BHC alum, Amanda Braswell, has been selected to receive a prestigious Fulbright grant that will take her to the slums of Bangalore, India to explore the population's perception of food and dietary habits and how it relates to their health.
"There's a lot of health disparities and you have a lot of sick people that can't afford health care," she said. "Not only that, they don't get any kind of education about how their diet affects it."
For Braswell, the path that led to her success has been paved with educational opportunities. She is grateful to Brookhaven College for her experiences and setting her up for success in her career.
"I enrolled at Brookhaven because it was local, affordable and the credits would transfer to other schools," she explains. "The classrooms are full of people from all walks of life, different cultures, different age ranges. That, to me, is attractive."
After graduating from Lake Dallas High School in 1996, Braswell attended BHC part-time taking basic courses while juggling a professional photography business before jumping into full-time status in 2014.
Inspired by her volunteer work at Camp iHope for pediatric oncology patients at Medical City Dallas Hospital, she decided to pursue something more. Her aim became nursing school to eventually become an oncology nurse at Medical City.
Between her heavy course loads and being a single mom, she was also hired as a work-study student under the supervision of Carrie Schweitzer, who had just transitioned into her role as director of sustainability. In 2015, Amanda attended the Earth Day Texas event at Fair Park (now EarthX) and found Baylor University's Nursing School booth. She eventually transferred and graduated from the program in December 2017. True to her plan, she is now a registered nurse in the bone marrow transplant unit at Medical City.
In addition to Schweitzer, Braswell has also maintained friendships with librarian Lois Wagenseil and English professor Dr. Herschel Burton since leaving Brookhaven.
Braswell is the first student in the Baylor University Nursing School program to receive a Fulbright grant. She departs for India on Aug. 18, 2018. When she returns, she intends to publish her research findings in various publications and will continue her nursing position at Medical City. Graduate school is already at the forefront of her mind, she says.
Amanda currently lives in Carrollton with her 15-year-old son, who has most recently shown interest in working in the health care field, himself.