Louisiana State University, 2016
I am Rochelle Young, born in New Orleans, LA, raised in Covington, LA. I am the daughter of Tyree Jr. & Marilyn Young of Covington, LA. I am the youngest of six children. Growing up we did not have much, but we always were rich in faith and trust in God for everything we needed, as we all had to attend church every Sunday. Although my parents and siblings did not have a strong college education background, and I did not have a college fund of any type, I knew that I wanted to do something great, and make a difference. I attended high school at Fontainebleau High School where after I decided I wanted to go into Pharmacy, mainly for monetary reasons. After one year, I quickly realized that was not the major for me. I’d gone to this expensive school and taken out many loans, only to realize it was not for me. After that I took a year to find myself, and really figure out what major I could truly be passionate about and enjoy. After much prayer and soul searching, I discovered nutrition was the major for me. Both of my parents and many family members are diabetic. I always found myself telling them how they should eat. I saw how passionate I was about their diet and health and wanted to turn that passion into a career.
The change in major led me to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. I knew the program would add an additional 2 years to my time in college, but there was no other major that I would be this passionate about, so I was willing to take on the extra time. It was extremely hard to see many friends graduate and go on to do great things in life. There was also many people waiting to see if I’d drop out or fail, since I am one of the few people in my family to attend college, but I was determined and knew my day would eventually come. During the last year of the Nutrition/Dietetics program, students who wish to become a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) must apply to Dietetic Internships. These internships are basically a medical residency including many rotations and practice in order to be prepared for the R.D. Exam and professional career. The internships are incredibly competitive, as only 49% of students nationwide get matched to an internship program. They require very high grade point averages (GPA) and a good amount of work experience. Since my grades plummeted during my time in pharmacy, this really brought down my overall GPA. I had great work experience in a local hospital for two years, but the head of our Nutrition Department at LSU told me I still should not apply to internships, because I probably would not get in with my GPA. I was also told the same by an internship director himself and a professor. Despite, I still applied. I and my family prayed and believed God for an internship. I put my trust in God, not in man’s word. God does not operate based on our qualifications, but he shows his love and mercy by taking the hopeless and making their success a testimony for his glory.
“Being accepted into an internship was one of the greatest days of my life.”
I praised God for about two weeks straight after, just on cloud nine! To top off the acceptance was graduating from LSU. My parents and family of course were all extremely proud. But what touched me the most was my father’s happiness and pride. He has worked tirelessly, extremely early mornings and very late nights to take care of me and my mother, and help me out with school. I am his first child of four to graduate from college, and he has truly shown how proud he is and his appreciation. All of the long nights of studying, trying to balance school and work, research projects and headaches all paid off in these moments.
Now I am preparing to begin my dietetic internship in August. I am eager to learn more in depth about all the different areas of nutrition, and which would be my best fit. There are many different avenues that can be taken by Registered Dietitians such being a clinical dietitian, pediatric dietitian, diabetes educator and a community dietitian.
“As of now, once I become a Registered Dietitian, I’d like to be involved in the community, giving nutritional coaching at various events and also writing menus for local schools. Healthy lifestyles begin with our youth, which is why I also wish to start a healthy eating program for children.”
I am incredibly grateful for my success, and I give the glory to God, my family, and friends for supporting me along the way. If you are feeling discouraged or inadequate, know that God is enough, and by his grace, you can make it through.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4.