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Charlemagne Kern

885

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Finalist

Bio

Hi! My name is Charlie and I am a pre-medical student looking for a scholarship to support my dream of going to medical school. I currently work as an emergency medical technician ("EMT"). As an EMT, I provide medical care to many underserved patients in need. My clinical experiences as an EMT have inspired me to continue to further serve my community by volunteering as a mentor at my local foster care center. I also volunteer as a literacy tutor for english learning adults in my city. My role as an EMT has further inspired me to learn more about the role of nutrition in health, as my experiences with the interconnected web of poverty and malnutrition have shown me the importance of nutrition on health. Next year, I will be attending Columbia University to obtain my Master's in Nutrition Science. This degree will enrich my role as an EMT and as a mentor. I hope to use any scholarship funds to assist me with tuition for this program. The following year, I plan to apply to various MD/PhD programs. As a future physician and scientist, I hope to continue my commitment to service and my passion for patient care. Outside of my professional/educational life, I love learning languages and traveling. I currently speak English and French, and I am enrolled in weekly Spanish lessons. I hope to learn Italian next! In my free time, I enjoy traveling, being outside, and doing pottery. I am thankful for any scholarship consideration!

Education

Columbia University in the City of New York

Master's degree program
2024 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Nutrition Sciences

Georgetown University

Bachelor's degree program
2018 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Biology, General
  • Minors:
    • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biology, General
    • Human Biology
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Medical Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      Emergency Physician

