Golden Women Book Scholarship Winner
Pursuing Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Policy
University of Southern California
Why continuing an education is so important to her:
Having a college education provides exposure to an entirely new world in a myriad of ways, which most often is not afforded to those who have not received one. While it is statistically proven that having a college education results in a higher earning potential on average, obtaining a college education isn’t solely about securing a great job after graduation; it’s all-encompassing. Building relationships, making connections, developing intellectual fortitude, stretching beyond one’s limitations, and being open to learning and sharing your thoughts and ideas all come are all apart of receiving a college education. At USC, I’m currently studying Public Policy on the Health Policy track, as my future endeavor is to work in health policy addressing the medical treatment and financial disparities that Black women and other women of color face within the healthcare system. With my degree, I plan to advocate for those that cannot do so for themselves by creating policies and making ethical decisions to advance their medical opportunities. Therefore, continuing education will allow me to achieve my goals of creating and maintaining equity within the healthcare system that disproportionately affects women. Not only will continuing my education allow me to help other people, but I feel as though my purpose in life would not be complete if I didn’t uplift and support the communities that have ultimately contributed to my success.
Cydney proudly supports:
NAACP Youth Council, Los Angeles Branch
Cydney, what does the term “Golden Women” mean to you?
“To me, Golden Women are women who despite their own trials and tribulations, are able still able to uplift and give back to others and their communities. Golden Women persevere, are resilient, and selfless, as their purpose is to support one another and not just themselves.”
Cydney, describe something that is plaguing young women today and explain what can be done to turn it around? What can you do to help?
“In the medical field, there are clear discrepancies that show that white women are benefitting from the institutionalized racism and prejudice within the healthcare system while women of color, specifically Black and Latinx women, are suffering. Based on statistics from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, African American women die in pregnancy or childbirth at a rate of 3-4 times the rate of white women. The CDC has recognized that access to prenatal care can reduce maternal mortality and other negative pregnancy outcomes, but this is mainly influenced by socioeconomic status. In addition, research shows that implicit bias leads doctors to spend less time with Black people and that they receive less effective care. It’s clear that the United States is failing at making healthcare equally accessible, but instead making it a privilege instead of a right. Ways to eliminate these factors would be to expand health coverage to low-income communities in order to increase the number of underrepresented minorities that can receive adequate care. Among many, the driving factors include socioeconomic inequality between groups and healthcare bias. Due to the likelihood of racial minorities being employed in lower-paying jobs, they’re more likely to not have access to more comprehensive health insurance packages. In addition, because they’re more likely to experience higher rates of unemployment it also hinders their access to high-quality health care as well. Due to bias from healthcare providers, doctors are more inclined to not administer quality services to minorities in comparison to white patients due to implicit biases that lead to the way they treat various racial groups. Sources of coverage, such as Medicaid, exist to ensure that those who cannot and are not afforded insurance are covered, but it’s imperative that more sources and put in place and maintained. In addition, policies and practices have to be put in place in order to vet doctors that hold biases and to ensure that there aren’t any within the system as well. Doctors that hold biases are not useful and ultimately not fulfilling their duty of serving the greater community if they allow their own prejudices to inhibit their judgment. Programs and classes should be taught in order to debar preconceived notions about minority patients. Expanding the knowledge about these disparities will decrease medical errors and improve care as long as there are evidence-based interventions created. This includes improving and increasing the number of healthcare providers in underserved communities. Due to many cultural and ethnic barriers, strengthening communication between practitioners and patients can help expand empathy between the majority white healthcare providers and minorities who are seeking services. Implementing healthcare services in more minority communities will also lead to a more diverse workforce, as instilling knowledge about health can ricochet, thus, inspiring more minorities to be involved in healthcare within their communities. This is why I chose a major that aligns with an issue that I’m passionate about. With my degree in policy, I plan on focusing to ensure that there are steps in place that force medical professionals to better identify risk factors, recognize early signs of complications, and treat conditions quickly using the best evidence available to try and eliminate racial disparities.”