CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2017 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS!
Current high school: Lake Howell High School
College destination: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Major field of study: Biomedical Engineering
Despite the many months I spent debating what major I wanted to pursue,
arriving at the decision to study biomedical engineering was a rather
unanimous one for me. After profound reading into whether this major was
right for me, I realized every aspect called my name. From the improvement
of my community, to developing new technologies, to curing the most notorious
diseases. It is these elements that define who I am and drive me to dedicate
my life to labs and experiments for things like: testing prosthetics,
tissue regeneration, and a myriad of other advancements this career could develop.
Senior year is infamously known as arduous for its demanding expectations
and requirements for acceptance into a university. I grew up knowing a
secondary and/or post-secondary form of education was naturally expected
in my family; what to obtain that degree in, was the actual hard part.
My interest in biology and life holistically, but more specifically, specializing
with children, has fortified my choice.
All four years of high school I had the opportunity to participate in the
Early Childhood Education program and in clubs that worked very closely
with organizations that help disabled children or people in need of medical
attention. Having this volunteering experience was really what opened
my eyes to the impact that I could be leaving on the world. Watching documentaries
about biological advancements and medical settings with my family also
enhanced and adhered to my innate calling to pursue biomedical engineering.
My decision to choose this medical profession was simply because of its
extraordinarily appealing nature to me, the fact that I could push myself
to think outside of the box and make the impossible, possible. Living
a life dedicated to service is important because it is the sole way to
truly take initiative when a change is needed.
Being the daughter of South American immigrants, I have been fortunate
enough to travel to my parents’ respective countries and first-hand
experience poverty in third world countries and the struggle and necessity
that these people encounter every day. Touching experiences like these
have solidified my understanding of how vital service is to the world.
Even looking on a smaller scale, in my own community, I have volunteered
my entire life, not to fulfill the hours for a school requirement, but
because of the fact that I know my service is affecting another person/people
in a positive manner.
As aforementioned, my love for children led me to, along with clubs at
school, volunteer with organizations like Special Olympics, Kids’
House, Clean the World, Feeding Children Everywhere, and more. These groups
organized events that I will remember forever and will still seek to be
a part of in college. It overjoyed me to see the smiling faces of participants
and other volunteers knowing how my service was efficiently making a difference.
I also participated in walks for causes like suicide or breast cancer
awareness, and volunteered at Nemours’ Ronald McDonald House, and
an Alzheimer’s home. The exposure to all of these conditions that
I can help cure in the future was incredible.
Often when I am asked what I will be majoring in, the frequent response
is a confused look or a “wow that sounds complicated”. Indeed
I am facing a profession that will not be easy and will challenge me more
than I have ever been challenged, however, by majoring in something that
I am so admiring and fond of, I will feel like my work is not laborious
nor in vain, but rather a privilege. My major directly correlates with
service, which is essential to my core values and also details why biomedical
engineering is for me.
Overarchingly, scholarships are sought after left and right by high school
students, each with their own individual purpose. The reason I should
be chosen for this scholarship is because of how helpful it will be to
the continuation of my studies. A discovery or a research project may
take years to fund, and due to my devotion to the major, I deeply desire
to be a part of it. The possibilities are endless regarding biomedical
engineering’s potential and capability for advancements. In order
to be able to be in a state of financial comfort to complete the first
four years of my dream major, this scholarship will keep me afloat. An
estimated four or more years after my initial bachelor’s degree
will need any support it can get. The application of my acquired knowledge
can only occur if I am able to afford obtaining it.
Personally, I believe the need for biomedical engineers will skyrocket
every time a medical issue is presented; which implies forever. Therefore,
with this scholarship I will ensure superb grades so I can sustain and
prove the necessity of winning. In summation, I am beyond pleased that
my adulthood will consist of indefinite cases of research, invention,
and innovation in my career path. I could not have chosen a better major
than biomedical engineering to suit my personality and deepest desires
better. My major entails all I could imagine myself doing in the future
including curing childhood diseases, reforming medical inventions, and
in general, always putting others before myself.
Current high school: Oviedo High School
College destination: University of Florida, Coral Gables, FL or University of Miami, Miami, FL
Major field of study: Health Sciences / Pre-med
As a young girl having just moved to Florida, I remember arriving at my
great-grandmother’s house for the first time and feeling awe-struck
by the abundant orange trees in her backyard. On that hot sunny day my
sister and I sat underneath one particularly large tree and looked up.
I was overwhelmed by the matrix of fruit above me and the beautiful citrus
scent that was so new to me. I wanted to reach up and pick all the fruit,
but my mother warned me it wasn’t ripe yet. Looking forward to a
career in medicine is much like sitting under that orange tree.
In tenth grade I was a recipient of a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA).
I had the privilege of attending Rotary’s week-long leadership camp.
Activities at the camp included various seminars and team building activities,
including archery and zip-lining. At Camp RYLA I enhanced my public speaking
ability, and became more comfortable working together with others. I felt
much more prepared stepping into my new role as percussion captain of
the marching band the following year.
Being percussion captain was more difficult than I expected it would be.
I had to learn how to be a leader first and a friend second. I had to
find a happy medium between being too strict and letting people walk on
me. I found that the key to forming a strong section was to lead by example.
I came to every rehearsal early and made myself available to anybody who
needed extra help. I also made a point to plan lots of get-togethers for
just percussionists. Throughout the season we forged a remarkably close
bond, which helped us perform together as one. The season ended perfectly,
with us having won Best Percussion in our class at every competition we
attended, including the state championship. My experience in band has
helped me develop many of the strengths necessary to be a leader, such
as good communication skills, confidence, and decision making.
Beyond music, I have dedicated much of my time to working with the elderly.
