Title: 2023 Kristen D. Hofheimer Scholarship - Finalist - Grace Jordan
Description: If you are lucky, you get to have one, or more than one, career that you love. Well, I am about to embark on a new journey, fulfilling a dream of mine since high school. I have been accepted to St. Mary’s University Law School in San Antonio, TX, for the part-time, first ABA approved online JD program. This journey began a long time ago. I grew up and graduated from University College Dublin, Ireland, with a degree in history and political science and minor in philosophy. I moved to the United States initially, to work for my summer, then married and located to Norfolk, Virginia. My intention was to study history at Old Dominion University, but unfortunately, the professor I was working with left on sabbatical shortly after I arrived, so panicked, I signed up for the Humanities/English graduate program. I completed a Ph.D, thinking I would be a professor and my life was mapped out. But things have a way of changing your mind, and that’s just what happened. I was recruited to write industrial manuals and hired by two local international manufacturing companies in a stroke of good luck, working in corporate marketing for the next sixteen years. When my daughter was born, I knew I had to make some changes. I traveled every month and was going back and forth to China moving our manufacturing and training the workforce. So I transitioned to medicine, and following a lot of research, I applied to Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Physician Assistant Program. It was a great decision and one that gave me time to be a mom and bring up my wonderful daughter. For the last fifteen years, I have worked in medicine as a physician assistant, sub-specializing in Neurosciences. It is a wonderful and rewarding career and I love my patients and I love serving my community. I look forward to combining my love of health care and service with my law studies. I honestly am not sure what I will specialize in but I’m sure it will come to me further along in my legal studies. My journey continues. I believe it is important to give back to the community and to be of service. I practice medicine with Sentara Neurosciences at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Fort Norfolk Plaza office and I live in Norfolk. I give the annual epilepsy lecture for PAs at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and I mentor many students - both high school and college. I serve on the Advanced Practice Provider Council, representing my profession at Sentara, and provide guidance and direction for mostly young women, but men too, as they pursue medicine. I would like to practice law in Hampton Roads when I graduate and continue to give back to my community. When I read the article about the Hofheimer Family Law scholarship, I read about Kristen Hofheimer and I felt incredibly sad. She seemed like a remarkable woman, strong and smart and empathetic - qualities that touch friends and family and live on in them. I smiled when I read she had her son with her in class, and while not a single mom, I remember Eastern Virginia Medical School long days and evenings and my daughter sitting coloring quietly in the back of the class. I felt incredibly fortunate to have her with me, and she remembers it today as she attends university. I hope my application gives you a sense of who I am, and I look forward to hearing from you as you decide this incredibly difficult task. I promise I will work diligently to deserve this honor if I am a recipient.