Lindzey Joseph has known what she wanted to do since eighth grade.

Five years later, she’s living her dream as a pharmacy student at Xavier University in New Orleans.

That dream just got even sweeter, with the latest announcement that Houma’s Dr. Partrick Walker chose Joseph as the recipient of his new scholarship and mentorship program.

At this year’s Terrebonne NAACP Freedom Fund banquet in June, Walker pledged to pay for the four-year tuition of one student entering a field related to medicine and act as a mentor by connecting the person to others in the field and providing internship opportunities at his clinic.

Joseph was chosen among a group of applicants seeking the lucrative opportunity after writing an essay to Walker about her career goals.

“The healthcare industry is growing and all careers in healthcare are in demand. I think pharmacists play a key role in helping people feel better and get well as quickly as possible,” she wrote.

Joseph, now 19, graduated from Ellender Memorial High School in May with one goal in sight -- to begin her dream career at her dream school. Not shying away from the challenge, she is pursuing a dual degree, receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemistry followed by her doctorate in pharmacy.

She was so resolute in pursuing her goals that she only applied to one school, Xavier.

“It’s a dream come true,” Joseph said.

Her parents, Pandora and Leslie Joseph, have stood by her side every step of the way. When she set her sights on going to Xavier, they drove to New Orleans to get her a shirt to wear on college day at school.

“I was raised by great parents who taught me morals, values, the importance of being empathetic, being kind, generous and having compassion for humanity,” Lindzey Joseph wrote.

When the family met with Walker last week to discuss the scholarship, they wore matching Xavier shirts, still so excited for her new opportunities.

Walker’s commitment will relieve the family from about $19,000 per semester in tuition and room and board payments.

“I’m so grateful,” Lindzey Joseph said.

She’s said she is hoping this mentorship will help set her apart when it comes time to begin her career.

Having Walker stand behind her is motivating, she said.

“It gives me determination. I don’t want to let him down,” she said.

Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaArenstam.