Daniel Rodriguez - University Of Southern California

I feel like in life, we can choose to look at its challenges with either a positive or a negative outlook.

I have been diagnosed with coronavirus (SARS-COVID-19), and while I am okay– a lot of stress has been introduced because of it, but I want to share the moments that have helped me remember that there is good in the world.

Upon arriving to LA coming back from study abroad, I found out my mom’s landlord would only let me stay with her for a week. Finding housing that will let me stay until June has been impossible (Plus who knows if my internship in Dallas will still go on), but USC stepped up and went above and beyond by paying for me to stay in the USC hotel for self-isolation. Even though it’s only for two weeks, it’s brought me peace of mind while recovering.

As soon as USC heard I came into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus, they scheduled for me to be tested in an off-site facility. They didn’t require that I have all 3 symptoms– they took me in with just one. I have not paid for treatment yet so far, which I am grateful to USC for putting its endowment to use FOR its students that need help, like me.

Ever since finding out that I have coronavirus, the doctors and nurses have called me every day for updates, but also for words of encouragement. I can’t explain how much the actions people have done for me have brought me to tears. My Spanish 3 professor, who I had my first semester at USC, reached out to me asking if I was okay because she knew I was abroad. She then delivered me a care package to the room I’m in which I can’t ever thank her enough for.

Ultimately, my friends and family that check in on me have really been the best part of it all. I am genuinely in awe at the support system I have around me and I’m very grateful for everyone that has been a part of it.

All I can do for now is rest, but when I am better, I hope to find a job that will help me support myself. Do I know where I’m living after the two weeks? Not at all, but if there’s something I’ve learned after this is that it never hurts to ask for help. Day by day, that’s all we can do. Stay safe guys and stay inside (if you can).

Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez is a 3rd year, QuestBridge student majoring in Economics at the University of Southern California. Coming from an immigrant background and originally from the Los Angeles area, he hopes to empower fellow FLI students by helping them gain access to resources that can help them thrive.