world. She wants to travel the world and help people who experience the same problems she has, such as gun violence and brutality.
NHA is pleased to award her the scholarship, and we are confident that she will use it to make a positive impact on the healthcare field.
If you are inspired by Samaria's story, visit NHAnow.com to learn about NHA's 8 NCAA-accredited healthcare certifications that can help you or someone you know launch or advance their career in healthcare.