Dr. Christy Love Scholarship
Dr. Christy Love served as the Counseling Psychologist at SCNM from 2003 thru 2009. She had a passion for working with SCNM students to help them overcome the challenges of a rigorous program. Dr. Love passed away on September 20, 2010, at the age of 39. Each year, SCNM joins her family and friends in celebrating her life by awarding a scholarship in her memory to future doctors who, like Dr. Love, are committed to making a difference. SCNM President Dr. Paul Mittman stated, “Dr. Love was a skilled and caring doctor and teacher. She used her life well and made a meaningful difference in the lives she touched.”
The Dr. Christy Love scholarship has provided a means of continuing Dr. Love's presence in spirit with the students who mattered so much to her. This award not only honors Dr. Love’s passion for naturopathic medicine, but also her ability to balance the challenges of being both a single mother and a working professional.
In memory of Dr. Love, who was a single mother, one award of $500 is given to a student enrolled full time who is a single, legal parent/guardian and providing for a child under the age of 18.
Meet Dorian Richardson, the 2017 recipient of the Dr. Christy Love Scholarship.
Dorian grew up in a family of doctors and always planned to study medicine herself. During her last semester as an undergraduate, she put her plans on hold when she became pregnant. Hoping to stay connected to the medical industry while adjusting to motherhood, she took a job in pharmaceuticals but quickly realized it was not for her. One day while vaccinating her son someone recommended a product to reduce the side effects. She researched the product and discovered naturopathic medicine. She shared, “At that moment I knew this is what I wanted to do. I’ve always been around medicine. My family has their own private practice that I worked at when I was a teenager, so, I’ve seen the good medicine can do but I’ve also seen the bad. There can be addiction and people can rely on medications to survive instead of getting healthy. I knew I wanted to help people get healthy.”
Once deciding to pursue a degree in naturopathic medicine, the warm Arizona summers lured Dorian to SCNM to study. She told us, “Anytime it is over 80 degrees I get excited, 115 degrees and I’m in glory. I love the heat.” In her free time, she soaks up the sun while hiking and being outside. She is an avid traveler and has been to almost all fifty states and many different countries. Of everywhere she has traveled, Brazil is Dorian’s favorite place because of the all-encompassing beauty and the tastiest food she has ever eaten.
Being a single parent while enrolled in medical school is a huge challenge. Luckily, Dorian’s mother and grandmother are wonderful helpers. She told us, “I couldn’t do it without them. My hat goes off to the single parents who are in school and don’t have a support system.” Her advice for other single parents pursing their dreams is, “Do it. Many single parents are stopped by the fear of failure. My advice is just jump in there and do it. As soon as you do it, you are going to see doors open, opportunities arise and people placed in your life to help you accomplish your goals. The first step is just to start. Don’t worry about how it is going to happen. Everything always falls into place.”
Dorian expressed her gratitude by saying, “Thank you to Dr. Love’s mother for keeping her daughters memory alive and finding the joy through the tragedy. Words cannot explain how much I appreciate this scholarship.” After Dorian graduates, she wants to work in reproductive health for both men and women including everything from conception to the birth of the baby. Eventually she wants to open her own clinic and create a shadow program for HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) students. Dorian shared her final thoughts, “I believe love conquers all. Everything I do I try to do out of love and I feel that naturopathic medicine is my way to love the world. That’s my gift of love to the world, where I can really truly help people.”
Meet Previous Recipients of the Dr. Christy Love Scholarship.
Celaine, a fourth year student at SCNM and a single mother, was born and raised in Arizona. She attended Arizona State University where she earned a degree in psychology in order to better understand human behavior before entering the medical field. After Celaine was exposed to the environment of traditional medicine, she decided to redirect her efforts into working in behavioral health with children. She stated, “I have always loved working with children and working with parents, bettering their lives.”
As a parent herself, Celaine’s first patient was her son when he was diagnosed with both reactive airway disease and asthma. She did not want to keep her 2 year old on steroids, so she began researching and making environmental and nutritional changes that helped his condition. Shortly after, a friend introduced her to SCNM where she found her calling. She says “This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, it is what I’ve been doing for my son and there’s an actual world that does this!”
In regards to being a single parent while undertaking the intense workload of a doctorate program, Celaine said the most important skill is time management. “I’ve gotten really good at being able to prioritize, being able to manage my time and be efficient.” Her advice for other single parents is to “Keep your eye on the prize.” She continues to explain while it can be hard to balance time between school and family, it is a small sacrifice that will better their children’s lives and sets a great example by showing how any goal can be accomplished by working hard.
Lastly, we asked Celaine about why she loves SCNM and she said it was the community that makes the school so great. “I think everybody is so friendly and open, and everyone will lend a hand.” We could not agree more with her on that statement, and we are very proud of Celaine for all of her hard work and dedication.