    • Emergency Medical Technician

      Strategic EMS
      2024 – Present7 months
    • Research assistant

      Nationwide Children’s Hospital
      2020 – 20211 year

    Sports

    Soccer

    Varsity
    2005 – 202116 years

    Research

    • Biological and Physical Sciences

      Nationwide Children's Hospital — Research Assistant
      2020 – 2021

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Tikkun Olam Committee at Agudas Achim — Volunteer
      2024 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Columbus Literacy Council — Tutor
      2024 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Franklin County Children Services — Mentor
      2023 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Women in Healthcare Scholarship
    Although I had always wanted to become a doctor, I graduated college feeling uninspired by the fields of science and medicine. As questions swirled after graduation, answers became apparent organically when I began an emergency medical technician class. During this course, I observed first-hand the interconnected web of poverty, malnutrition, and correlating disease states that nearly all my patients faced. I was brought face to face with the reality that our healthcare system is not doing enough for those who need it the most. For the first time in a long time, I felt motivated to get involved. In order to do this, I began working as an EMT after obtaining my license. At first, I was hesitant to get involved in emergency medicine due to its repute of being a traditionally male space. I was one of four females in my class of 36, further intimidating me from pursuing a career in this field. However, one of my female instructors inspired me to continue, serving as a role model of strength, resilience, and barrier breaking. As an EMT, I quickly realized that much of the population that I serve faces various barriers in accessing healthy foods. Underfunded school systems often are unable to provide heathy meals or education on a healthy lifestyle. Over crowding of fast food chains and underrepresentation of healthy options further exasperates this socioeconomic gradient of health. These observations have inspired me to pursue a Master's Degree in Nutrition Science next year, during which I will conduct a master's thesis on the role of nutrition in health. If rewarded with this opportunity, I will use it towards my graduate tuition. Initially, I hope to use this degree to make a positive impact by applying my research to my involvement in various volunteer opportunities. Currently, I volunteer as a tutor at Columbus Literacy Collective, where I tutor a student in english and help him prepare for the GED. I also volunteer as a mentor with my local foster care center, providing guidance and creating relationships with underserved teens in my area. Having the opportunity to experience the impact of service on individual lives has confirmed my commitment to pursuing a degree in healthcare. My graduate degree will arm me with the education necessary to make financial, educational, and health care resources more accessible to the underrepresented communities that I currently serve. After finishing my graduate program, I plan to apply to various MD/PhD programs. Ultimately, I hope to become an emergency physician. For many underserved communities, the emergency room serves as the primary avenue to accessing health care. Considering this, I hope to make a positive impact throughout my career by providing excellent care to patients in need while connecting them with resources that will implement long lasting improvements to their health. I hope to use my degree in nutrition to advocate for programs that provide access to and information about healthy foods and habits, because I believe that making a healthy lifestyle more accessible is a fundamental necessity in improving public health. As a woman in the field, I hope to serve as a mentor and role model for other women who have an interest in the emergency medical field. As I have personally experienced, the power of a role model can truly change the trajectory of your life. I am grateful to all of the women who have broken down barriers to provide opportunities for girls like me, and I hope to do the same for those who come after me.
    “The Office” Obsessed! Fan Scholarship
    "The Office" has been an important part of my life for years. I remember watching the show with my family and having to pause the episode at various times due to the roaring laughter that periodically erupted throughout the episode. However, after rewatching the "The Office" as an adult, I realized that the show is much more than a classic sitcom. Rather, "The Office" deals with many complex ideals about relationships, careers, friendships, and identity. As a child, Pam represented a nice lady who got to marry a nice man and live happily ever after. As an adult, I realize that Pam actually represents a woman who found herself through trials, tribulations, and mistakes. When Pam is first introduced, she is a shy, timid woman in a toxic relationship where she isn't free to be herself and take charge. Her split with Roy and the emotional turmoil she was going through at the time were inspiring to me in that oftentimes, the easy choice is not the right choice. As Pam moves on, she finds herself in her art and develops a sense of identity that is true to herself. Rather than glorifying the processes of maturity and growth, these transitions are anything but seamless. This authenticity has solidified "The Office" as one of my favorite shows of all time, and has taught me the importance of making mistakes and persisting through them on the journey to becoming your best self. This show has also been important in my sense of humor and appreciation for "characters" in my own office setting. The raw camera work in "The Office" further accentuates the authenticity of the show, bringing humor to painfully awkward situations and then giving an inside look at the character's thoughts. Before rewatching "The Office", I would get irritated with various coworkers for their misuse of the printer, for leaving a mess in the kitchen, or for chatting while I was in crunch mode. After rewatching "The Office" as an adult, it is now much easier to pick out the Dwight, the Kelly, the Toby, and the other characters represented in my own office space. "The Office" unapologetically communicates that people are flawed, but are trying their best. Realizing this message and finding similarities in my life has truly improved my understanding and acceptance of my coworkers, and has inspired me to take Jim's attitude towards work place conflicts. Life is too short not to enjoy people for who they are.
