In 10 years, this incredibly hard-working millennial could be your kid's pediatrician.

She works four jobs and goes to school full-time. If it gets her closer to her dream, it's all worth it.

How hard would you work to get the education that will help you reach your dreams? Ricarda Urso knows her answer: as hard as she can.

In 10 years, this incredibly hardworking millennial could be your kid's pediatrician.

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, October 20, 2016

Working a job while going to school isn't out of the ordinary for a lot of college and university students. Working 60 hours a week at four different jobs is — but Ricarda does it with a smile.

Ricarda Urso is like a lot of young, optimistic, idealistic students. She's passionate, bubbly, and focused — committed to doing whatever it takes to get closer to her dream of going to medical school. In her case, that means working four different jobs to help pay for her education and support her family.


Every week, Ricarda works a minimum of 20 hours at a local Taco Bell, along with 20 hours at a video resource center and 10 hours as a lab assistant at the University of Oklahoma. She also babysits for about 10 hours a week. All of this is on top of her full-time, 15 credit hours of coursework at the University of Oklahoma, where she’s doing an undergraduate degree in preparation for going to medical school.

"It gets crazy," she says "but I'm way determined to complete my path and make my dreams come true."

Ricarda hasn't walked an easy path to get this far. In her young life, she's overcome many challenges — some even grown-ups shouldn't have to face.

Ricarda and her brothers smile for the camera in this old family snapshot. All images via Taco Bell/YouTube.

When Ricarda's family came to America from Germany during her childhood, they never planned on staying long. That all changed when her biological father abandoned Ricarda, her mother, and her two brothers after encountering difficulties with his visa. He fled home, leaving them in Oklahoma to start a new life on their own.

Growing up the daughter of a single mother is tough enough, but Ricarda also had other challenges.

She was born with cerebral palsy, a movement disorder that affects her muscles along her entire right side.

Ricarda's cerebral palsy used to limit her ability to put her right foot on the ground. Regular stretching helps her prevent that from recurring.

Every summer during her childhood, she'd spend time at St. Louis Shriner's Hospital, where doctors and specialists would help her try to convince her muscles to move as they should. Even now, keeping her disorder from progressing requires painful stretching exercises and physical therapy. "It does hurt, and there's been those limits to where I'm crying," she said, "but there’s something inside me that says 'You can't stop.'"

Living with cerebral palsy and spending so much time in care as a child sparked a dream for Ricarda. She's laser-focused on becoming a pediatrician.

"When I was younger I got to see a lot of the medical atmosphere, and I got to see it with my own eyes," she said. "Kids, they're filled with joy, and I love that about them."

Ricarda knows she has a long road ahead. She also knows she can do anything she sets her mind to.

"I start the day early and end the day late at night — and this is just my undergrad years, I still have my graduate years and medical school. It is a long road ahead but I've always had this driven power to show others that I can do it."

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