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I started working at the age of 14 at YMCA helping autistic children learn how to swim. I do not think I woke up one morning and said that is what I wanted to do, but I believe God put that opportunity in my path as he has done with many things in my life. I embraced the opportunity and there is something to be said about being wanted. The little girl who was one of my first students always asked for me every week and although she had her own unique way of being, I began to look forward to our hour of swim as well. What started out as a mere weekly paycheck, a little pocket money for me to be able to get around and buy a little lunch after school, became such a meaningfully learning experience for me.

To this day, although I no longer work there, I carry that little young lady in my heart. I now teach gymnastics to little kids and have found my true calling of merging my talents of gymnastics and desire to help people. I am recently a direct admit into the Temple University BSN program which is a highly selective program. I am blessed that I found them and they chose me. This will mark the beginning of my journey to making a difference one person at a time while simultaneously financially securing a life for myself.

By the age of 21 I will sit for my boards and begin working as a registered nurse. I intend to work for a city hospital like my mom and begin saving my money to open my own business. I will continue to seek funding for my continued education, as I intend my ultimate educational destination to be a Nurse Practitioner and open my own clinic.

Watching the summer Olympics last summer made me realize how important it is to have a one stop shop for gymnasts and athletes who are training everyday for so many hours. With all that has also transpired with the USA gymnastics board, as a lifetime gymnast, I feel like having services for gymnasts and their families readily available in real time us vital to the progression of athletes. This is why I intend to have my own gym where gymnastics is taught and adjacent to the gym will be my pediatric clinic with specialization in orthopedics to treat injuries. Also on site will be the Clinic Psychiatrist and Psychologist who can assist the gymnasts with anything they need.

I believe this will be an amazing financial endeavor that will serve our communities, by providing healthy resources for our young people, keep them busy, teach them dedication, commitment, and in the mist of all success.

This is the plan for my future and in the midst of reaching for my dreams I will help others reach theirs.

I am your ambassador for change. Invest in me and I will invest in those who follow.

-Angelica Chavez-Downes


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