    Balancing Act Medical Student Scholarship
    My passion for healthcare began with a passion for science, but developed through personal experience motivated by uncertainty. While I had always wanted to become a doctor, college courses left me feeling disconnected with and uninspired by the fields of science and medicine. I graduated college in a whirlwind of self doubt. After returning home, I knew that I needed to take action to figure out what my future was going to look like. So, I began working full time at a law firm as a patent agent to explore new career avenues. In this role, I investigate scientific literature and advocate for clients regarding the novelty of leading-edge biotechnical inventions. Participating in the development of clinical treatments from conception to commercial realization has provided me with a unique perspective towards research and medicine. In addition to my full time job, I began an emergency medical technician class in the evenings and on weekends to determine whether the passion I had for medicine was still alive. Having a full time job while being a student forced me to grow in ways that I had not previously experienced. Early mornings, late nights, and long weekends honed my time management skills. Balancing homework with real work showed me the importance of compartmentalization, as I learned to prevent the stresses in one world from leaking into the other. In addition, I had to figure out how to take care of my body and mind. As work became overwhelming, I learned that sometimes, sleep is the best option. I also blocked out certain times for rest, relaxation, and enjoyment. I believe this "balancing act" has prepared me for a future job in healthcare by teaching me the skills necessary to deal with an ever evolving and constantly busy environment. Although working full time as a student was difficult, it was monumentally important in my journey to pursuing a degree in medicine because it provided me with the unique opportunity to learn about health disparities from both a research perspective and a patient care perspective. This wholistic view of medicine has shown me the reality that our healthcare system is not doing enough for those who need it the most, and has inspired me to serve these communities. I currently pursue this passion in various ways. For example, in addition to working part time as an EMT, I volunteer as a tutor at Columbus Literacy Collective where I help a non-native english learner to learn english and to prepare for the GED. I also volunteer as a mentor at my local foster care center, providing guidance and creating relationships with underserved teens in my area. I have continued to develop my "balancing act" skills in these various roles. If granted this opportunity, I plan to use it towards my graduate tuition to obtain a master's degree in nutrition science. This degree will enhance my role as both an EMT and volunteer, while providing me with further research opportunities through a mandatory master's thesis. While I will obtain part time employment to cover living expenses, this opportunity will help to relieve the burden of tuition and will allow me to focus my time on studying and service. I plan to apply to medical school upon completing my master's degree, and look forward to continuing to develop my "balancing act" skills.
    Fall Favs: A Starbucks Stan Scholarship
    As a stereotypical caramel macchiato lover throughout high school, I never thought much about what Starbucks meant to me until I went to college. Attending school out of state, I was apprehensive to enter this new world. As I tried to get the lay of the land during the first few months, it all seemed so unfamiliar. Everything was new - from friends, to slang, to restaurants - I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. They even had different fast food chains! I began to develop a mean case of home sickness, so I racked my brain for ways to feel a bit more at ease while I settled into my new life. Suddenly, on the way to class, I spotted the familiar green mermaid logo just down the street. "That's it!" I thought. I had a habit of getting Starbucks after school with friends throughout high school, a past time that we still honor five years later. I knew that getting back into my Starbucks routine would provide me with the sense of familiarity that I needed. Normally, I bounced between an iced caramel macchiato with extra caramel in the warm months and a hot peppermint latte in the cool months. At the beginning of the year, I used my student cash to get one of these drinks - depending on the weather - before my first class. I often spent this time catching up with my new friends, discussing our weekend plans, new crushes, and even what we missed most about home. After a few months, I had settled into college life. The sense of homesickness was fading and I began to feel excited about my future. I had never before considered all of the possible avenues that my life could go down. These feelings hit me suddenly one morning, and when I walked into Starbucks that day, I knew it was time for a change. My life would never be the same after taking a sip of my first "dirty chai". It provided all the flavor complexities of tea with the creamy, dark taste of espresso, all wrapped into one latte. I felt like it truly embodied the maturing process that I was going through. Since then, Starbucks has continued to play a big role in my college life, providing me with a reliable study spot, a first date location, and a safe space to talk with my friends about anything we wanted. The dirty chai has supported me through good times and bad times. It has seen me cry, laugh, stress, and everything in between. After I graduated from college, I longed for the familiarity of my college Starbucks and the memories that I made there. As I enter graduate school in a new city, I know that I can always count on a chai tea latte from Starbucks to give me a sense of familiarity. I look forward to finding a new drink as I enter this new and exciting phase of life.
