MPH Scholarship Spotlight: Lorena Moreno Aguilar

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Lorena Moreno Aguilar Online MPH Student

Lorena Moreno Aguilar is a USC MPH online student and a recent scholarship recipient. Read more about her experiences with the program and how the scholarship has helped her.

Describe your journey over the past few years.

My journey thus far has been great. I have learned so much as an undergrad and found new interest and passion for what I want to do and how I want to help my community become healthier and live longer. My work and research experiences have helped me grow professionally, and I look forward to applying my knowledge into developing research-based programs and interventions that will help many minority groups improve their health and prevent disease.

What led you to pursue an MPH degree?

I have always been interested in preventive medicine because of the disparities I grew up seeing as low SES Hispanic. I witness limited access to care and limited understanding of health regimens and health care in general. This led me to pursue a career in medicine and to want to become a doctor to serve as a bridge between health care and my community. As an undergrad I learned that other minority groups were also facing similar disparities. This sparked my interest to learn how we can help minority groups improve their health and prevent disease. This newfound interest led me to pursue an MPH degree.

Why did you choose the USC MPH online program?

I chose the USC MPH online program because it offers me a balance between getting a great education and pursuing other interests. During my first semester I had the chance to focus on my studies and study for my MCAT, as I want to apply to medical school. During these next semesters I hope to continue my education while doing research.

Tell us about your experience in the MPH online program. What have been your favorite classes and experiences so far?

Thus far my experience with the MPH online program has been amazing. I have been learning so much, especially this past semester taking both the “Principles of Biostatistics” and “Foundations in Health Education and Promotion”. I loved being able to see how interventions are developed and reading about how effective they are in the literature. I look forward to this summer semester in both epidemiology and health care delivery to make my decision on my concentration.

How did the scholarship help you to attend USC?

Having financial assistance has always been important to me. Coming from a low SES family getting a high-level education in such amazing schools always seemed like a dream. The scholarship helped me make that dream a reality and offset some of the burden and anxiety of being able to afford my education.

How do you see your degree affecting your next steps in public health? How do you hope to make a difference?

My classes have already fueled my energy and passion for the health of minority groups, and I see it helping me develop interventions and programs that will help my community. As a future physician, I see my degree helping me not give up on my patients but rather provide them with real solutions that are doable. I see every patient and every member of my community capable of making informed decisions and choosing to improve their health. I hope to make that a reality for them by providing them with the right information and resources.

Are you currently working, interning or volunteering? If so, where?

Currently I’m in the process of applying to different research opportunities on campus. Also, in my health promotion class, I was impressed by a guest lecturer’s presentation of the program Body and Soul aimed to improve the health of her church members. I’m planning on working alongside my pastor to implement this program or a version of it into our church.

 

Learn More

Learn more about the USC MPH online program at: https://mphdegree.usc.edu/academics-overview/