Coca Cola Scholarship Recipients
Public Health Science major
As a Public Health Science major and advocate for health equity, my purpose and motivation in life is to serve disadvantaged communities who are in need of better health. While participating in the LEAD-sponsored Oakland Immersion Trip, I had the most heart-touching experience while working in the Foot Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul which reaffirmed my belief that all humans have the obligation to help those in need. While working in the clinic, I assisted low-income, homeless individuals with their foot care, providing them with cleaning supplies, and new socks and shoes. In some instances, I also helped them clean their feet. I have never felt such pure happiness and satisfaction as I did while working in the clinic. Using social skills I acquired from acting, I intentionally sat on my knees and looked at each patient in the eyes to have them feel that they truly have higher status and they have a place that they can consider their own. Ever since this immersion trip, I have fell in love with the path of being a service to others. I am determined to accomplish this by working to reduce health disparities that are prominent in so many communities. Currently, I am planning to attend an accelerated graduate school to obtain two masters simultaneously in Physician Assistant and Public Health. Being a Physician Assistant will allow me to practice my love of medicine and further education in Public Health will deepen my knowledge of bettering health care implementation and awareness of health care injustices. I hope to use these skills in Community Health Centers whose primary patients are low-income individuals.
Although I keep my head strong and avoid obstacles that may get in the way, financial means of acquiring quality education has been quite difficult for my family. My brother is struggling to live with a rare congenital heart defect and so my mother sees me as the shining hope in our family. Therefore, we have taken out loans that exceed my mother’s annual income because she does not want me to ever think that I cannot achieve an education simply because we do not have the means. But I was filled with excitement upon learning that I will receive the LEAD Last Mile Scholarship from Coca Cola Corporation! My family is overjoyed and relieved to receive financial assistance for my education. I am beyond grateful to reassure my mother that our financial burden will be reduced and we can now live with less stress. As a low-income family ourselves, we thank the Coca Cola Corporation and LEAD Scholars Program for this scholarship from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for helping students such as myself be able to follow our dreams and not let money stop us from pushing forward.