ACE Scholarship Mentor Arlene Sanchez – In Her Own Words

Portrait of ACE Scholar, Arlene Sanchez

Arlene Sanchez, ACE Scholar

Every year, students who are within 30 credits of graduating can apply for the CUNY SPS ACE Scholarship. The scholarship provides full tuition until graduation. Students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, enroll for a minimum of 6 credits, and demonstrate financial need. As part of their award requirements, ACE Scholars mentor newly-admitted undergraduate students and act as ambassadors for the school. To fulfill the duties of the scholarship each recipient writes an essay about their ACE experience. The Kiosk will publish these essays every Wednesday that classes are scheduled.

The following essay is by Arlene Sanchez, who is in the Health Information Management Bachelor’s program.

A Pivoting Career

My parents arrived in the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1972. As naturalized citizens of the US, they worked hard. They thrived with the wonderful opportunities that were offered to them in the 70s. My dad, a factory worker, is my rock and foundation of work ethics. He rose every day at 5 AM for 20 years to work in a never-ending assembly line in a New Jersey factory. My dad demonstrated that every day is a workday with his steady and inspirational dedicated work ethic. Every day is an opportunity to prove to yourself you can do better. Every day is a day to be an example to others.

With my ambitious spirit, I’ve embarked on a pivoting journey in my career. My 10-year professional experience includes medical office management. I became the project manager for medical records transition of an orthopedic practice when the HITECH ACT became law in 2009. Here is where I discovered my passion for Healthcare Information Management. My passion for IT and my experience in the medical field allowed me to marry these two professions. I found a new direction for my career – Healthcare Information Management. My final goal is a master’s degree in healthcare big data.

The Ace Scholarship’s Impact

By being an honorable recipient of The ACE Scholarship this year I am privileged to become a mentor to new students that come from a similar background to my own. The Ace Scholarship program helps you develop your leadership skills by mentoring others. I mentored four new continuing education students. With my experience in management, training, and being a mentor in my own office to new employees, being an Ace Scholarship mentor was fun and engaging; an opportunity to meet new people and refining leadership skills.

My experience taught me to highlight key areas that new students should take to achieve success in their curriculum. Skills like time management, finding the proper resources, and even just listening to the many frustrations that come from learning how to ‘learn’ again that comes from starting school later in life are critical. One of my key experiences is making sure to take two classes at most when first starting at CUNY SPS. This allowed me to really allocate my time and understand how I would allocate additional time if I wanted to add an extra class in one semester.

The Honor of Service

It was also a great experience to serve on the SPS Technology Fee Committee this year as part of the ACE Scholarship award. It was an opportunity to participate in a real school activity. This year I had the fun opportunity to volunteer for the Students with Disabilities Pop-up Museum on April 3rd. I helped out by welcoming attendees upon their arrival, provided programs & gift bags, and directed them to the presentation room as well as the museum. It was wonderful to interact with other students and a real honor to learn about the disability studies programs at CUNY SPS. It was a great turn-out and I look forward to many other volunteering opportunities.

There are three remaining classes to complete my bachelor’s in health information management. I look forward to meeting my next set of mentees who I am excited to assist in orientation. I am also really truly excited to continue with CUNY SPS for a master’s in data science, hopefully starting in Spring of 2020.

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