Between working three part-time jobs, studying in a medical lab, and taking a full course load at the University of Oklahoma, Ricarda Urso's plate isn’t just full — it’s overflowing.
Tacos just happen to be on it. Not only is Urso one of Taco Bell's Live Mas scholarship recipients, but she's proven just how much she deserves this honor each and every day as one of the company's employees.
The scholarship provides financial assistance to promising innovative and creative youth who might otherwise fall through the cracks. Besides giving students like Urso the resources to pursue their goals, it also encourages them to follow their dreams — no matter how long it takes.
Fueled by her “determined attitude,” nothing can stop Urso, or even slow her down — including Cerebral Palsy.
Born with this disease affecting the entire right side of her body, she spent much of her childhood immersed in a medical atmosphere. That experience, and the inspiring doctors who helped her along the way, motivated Urso to become a pediatrician in order to pass the gift of long, healthy lives on to other kids. "There's no physical things that can keep me back," she said. "There's something inside me that says, 'You can't stop.'
While Urso acknowledges there’s still a “long road ahead,” getting this far hasn’t been easy.
After immigrating from Germany, her mother raised Urso and her two brothers, who also currently work at Taco Bell, all by herself. The family often struggled with finances, impelling Urso and her brothers to take on more responsibility and help their mom make ends meet. "We'll all pull together as a family and we'll make sure that financially everything is sound," she said.
Of course, a little help never hurt.
Taco Bell isn't just helping a young innovator, they're taking care of one of their own. As a member of the Live Mas scholarship's Charter Class, Urso has everything she needs to achieve her dreams today so she can help countless kids go after theirs tomorrow.