For Semaj Bruce, one of the first class of ELL Scholars, her journey to becoming an IBCLC began long before that. Semaj breastfed her two children. She struggled the first time around and found the support she needed through a peer counselor with the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program (USA). She eventually became a peer counselor herself, knowing the difference it had made in her own breastfeeding journey. Within a few years, she was working full-time in lactation.
In 2017, she saw an email advertising the ELL Scholarship. Then, a community partner forwarded her the same email, encouraging her to apply. Semaj viewed it as a sign.