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PAC: Diversity Matters Scholarship

5 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Apr 1, 2023
Winners Announced
May 1, 2023
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate or graduate
Physician Assistant

Physician Assistants of Color (The PAC) is passionate about increasing diversity in the PA profession.

One way they live out their mission is by helping to decrease barriers that many students of color face when applying to and attending PA school. Completing this rigorous course of study is a huge accomplishment and one that should be rewarded. As such, The PAC: Diversity Matters Scholarship will help reduce the cost of school and educational expenses for students.

BIPOC undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply if they are pursuing a career as a physician assistant.

To apply, describe an aspect of your identity and how it will influence your interactions in the healthcare setting and your goals as a future PA.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published December 22, 2022
Essay Topic

Describe an aspect of your identity (eg. ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual or gender identity). How will your personal identity influence your interactions in the healthcare setting and your goals as a future PA?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Saskya Simon
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and SciencePompano Beach, FL
At four years of age, my family and I emigrated from Haiti to the United States, hoping for new opportunities and a chance at a better life. Even at such a young age, I realized I was to face my new reality. During this transition, I felt a whirlwind of emotions as I entered a new journey. I watched my mother struggle financially and emotionally to provide for my family. My early years in the states were an adjustment for me, but these challenges ultimately created the foundation for my future. Growing up in a low-income immigrant household introduced me to the realities of the healthcare system from a young age. With my mother constantly in-between jobs, I spent much time without insurance and could not afford even the most basic levels of healthcare. I can recall when I noticed my eye was bothering me one afternoon. I ignored it because I knew seeing a doctor was not an option. But as weeks and months progressed, it became a recurrent issue. I was terrified at the possibility of losing my eyesight and burdened by a sense of hopelessness because I could not afford any medical bills without adequate health insurance. The realities of my situation angered me and ignited a passion for making healthcare accessible for all. Lack of access to health care is not just a problem for me; it's a global issue. Many adults cannot afford medical care, including preventive care for chronic diseases and significant health conditions. Throughout my career as a physician assistant, I want to prioritize dismantling these barriers to quality and affordable healthcare. I aspire to be a physician assistant who goes the extra mile for my patients and advocates for communities in need. As someone who has faced the consequences of no healthcare access, I am determined to create sustainable changes in medicine that allow healthcare to be more accessible for all. My college career has been filled with involvement in organizations dedicated to addressing health disparities. From working as a licensed practical nurse in low-income communities to volunteering as a research intern for Dr. Tuckers Health Disparities and Health Promotion lab, serving underprivileged populations has always been my priority. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I got the opportunity to travel to California and administer the Covid-19 vaccines in rural areas. It was truly remarkable and transformative to serve in these areas and increase access to the vaccine in these medically underserved communities. With the support of like-minded peers and organizations like the PA.C, I will continue pursuing this mission of volunteerism while providing high-quality and compassionate healthcare to all. With my commitment to lifelong learning and a desire to grow and self-develop, I will be a physician assistant that goes above and beyond to see the progressive movement of this profession. I hope to impact the system at the ground level to help diversify the profession, create policies for improving physician assistant practice, and advocate for underserved populations as a PA. My goal as a physician assistant is to be culturally sensitive and create spaces where patients feel safe and have a positive healthcare experience that exudes understanding and compassion. I am committed to improving healthcare access, especially for the underserved. By cultivating a patient-provider relationship, I hope to inspire patients to be involved in their care and promote consistent care across all communities. My upbringing is what continues to inspire me to do so.
Jaylin Crockett
The University of TampaTampa, FL
Sara James
University of Maryland Eastern ShorePhiladelphia, PA
As a proud Black masculine leaning lesbian, my identity is constantly a point of conflict for those who believe people like me shouldn't have a voice or a seat at the table. While every part of my identity will influence my role as a provider after graduation, I plan to focus most of my time on advocacy for LGBTQ+ patients, especially those who are black. Having witnessed the vast disparities that the LGBTQ+ community faces reinforced by negative media coverage, lack of advocacy, and the stigmatization around STIs further hindering access to care. The mortality rates among young black LGBTQ+ are much higher when compared to their white peers, especially those who do not identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Being a member of this marginalized community and being a provider gives me a unique perspective and opportunity to make a difference for those who could have easily been me had I not received support from those around me. It is known that marginalized groups have risker health practices, receive less access, and, most importantly, do not receive culturally competent care. I plan to be an example, advocate, and haven for those who need care they might not obtain or seek otherwise. One of my goals is to become a Family Medicine PA to help patients maintain their help, as a specialty is a foundation for the general population. I would also like to teach future PAs about the importance of culturally competent care and how marginalized may be more sensitive to the social determinants of health that affect the health outcomes of Black LGBTQ+ individuals, such as discrimination, poverty, and lack of access to healthcare resources. I can advocate for this population by achieving these goals, ensuring they receive equitable treatment and access to healthcare services, and teaching others. Hopefully, by the time I am a seasoned practitioner, policy changes will address the social determinants of health and improve healthcare outcomes for this population. Overall, this aspect of my identity will inform and shape my interactions in the healthcare setting and my goals as a future healthcare professional. I can connect and provide compassion by recognizing and embracing my identity, ensuring adequate patient care. The LGBTQ+ community has unique needs and is often overlooked incredibly by those who are black. While I know I'm just one person, my passion and dedication encourage my peers to become better, more compassionate providers creating a more equitable healthcare system.
Caroline Henry
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA
Vincent Bonilla
New York Institute of TechnologyCommack, NY


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 1, 2023. Winners will be announced on May 1, 2023.

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