Personal experience with the Trudi Szallasi Memorial Scholarship

Denise Rangel-Holbrook (San Antonio, Texas, USA) 2015 Scholarship Recipient

The path towards becoming an IBCLC can be a long one. For myself, there were college courses, additional educational hours and much more to consider. It quickly became overwhelming as the costs added up, but each year I made sure to do something towards certification to slowly inch my way closer to becoming qualified to sit for the exam. I was already a La Leche League Leader but I also got certified to teach breastfeeding classes and became heavily involved in the birth and breastfeeding community in my city. This was in addition to completing any course work that needed to be done.

A couple of years ago, while reviewing the IBCLC Core Curriculum I realized something was missing. Although I had many lactation specific educational hours accumulated from conferences, I felt the need to take a comprehensive course that would cover the full IBLCE exam blueprint. It was during my research for this course that I learned about Health e-Learning and the Trudi Szallasi Scholarship. I still remember the day I received a call from Carole asking me additional questions about my application and letting me know that I was in the final running.

The official confirmation that I had been chosen came a few days later and in 2015 I was the recipient of the Trudi Szallasi Scholarship. What a relief. My goals were becoming a reality and the path that had been long and unsure now had a clear finish line.

The full 120hr BreastEd program and other courses provided to me by Health e-Learning filled gaps I had in my lactation knowledge and helped me identify my strengths and focus on my weaknesses. Each module left me more knowledgeable and there was a significant boost in my confidence in my work as a La Leche Leader.

When it came time to prepare for the exam, the practice tests helped switch my thinking from student to practitioner, as I had to critically think and identify the problems and solutions to the scenarios that were presented to me. Throughout all of this, if I ever had a question or needed help understanding a concept, a Health e-Learning mentor was available to help me.

In April of 2017 I sat and passed the IBLCE exam and was awarded the IBCLC credential.

The Trudi Szallasi Scholarship not only enabled me to complete my certification earlier than I expected, but it has given me insurmountable knowledge that I will use to guide me in my work with families. I am truly honored to carry the legacy of Trudi Szallasi, a remarkable woman, and carry on her passion through my work. Thank you to everyone at Health e-Learning for your support and wisdom. I am forever grateful.

Denise Rangel-Holbrook, IBCLC