This letter came this week:
Congratulations! We are delighted to confirm your unconditional acceptance to the Masters of Public Health programme with the University of Liverpool.
First of all if you are American you might be thinking two things: Is that really a place and don't they know how to spell 'program'?
Yes it's a city in England where the first US Consul in history was appointed to and the city where the Titanic was registered. Find out more completely random facts here: Wikipedia Liverpool UK.
They also have a really good university that has a great online MPH program. (I'm not leaving Mercy Ships!) And that's how they spell program there. It's not wrong, it's just different. (wink wink)
Why? I love what I do and I really want to be able to do it better. The things I will get to study - like epidemiology, qualitative methods in health research, and health promotion, will help me to understand to a greater depth the global issues that affect health and barriers to implementing change, and will help us develop the most effective programs possible to see transformation in the health systems of our host nations. And I really love learning, especially when I know I can use what I learn in a very practical sense.
Do you have time? It will be a stretch. My job takes up a lot of time, however, I don't have to do things here that I would have to do at home, like grocery shop or cook or commute, so finding time in amongst other things, while it isn't easy, it is certainly possible. Other crew members have done it and it takes determination and focus and I will have to give up quite a bit of my personal time. But I am willing. We're trying to maximize my work team and time next year as well and hopefully will be able to find some hours in the week to study!
Can you afford it? Nope, I can't. It's not nearly as expensive as an in-person mph program based in the United States. (for reference, Johns Hopkins MPH is about $75k) It is, however, still expensive and as someone who is entirely reliant on donations to survive and keep pursuing my calling with Mercy Ships, this is where I need to ask you for help. I know that if I am supposed to pursue this that somehow the funding will be made available. I have enough in savings to pay my application and placement fees; after that I'm looking at about $26,000 for the three-year program including fees and books.
So here is my ask:
1. Would you consider funding a part of my graduate education? This will be on top of my regular Mercy Ships fundraising needs. I plan to pay by the year, so my current need is just under $9k before I start this summer. Tax-deductible donations can be made via my Mercy Ships account and it would help if you sent me an email indicating it's intent so I can keep it separate from other funding.
2. Would you help me to find other funding opportunities? I've not found much as far as scholarships and other help for graduate studies (for a non-minority student... grr), but you are a wealth of knowledge that I do not have, so I am asking if you have a foundation or a trust or a church or some other kind of organization that likes to support education, would you contact me?
Please don't hesitate to email me with questions, or make a comment on this blog post. I'm really excited about this next chapter!!