Elite Lawyer

Fall 2021 Elite Lawyer Scholarship Winner

Claire Rosenberger

Claire Rosenberger

With the Elite Lawyer Scholarship, we support one student each semester who is passionate about bringing positive change to their community. Our Fall 2021 scholarship winner is Claire Rosenberger, a pre-med student at the University of Arizona. Claire’s essay was selected from more than 100 applicants.

Read Claire’s Essay:

"Has anyone called emergency services?" I asked the bystanders, to which one woman responded, "We called about twenty minutes ago." Our team of students from the Arizona Global Health Project (AZGHP) just began driving back to the United States following the completion of one of our biannual medical trips to Puerto Peñasco. Immediately, we were stopped by a horrific crash involving two young women. After the women were safely pulled from the vehicle, my colleague tended to the women’s physical injuries while I cared for the women in the one way I could with my limited qualifications—compassion. Since I was the only Spanish speaker in the group of bystanders, I soothed and assured the women. There was still no formal aid in sight, and it had been forty minutes since the call for help.

After this eye-opening encounter during my first trip with AZGHP, I grew passionate about serving underrepresented communities and was compelled to lead and develop the organization. I took on the responsibility of planning the clinic trips and training groups of students to work professionally alongside physicians treating underserved community members. My interactions with patients in and outside our Mexico clinic inspired me to apply for an internship at Banner UMC to better understand the needs of diverse communities within the American healthcare system. As an intern, I gained a powerful understanding of the prominence of Spanish speakers in Arizona hospitals and of how language barriers can negatively impact patient care.

This opportunity helped me understand the need for a more culturally accessible American healthcare system, specifically for Spanish-speaking Mexican-Americans. Through my interactions with diverse populations, I gained a level of cultural understanding that has allowed me to better serve the communities unique to the Southwest. I decided to pursue a second degree in Spanish Linguistics so that I could genuinely connect with those in my community through language. As I progress through my degree to gain the knowledge needed to doctor a patient’s ailments, language gives me the power to connect with patients by diminishing their mental fatigue and emotional pain. Through all endeavors, I aspire to provide some piece of light, however small it may be, to each person I interact with.

When I reflect back on the day of the accident, I recall how it took over an hour for an ambulance to arrive and am left with a fiery passion to serve communities with limited opportunities for fair and equitable access to healthcare. This year, as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease with vaccination numbers increasing, I intend to reinstate these medical trips in nearby Spanish-speaking communities. Having witnessed the impact of bilingual and culturally competent physicians in hospitals of Tucson and clinics of Mexico alike, I seek to widen the reach of bilingual care in my community through these clinics in underserved communities, employing bilingual students who can increase the trust between Spanish-speaking members of the community and healthcare providers, leading to better care in the end.

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