Personal experience with the Trudi Szallasi Memorial Scholarship

Latonia Anthony (Year 2013 USA) 

Now that I have received my IBCLC certification, many people wonder how I accomplished this goal.  Though I have been working as a nurse in long term care for the past few years, I have always had a passion for teaching others about the benefits of breastfeeding. I have been a dedicated volunteer for the African American Breastfeeding Network, an organization that helped me when I was pregnant with my first child.  Over the past 5 years, I have been involved serving many roles to help AABN reach families in the community.  AABN has monthly gatherings, advocates for mothers returning to work or school and provides lactation consulting.  It is a great organization that has really made a difference amongst an urban community that has some the lowest breastfeeding rates in the United States.

A few years ago, my mentor Dalvery Blackwell IBCLC encouraged me to become an IBCLC, knowing I had a nursing background (no pun intended).  I chose a pathway and soon discovered the Trudi Szallasi Scholarship offered by Health-e-Learning.  I was awarded the scholarship and began my studies Fall 2013.  The program is a very organized online format which gave me the flexibility to study while also working.  The teachers were very accessible, active in engaging students and were great resources.  The online forums gave me an opportunity to connect with my peers and clarify information from the classes. 

Overall, I was impressed with Health-e-Learning lactation program and am thankful that I had an opportunity to learn from them.  As the exam date approached I reviewed the many practice exams and forums quite often.   I was well prepared and sat for the exam July 2014.  I recently found out that I passed and I am so excited to begin my journey as a professional lactation consultant. I am now one of the few African-American International Board Certified lactation consultants in the United States.  I have accepted a position at St. Alexius Medical Center in Illinois.