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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.

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

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less