Yosbelli Lora, Psychology
By Caitlin Hofen
"I wanted to find a direction for my life and I chose to become a psychology major. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made."
New college students often have specific education plans in mind. They know what they want to major in, what clubs they will be a part of and the classes they believe they will enjoy the most. As Yosbelli Lora learned, the anticipated plan is not always the best path to take.
The daughter of immigrants, Lora graduated from Ringwood (Okla.) High School. This milestone was one she considered impossible.
“I never pictured myself graduating high school, let alone attending college,” said Lora. “I was at the very bottom of my class in high school.”
Lora attended the Upward Bound program at Northwestern, but still had doubts that Northwestern would be the place for her.
“The Upward Bound directors saw potential in me and the camp counselors also were college students. They became my role models. I thought, ‘If they can go to college and do all these great things, why can’t I?’”
Once Lora came to Northwestern, she developed her education plan to include a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She soon discovered the plan did not work for her.
“I saw what money could do and my world started to revolve around being able to one day make the most money. I realized I had chosen business admin for the wrong reasons. Instead, I wanted to contribute to society in a different way.
“I wanted to find a direction for my life and I chose to become a psychology major. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I actually look forward to learning.”
Lora anticipates using her psychology degree to give her a leg up with her future endeavors, including gaining her master’s degree or a second bachelor’s degree.
“I’m thinking about applying to the master’s program. If I don’t get accepted, I hope to go in to nursing. At the end of the day, I have more clarity of what I want to do with my career. I think at the end of all this, whether that’s in two years or five years, I want to wear a white coat and stethoscope.
“Today, people who are immigrants or those who don’t have legal documentation won’t seek medical help because of the fear they may never see their families again. I feel that healthcare should never be denied to anyone regardless of their circumstances. As a multilingual, Hispanic female with a psychology background, I can be an asset for those in that situation.”
Lora is a well-recognized face on campus due to her involvement in organizations and her engaging personality.
“I looked at the Student Government Association officers as leaders during my first two years of college. They went the extra mile to make sure that my college experience was the most enjoyable it could be. As a senior, I’m giving back. This year, I became the SGA treasurer. I want to impact people in a positive way.
“My favorite parts about Northwestern are the environment and the people. Students are regarded and respected as individuals. Professors go the extra mile to make sure I understand the material.”
Lora feels that college is a new chapter that creates opportunities. Keeping an open mind about majors and courses is important, as well as getting involved in student organizations. Northwestern provided Lora with both opportunities and options.
“Obviously, I learned that I needed to go down a different path and my mindset needed to change.”
A leader with drive and determination, Lora is set to make her mark on the world.
To learn more about the Upward Bound program at Northwestern, go to https://www.nwosu.edu/student-services/upward-bound.