    Redefining Victory Scholarship
    I graduated college in a whirlwind of self doubt and uncertainty. While it was exciting to obtain my degree, the uncertainty that I felt about the next year was a dark shadow looming over the joy of finishing school. I always wanted to become a doctor, but college courses left me feeling disconnected with and uninspired by the fields of science and medicine. After returning home, I knew that I needed to take action to figure out what my future was going to look like. I began working full time at a law firm as a patent agent to explore new career avenues. In this role, I explored, read, and synthesized scientific research to obtain patents for various clients on cutting edge biotechnological inventions. In addition, I began an emergency medical technician class in the evenings and on weekends to determine whether the passion I had for medicine was still alive. During this course, I witnessed first hand the difficulties and disparities experienced by so many people in my city. As an EMT, it was empowering to feel like I was able to help some of these patients, a feeling that fueled a strong motivation to get involved in my community and pursue a career in health care. After obtaining my EMT license, I now work part-time as a patent agent and part-time as an EMT. In addition, I volunteer as a tutor at Columbus Literacy Collective, where I help an english learner to prepare for the GED. I also volunteer with my local foster care center, serving as a mentor to teens in my community. My experience with scientific research as well as observations I've made in my roles as an EMT and volunteer have shown me the value of access to nutrition and health information, inspiring me to pursue a Master's in Nutrition Science. Next year, I will be attending Columbia University to obtain this degree. The following year, I plan on applying to various MD/PhD programs where I will be able to further pursue my passion for scientific research and patient interaction. This is my big-picture definition of success. Looking deeper, I believe that success is much more complicated than reaching a goal. While my story and future plans may seem "successful" in a traditional sense, a closer look will prove that the past two years have been ridden with failures and disappointments. For example, I failed the patent bar the first time that I took it. I also have been rejected from several EMT jobs due to lack of clinical experience. In addition, I had to move back my medical school application an additional year from what I was originally planning due to holes in my application. Obviously, all of these failures have been disappointing. However, I believe that my "failures" have provided me a priceless opportunity to understand what success truly means to me. Without my crisis after college, I would not have pursued patent law and developed a passion for scientific research. If I had not failed the patent bar the first time, I would not have been motivated to branch out and begin my EMT class. Without my experiences as an EMT, I would not have understood the importance and fulfillment of community service. Finally, the need to strengthen my medical school application provided me the time to pursue a master's degree and conduct a master's thesis before heading to medical school. Ultimately, these failures have collectively taught me that success is accepting your failures without judgement, learning from them, and persevering through them to reach your goals. Often times, the ides of "success" manifests differently from what you originally expected, but usually, the journey to success clarifies what is truly important. Considering my journey over these past few years, it's safe to say that the prompt for this scholarship spoke to me very personally because of the way I have persevered through failures and continuously redefined success. If awarded with this scholarship, I will use it to relieve the burden of my graduate tuition. As there are relatively few opportunities for graduate scholarships as compared to undergraduate scholarships, I may need to be employed part time while I earn my degree. However, this opportunity will allow me to use my time to study and to serve my community. I hope that this opportunity will support me while I achieve my goals and continue to redefine success in the face of obstacles and failures that I may face in the future.
    Chronic Boss Scholarship
    “Why is my head so itchy???” I thought to myself as I vigorously scratched my head for the 5th time in 2 minutes. At this point, I was so uncomfortable that I knew something had to be done. I quickly typed into my computer: “flaky, itchy scalp” and sorted through the search results. One of them caught my eye: psoriasis. I had heard about this disease in a biology class, and I went to a newly scheduled dermatologist appointment armed with information from my deep google dive. Sure enough, it took my dermatologist all of 2 seconds to confirm that I had severe psoriasis on the back of my head, and even in my ears! “Well, that explains the chronic ear infections” I thought. Thankfully, I was prescribed a steroid medication and have gotten my psoriasis under control. I still have flare-ups when I am under stress, but, c’est la vie. At this point, I believed my journey with an autoimmune disease to be over. However, life always has other plans. Around the same time that I was beginning my journey with psoriasis, my dad was dealing with gastrointestinal problems. After some testing, it was determined that he suffers from celiac disease. Further, we discovered that several of his aunts had died from gut lymphoma. This sent a shock through my family, as we realized the serious consequences that our genetics had imposed on us. Since this discovery, my siblings and I have gotten tested for celiac every year at the direction of my father’s gastroenterologist. So far, we have avoided manifestation of the disease. However, there remains a constant, underlying