Empowering Dreams: Joanna Alatriste Zebadua’s Journey to Becoming a Physician Assistant

Unwavering Spirit of Determination

In the heart of every dream lies the unwavering spirit of determination and resilience. Joanna Alatriste Zebadua’s story is a testament to this truth, embodying the essence of what it means to not just dream but to pursue those dreams against all odds. As this year’s recipient of the Believe in Me scholarship, Joanna’s journey from overcoming adversity to achieving academic excellence is a beacon of hope and inspiration.

The Foundation of Success: Believe in Me

Believe in Me is more than just a scholarship fund; it’s a vision of a future where every child possesses the self-confidence needed to succeed. Rooted in compassion, trustworthiness, and innovation, the organization tirelessly works to bridge the gap for marginalized children, providing them with the essential tools for a brighter future. From educational initiatives to enrichment programs, Believe in Me is dedicated to fostering environments where dreams can flourish.

Joanna’s Journey: A Tale of Resilience

Born on July 20, 2001, Joanna’s story is one of unwavering strength and perseverance. Despite facing immense challenges, including a spinal injury that threatened her mobility, Joanna has consistently demonstrated an indomitable spirit. Her academic journey, marked by a 3.14 GPA amidst personal and financial hurdles, speaks volumes of her dedication to her education and future career as a Physician Assistant (PA).

Joanna Zebadua

Triumph Over Adversity

Reflecting on her experiences, Joanna shares, “At 18, I faced a life-changing accident, breaking my back and undergoing surgery. Doctors doubted if I’d walk again, but after six months of recovery, I did.” This transformative experience not only shaped her personal resilience but also ignited her passion for helping others as a PA specializing in spine care.

A Vision for the Future: Education and Empathy

Joanna’s aspirations are grounded in her commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. Pursuing a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree, her goal is to specialize in spine care, offering hope and healing to individuals facing similar challenges. Joanna’s approach to achieving her dreams is methodical and driven by a deep sense of empathy and understanding, qualities that are essential in the healthcare profession.

“ This scholarship means the world to me; it's not just about the financial assistance, but about the doors it opens and the opportunities it represents. I'm incredibly grateful for this support and eager to make the most of this chance to pursue my dreams.”
Joanna Zebadua
2024 Believe in Me Scholarship Recipient

Defined by Grit and Determination

Her academic recommender, Camille Wendlandt, highlights Joanna’s remarkable journey, stating, “Joanna has shown incredible persistence in pursuing her education outside of her home country, despite the challenges of living far from home and learning in a second language. She has also overcome a spinal injury.” This endorsement underscores Joanna’s grit and determination, qualities that are integral to her success.

The Role of Believe in Me: A Catalyst for Change

The Believe in Me scholarship is more than financial assistance; it’s a vote of confidence in Joanna’s potential and her vision for the future. With a scholarship score of 85.17, Joanna’s application stood out for her academic achievements, personal resilience, and commitment to her community. This scholarship is a critical stepping stone, enabling her to continue her education and move closer to her goal of becoming a PA.

A Quote of Inspiration

In her personal recommendation, Christina Parks shares a poignant reflection on Joanna’s character: “Joanna demonstrates leadership daily through her proactive determination to find a way to maintain a high GPA while working tirelessly to fund her education.” This insight into Joanna’s character highlights her innate leadership qualities and her relentless pursuit of her educational and career goals.

The Promise of Tomorrow

Joanna Alatriste Zebadua’s story is a powerful reminder of the impact of resilience, determination, and the support of organizations like Believe in Me. As she continues her journey towards becoming a Physician Assistant, her story stands as an inspiration to us all, embodying the belief that with hard work, perseverance, and the support of the community, dreams can indeed become a reality.


The Transformative Power of Education

In Joanna’s journey, we see the embodiment of Believe in Me’s mission: to provide marginalized kids with the opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed. As we celebrate Joanna’s achievements and look forward to her future contributions to healthcare, we are reminded of the transformative power of education and the importance of supporting the dreams of young individuals who are determined to make a difference in the world.

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