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My interest in nutrition didnt begin with one defining moment but, rather, a collection of experiences.

I watched friends struggle with eating disorders in high school, I have witnessed my grandmothers slow decline into immobility due to uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, and I have experienced the heartache that comes with losing a beloved uncle to cardiovascular disease. Each and every one of these experiences has pushed me to not only seek answers but to understand my role in preventing nutrition-related diseases. Throughout my work experience in the hospitality field, whether that was catering food for a Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) event or working at a popular Mexican restaurant, I have seen the disconnect people have with food. For the most part, the misconception is that if its healthy then it must not be very good. My mission is to help people understand that nutritious food is more than celery sticks and carrots. Its learning to prepare and experiment with new food while keeping in mind the nutritional content. A large portion of my work experience has been in customer service, as a cast member at Regal Entertainment, I served people of all ages and backgrounds while, frequently, using my Spanish skills to better assist individuals. I currently work for the Health Professions Department (HEP) of MSU Denver; my job is to serve as a receptionist, answer telephone calls and welcome visitors. I provide administrative assistance, conduct outreach, and answer constituents requests for information about HEP and our services. I assist in creating flyers, labels, files, and spread sheets. Often times, I am assigned individual projects which give me the liberty to use my creativity and problem solving skills to complete a task. I am currently volunteering with cooking matters as an assistant. I work side by side with a nutrition educator and chef to facilitate the healthy cooking class to low income families. I am also working with Colorado 4-H; I teach healthy cooking classes and basic nutrition to children ages 611in local recreation centers. As an exhibit guide at the Museum of Nature and Science I have worked in teams to facilitate a variety of health and wellness activities for the visitors. On my team I had retired surgeons, veterans of war, engineers, high school student, and children. Each person had a different opinion, perspective, and knowledge; all of which enriched this experience that much more. I also worked with museum collections on interactive carts and assisted in our experiment area, Biology Base Camp. This experience taught me to respect and approach every situation with an open mind. My strengths include always maintaining an open mind and having great listening skills. As the volunteer coordinator of the Auraria Campus Student Dietetic Association (ACSDA), I am constantly in contact with students, faculty, and outside organizations; being able to listen attentively is what allows me to do my job effectively and efficiently. The area I need improvement on is public speaking. I am not the most graceful speaker and I find my nerves getting the best of me, however, I have decided to work on improving my public speaking by joining the board of ACSDA. As a board member I am compelled to speak in front of my peers and professors. My short term goals are to gain experience in clinical dietetics and to create a childrens book that helps educators and parents follow best practices for supporting childrens healthy preferences. Ultimately, I see myself working with the community by teaching classes to low income families and educators. I want to help raise awareness of nutrition-related diseases and I would like to continue my education and expand the frontiers of nutrition in relation to gene expression.