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Mendez-Olvera Medicine and Public Health Scholarship

Funded by
2 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
May 30, 2023
Winners Announced
Jun 30, 2023
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education level:
High School Senior
Identity :
Career Goals:
Medicine, Public Health and Related Fields

The pursuit of seeking higher education has positively impacted individuals and their families. Completing a degree opens doors for greater career opportunities, providing students the ability to diversify their job search to find one best suitable for them. Additionally, attending college gives students experiences to learn valuable life skills that will help them throughout their life.

Despite these positive attributes, many students are discouraged from obtaining their Bachelor’s degree due to the expensive price tag of tuition. As college costs continue to rise, higher education becomes increasingly inaccessible. 

To support students invest into their future, this scholarship will support BIPOC high school seniors pursuing medicine, public health and related fields that come from low income families. Applicants must be maintaining a 3.6 GPA or above, have experience with community service or volunteer work and be planning to attend school full time.

To apply, please tell us a bit about yourself and how you plan to make a positive impact on the world through your career.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Boldest Profile
Published January 30, 2023
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you plan to make a positive impact on the world through your career. 

400–500 words

Winning Applications

Tamara Ibarra
The University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyMcAllen, TX
In my four years of High school, I was unaware of what career path I wanted to take. I thought I had more time to decide. I began to spiral, it felt like the weight of the world fell on my shoulders. I constantly, switched my decision from translator to nurse to Dietitian to nurse again until I eventually landed on dietitian. I chose to commit to this field path so that I can help my community improve. I want to be able to help people with the same struggles I had faced by helping them lose the “unwanted” weight while helping them disassociate calories as a negative thing, which Is why I want to study to be a dietician specializing in weight loss. Throughout my life, I struggled with my body image constantly flip-flopping with whether I saw myself as the prettiest thing alive or as the ugliest thing to grace the Earth. This all stemmed from a constant desire to be skinny, the constant crash diets I saw my mom struggle with, and being taken as a joke for simply being overweight. After I graduate college, I want to gain experience as a Clinical Dietitian before opening up a private practice in my hometown. McAllen was named as having the highest percentage of obese adults at 44.9% by Wallethub in 2018. This alarming percentage has led me to choose a path that will help my community. I have grown tired of the popularity of fad and yoyo diets, I want to promote cultural but healthy food and balance to show my fellow Latinos that we don’t have to cut out our favorite food to achieve our goals. My private practice will strive to help my community let go of the juice cleanses and Keto diets that have them in a tight hold and instead focus on intuitive eating and understanding hunger cues. To truly commit to this career path, I chose Nutritional Sciences as a Major at UTRGV because this will allow me to stay close to my culture and observe the diet culture that is heavily affecting our community while studying to be a Dietitian. My love for my community in The Rio Grande Valley will be my driving force to complete my Master’s degree so that I will help build a brighter and healthier future for Latinos in the Rio Grande Valley. Receiving this scholarship will allow me to further my education and make a positive impact on the community I hold so dear.
Isabella Valdes
The University of Texas at ArlingtonArlington, TX
I grew up in a house with empty pockets but full hearts, where love was shared and where kindness was freely given. From my favorite Costco ravioli for dinner to packing up Thanksgiving leftovers for our local homeless camp, small gestures of love and big acts of kindness were not only given often but taught to be given to others. Although my mismatched home wasn’t perfect by any means, it was home for me. My great-aunt taught me how to be empathetic and gracious to others. Her stories of Colombia’s slums, surviving off small sums of money, and taking care of 8 younger siblings were testimonies of her burdensome adolescence, yet she always gave others the same tenderness she showed to those whom she loved. My great-uncle showed me how hard work can get you far in life. From his humble beginnings in Tennessee to his computer engineering job at Lockheed Martin, his work ethic and ambition to better himself for his family taught me to do the same. My mom taught me how tough the world can be. Through her stories of her childhood trauma and struggles with addiction, I learned that the world can take from the weak without remorse. These stories of hardships encouraged me to help the weak that is targeted by the world’s persecution whenever possible. I remember the cold November day when my mom took me to a nursing home. The sickly smell and harsh fluorescent lights validated my concerns about the unkempt place. However, that all changed due to a few moments of joy. The way that elders would smile when I played their favorite song on the piano, or when I organized bingo nights that allowed them to have fun and mingle melted my skeptical heart. During this time, I learned how to not only care for the elderly socially but physically. Through checking blood pressure, administering medication, and helping give blood sugar tests, the idea of becoming knowledgeable about a field that improved the health of vulnerable people ignited a passion that reached far beyond volunteer work. I stayed as a volunteer for two years, because even though the nursing home’s priorities weren’t about their resident’s happiness, mine was. My life has never been easy, or normal in a conventional way. From an absent father to struggles with depression, I have fought both inner and outer demons to become the person I am today. I carry each and every story high upon my shoulders, because my family’s stories of their past, my current struggles with my educational path, and my aspirations for a future in nursing have shaped me, and will continue to shape me into the person I am today. With a career in nursing, I believe that I can use my past experiences and future education to benefit my patients, my community, and my world in small but impactful ways.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 30, 2023. Winners will be announced on Jun 30, 2023.

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