Dreams Made True

Efferata Tigabu was born to be a nurse

Efferata Tigabu


Efferata Tigabu (’23 BSN) can trace her journey to UTA—and the field of nursing—all the way back to her birth. Tigabu, a first-generation student, was born at Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital after her parents emigrated from Ethiopia after winning a visa lottery. She says the quality of care her family received there transformed their idea of health care.

“The time we spent in the hospital singlehandedly redefined what health care was to my family,” Tigabu told attendees of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s annual Dream Makers Gala, a fundraising event celebrating the college’s donors as well as the students who benefit from their support. “To this day, whenever I am asked why I want to be a nurse, I always say that I love that it is holistic and collaborative, and it is because of [my mother’s] story.”

Tigabu says she chose nursing specifically because the profession would allow her more time to connect with patients.

“I thought about studying to become a doctor, but nurses are the most connected with people,” she says. “I decided nursing is what I wanted to do.”

At UTA, Tigabu made the most of her time, becoming a student leader and serving as president of the Health Innovation Constituency Council, site leader for The Big Event volunteer day, and regional director for the Texas Nursing Students Association.

In her Dream Makers speech, she credited support from the community as key to her success.

“Seeing these scholarships that were awarded to me by altruistic UTA nursing donors felt like someone had just lifted a weight off my shoulders,” she said. “Someone had chosen to set aside their own gain and selflessly prioritize the education of someone they did not even know. The support in my academic endeavors means more to me, and students like me, than you could ever know.”

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