I have put in over 115 hours volunteering at the Lutheran Haven Nursing
Home, and am now employed there as Activities Assistant. My time at the
nursing home has had a profound impact on my life. When I began volunteering
I felt nervous and out of place. Over time, however, I bonded with residents
and found my place. Lutheran Haven has become like a second home to me.
In our society senior citizens are often overlooked and underappreciated.
The stereotype is that they are simply grumpy and tired, but that is far
from the truth. The residents of Lutheran Haven are filled to the brim
with love and life. Every day I am inspired by their strength and spirit.
They deserve nothing but our utmost respect.
We can learn so much from our elders, if we only take the time to listen.
Living a life of service is important because it makes you see the world
through a different perspective. As a teenager I’m no stranger to
feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed by small things. But by working
with the ‘Greatest Generation’ I am reminded to enjoy the
small moments in life. Some day I’ll be looking back on my life,
and I hope to have meaningful memories to share. Service also makes you
more patient and understanding. By meeting people of all walks of life
through service I am more empathetic towards all the people I meet.
My passion for leadership and the aging population has inspired me to pursue
the goal of becoming a geriatrician. I am determined to make a difference
in the world by improving the quality of life for older adults. I have
set up a plan to achieve this dream.
While in high school, I have earned and will strive to continue earning
only straight A’s in honors and AP courses, and enrolled in extra
science and math classes. I have had the privilege of shadowing pediatrician
Dr. Nicole Cameron. While not the field of medicine I’m interested
in, I was able to learn a lot from the experience by observing how Dr.
Cameron interacted with various patients. I was also able to shadow geriatrician
Dr. Viola Jacob. I entered data into her computer database, flagged charts
of residents with unusual vitals, and took notes during appointments.
The experience confirmed my desire to be a geriatrician and allowed me
to understand some of the work that goes into being a physician.
As an undergrad I intend to major in public health or health sciences.
I will then continue on to medical school, where I will specialize in
the field of geriatrics. I believe I am a strong candidate for this scholarship
because I will work hard to make the most of it. I am motivated by determination
to take full advantage of the opportunities I am lucky enough to be given.
I am committed to my dream of being a geriatric physician and have a strong,
genuine desire to help the aging population that will carry me through
any challenges along the way. The fruit is ripe now, and I’m ready
to reach up and grab it.
Current high school: Winter Springs High School
College destination: Oakland University, Rochester, MI
Major field of study: Biomedical Engineering
Being from a single parent home I realize the importance of support and
strong guidance. The support of friends, family, and church members who
helped me overcome personal obstacles of my parent’s divorce, living
with a disabled aunt, and having multiple deaths in my family taught me
early on the importance of developing strong dedication to service to
I am faced with paying my college tuition myself only causing my current
situation to be even more difficult. One of the few ways I can contribute
to my higher education tuition between my extracurricular activities,
service, and studies are scholarships. To my surprise, dedicating myself
as a servant leader to my church and school allowed me to qualify for
scholarship opportunities to assist me in my future studies.
I have spent four years in the leadership program at my high school and
have been an active member in the American Sign Language Honor Society
(ASLHS), National Honor Society, and the English Honor Society carrying
Board Member positions in many of these groups. Highlights of the many
programs I have led overs the years include leading the Families in Transition
(FIT) program where we did annual canned food drives door to door in the
community to help more than 50 families have food through the holidays,
leading the Reading Buddies program at the local elementary school where
high school students go to the elementary schools and model leadership
and literacy skills to students ( I specifically was targeted to work
with the disabled children because of my compassion for these students),
and as an active member of academic honor societies, I worked alongside
my peers in collecting and distributing books to children in need, collecting
school supplies and delivering them to local schools, and annually participating
and leading the night of ASL where we invited hundreds of community members
to come learn about the deaf culture and some common sign language words.
In addition to my successful high school service activities I have been
involved in many programs at my church. Over the past four years I have
taken leadership roles in the annual high school and middle school retreat
teams. Most recently this year I was selected by the church to be the
Master of Ceremonies at a weekend confirmation retreat of over 100 teens.
I was also selected for a two-year term as the teen representative on
the Parish Council Board. I was most proud of my work with the church
when I was stage manager for our summer musical. I led the construction
and painting of the set, helped with stage props, lighting, and sound
with casts of over 30 people. My dedication to those who helped me in
the past do not stop at my school or church; I’ve taken my four
years as a club soccer goal keeper and now give of my time teaching younger
goalkeepers the leadership, teamwork, and goal keeping skills to be successful
on the pitch.
My future career goal is to become an experienced prosthetics engineer.
My interest in prosthetics spawned from 3 years of pre-medical science
classes in middle school in which we relentlessly memorized nearly every
part of the body, from the tiny neurons flying through the brain to the
large latissimus dorsi muscle contracting to allow movement. Although
I was having the time of my life memorizing the human anatomy and physiology,
I realized quickly that the needles-and-blood majors weren’t for
me. Luckily for me I was also taking an Engineering and Architecture class,
allowing me to expand my view from strictly a medical degree, to dual-majoring
in both Biology and Engineering.
I discovered UCF’s latest breakthroughs in prosthetic technology,
and I couldn’t get enough, but I wasn’t only interested in
prosthetics because they’re the most interesting piece of technology
created; I dove head-first into prosthetics when I took a step back and
looked at the good I would be doing for veterans, accident survivors,
and any other situation that requires a new limb!
Although I lived through challenging times when I was younger, my strong
passion to be a servant leader in the community, fueled by my success
as a leader at my school, in my church, and in the community, helped contribute
to my interest in prosthetics. Without having experienced my own times
of need, I could not have opened my prospective careers to prosthetics
and possibly help give back to the very community that supported me. I
look forward to bringing these leadership and compassionate skills with
me wherever life decides it will take me.