According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black women in the United States are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. It is an element of racial inequality in America that is often overlooked and L’Jaree Troupe, a health care student at Florida Career College (FCC) in Boynton Beach, wants to change that.
“I’m committed as a health care student to not only become part of the change, but continuing working to bring awareness to it,” she wrote in an essay submission for the Be the Change Scholarship, which FCC created in support and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. More than 160 FCC students submitted essay entries, which were reviewed by a committee of administrators and faculty members. They selected Troupe as the winner. The full ride scholarship will cover all of Troupe’s tuition for her health care program at the FCC Boynton Beach campus.
Troupe wrote, “I live within a family of five generations of African Americans, all of whom have experienced their own personal injustices in different eras of American history.”
“What this present generation has shown America is that it plans to be on the right side of history,” she added.
“Florida Career College is committed to supporting racial equality. We stand with the African American community in the push for social justice. With this scholarship we seek to honor an individual who has the passion, drive, and commitment to be an agent of change,” said Dr. Fardad Fateri, president and CEO. “L’Jaree is certainly worthy and the scholarship committee was deeply moved by her essay.”
“I am beyond thrilled to have been selected for this honor. It is so rewarding to be at a college that would create a scholarship in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement,” Troupe said. “I want to be in a position to help bring change to the community, and my education is providing the means to accomplish that. I want to thank the scholarship committee for selecting me.”
Troupe says that going into health care has taken on new importance to her with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is disproportionately impacting communities of color. “Going into this field right now is important because the community needs us in the fight against coronavirus.”
She was inspired to pursue a career in patient care by the nurses who cared for her mother while fighting cancer.
“My mom eventually lost her battle with cancer, but the nurses were wonderful and made a huge difference through their compassion and care,” Troupe said. “After that experience, I decided to pursue a career where I could make difference in the lives of others in that way, too.”
“L’Jaree is a true representation of someone who witnessed her family’s generational oppressions first-hand, but refused to let oppression define who she is,” said Aaron Morris, executive director at the FCC Boynton Beach campus. “She has risen above life challenges and now a role model for her daughter. She has been a stellar, dedicated student and I want to thank her for being such a positive inspiration at the FCC Boynton Beach campus.”