Total loan: $10,000


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Fayetteville, AR, United States / Health

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A loan helped a woman open her own acupuncture and Chinese medicine clinic.

Melody's story

I am an acupuncturist practicing in Northwest Arkansas a growing region with over 500,000 residents today. I was raised in Los Angeles, California by a single mother to four children. A refugee from the Cambodian genocide, my mother received a YMCA sponsorship for immigration to America. We were poverty-stricken, despite my mother working two jobs every day and sewing for a sweatshop any time she was home. She taught us the meaning of endurance and I look to her as an example of how to live in this world with kindness and resilience. She didn’t understand how upper academia worked, so I was ill-prepared to go into the world of higher education. After attending 3 different colleges and pursuing 4 majors, I finally found my calling in the healthcare field, initially focusing studies on massage therapy. I loved helping people feel better and I found that it came naturally for me. However, I became discouraged in that my client’s symptoms returned only days after treatments. Knowing there had to be a more efficient level of patient care, I decided to return to school and become a Physical Therapist. To finance this, I dealt with poker and table games in Las Vegas and through a series of what can only be described as highly fortuitous events, I met my future spouse. I say fortuitous because her mother, who has been a Veterinarian in Arkansas for 36 years, was in the process of transitioning her western veterinary practice of 35 years into traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (i.e. acupuncture). This is where I discovered my true path. After getting my Master’s in Chinese Medicine, I worked at a fast-paced, successful clinic. I learned how to efficiently treat patients and provide extremely high-quality care. I plan to continue to offer this service to Northwest Arkansas at my new clinic.