'Find your people and spaces where you feel valued'
McNair Scholar and Senior Scholar for the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Valeria Savage reflects on her path and offers advice
Now that I have graduated at the University of Nevada, Reno I can say that I am happy with what I have accomplished during the past four years. I am most proud of being a McNair Scholar due to the numerous opportunities that I was given while simultaneously giving me the ability to conduct research as an undergraduate. Four years ago I never imaged I would be able to call myself a funded researcher and I can thank the McNair program for betting on me. I have also been named the Senior Scholar for the School of Medicine for Fall 2021, a shock and pleasant surprise. Currently, I am applying to graduate school to pursue a Master’s in Speech Language Pathology.
As I spend the last few days of this semester at the university, I can’t help but reflect on everyone who took the time to believe in me, encourage me, and assist me in reaching my fullest potential. I am thankful for all of the professors who taught me foundational knowledge that I will be taking to graduate school, the faculty who have supported me during my academic career, my counselor who gave me a safe space to express myself, my friends who inspired me to work just as hard as them, and my family for all the unconditional love and care they have given me.
My advice for anyone starting college would be to find your people and spaces where you feel valued and important who not only push you to be better, but remind of you why you’re there in the first place. College is so much more valuable when you have like-minded individuals around you who support you and your goals.