sense of anxiety throughout my family due to the unpredictable nature of the disease. These experiences have changed my perspective on the daily struggle of people living with an autoimmune disease, and encouraged me to focus my life on helping to find a cure. At first, I was scared about the potential consequences that these diseases may have on my family. However, with time, I have realized that I am not powerless. If I receive this scholarship, I plan to use it toward’s my tuition for a MS in Human Nutrition at Columbia University. While obtaining this degree, I will complete a master’s thesis on the mechanistic pathway of gluten into the small intestine that elicits an autoimmune reaction. I plan to further this research the next year when I apply to an MD/PhD program. The PhD aspect of this degree was not so important to me a few years ago, but my personal and familial experiences with autoimmune diseases has made clinical research a crucial part of my future plan. While scientific research may not seem entrepreneurial in the traditional sense, much research shows that traditional entrepreneurialism is heavily based on male economic activity and ideology, while ignoring the importance of gender based reality (Butler, "New Perspectives on Women Entrepreneurs", pg. 15, 16). On the contrary, feminist entrepreneurship shifts the paradigm of "success" away from financial gain to the empowerment of others through creating and sharing knowledge and skills (Ranade, "Entrepreneurial Feminism: Where Entrepreneurship Intersects Feminist Thinking; Orser and Elliott, "The Feminist Entrepreneur"). Thus, scientific research perfectly embodies feminist entrepreneurship through the encouragement of collaboration and emphasis on real-world impact. Hopefully, this scholarship will allow me to reach my goals and help those suffering from autoimmune diseases through application of my entrepreneurial spirit to real-world problems.
    Nintendo Super Fan Scholarship
    One of the best memories I have as a child is hearing my mom say the words: "Okay, DS time!" My siblings and I would rush to the table and whisk our Nintendos off of the counter, arguing over who got to play which game first. Cooking Mama, Zhu Zhu pets, and Sonic were all top hits among my siblings. However, there was one game that always caused a rock, paper, scissors war to erupt among my 3 siblings: Super Mario Bros. We could play that game for hours, anxiously watching over the shoulder of the rock, paper, scissors winner, waiting for the untimely death of Mario to allow the next person to play. Contrary to the popular narrative about video games being isolating, my experience was one of camaraderie, competition, and teamwork. However, I cannot honestly write this essay without admitting to one of my greatest failures. I will set the scene: it was a hot July afternoon, we had just come inside from jumping in the pool and eating popsicles. But today was no ordinary lazy summer day. Today was the 2vs2 Mario Cart tournament that my siblings and I had set up with my neighbors. I was partners with my brother, and it was a heated match against my younger sister and neighbor/ best friend. As we raced down the track, I was determined not to be the liability. However, I was greatly disappointed when we arrived to Ice Ice Outpost. I had been solid for the first two races, lagging behind my brother but refraining from embarrassing myself as I normally did in this game. Unfortunately, when that glorious, icy road appeared on the screen, my 10 year old nerves sent me into overdrive. I began driving off the road at every turn, even driving backwards at certain points! I thought to myself "how is this even possible?" I was devastated. My shockingly bad performance continued throughout the rest of the match. By the time we hit rainbow road, I had all but given up. My cheeks were red and my heart was racing as my sister crossed the finish line while I was being dropped back onto the track after hitting a banana and spinning off into the cosmos. Unfortunately, my lack of skill forfeited the win for my brother and I. Nonetheless, while I may be terrible at Mario Cart, my love for Nintendo remained. Thirteen years later, my siblings and I still bring out our Nintendo's on holidays. I will forever be grateful for the times that we spent in the creative lands of Nintendo, developing teamwork, communication, and most importantly, imagination.
    A Man Helping Women Helping Women Scholarship
    Growing up as the oldest of three sisters, being a woman has always been a strong part of my identity. Thankfully, I had parents who always encouraged me to be the best that I can be, emphasizing that I can do whatever I stick my mind to. However, I quickly realized when entering high school that not all people think like this. Once, when wearing scrubs while shadowing a surgeon, I had a resident tell me that he was surprised that I was a shadow to the surgeon, as most of the women in the operating room are nurses. I was momentarily confused by what he meant, as I did not understand how he distinguished job title based on sex, as we were all wearing the same thing. After a few seconds, I felt a sting in my heart as I realized that, in fact, he was categorizing me as “less smart” simply by virtue of being a female. Additionally, this meant that he generally thought of nurses as lesser. This experience made me reflect on the stigmatization of positions like nurses and teachers, both fields dominated by women, and I had a perspective changing moment when my 18-year-old self realized that these positions are also over worked, under paid, and under appreciated. I vividly remember thinking: “Maybe this isn’t a problem with one person, but the whole system”. However, my own experience was not the only one that opened my eyes to the struggles that women face. During high school and throughout college, I started to notice that some of my friends began to change their focus from their own career goals to finding a boyfriend, or losing weight. This was a scary realization to me, as so many women that I cared about began to lose their identity to focus on a more “desirable” version of themselves. However, it wasn’t just my friends. Many of my friend’s mothers struggled with the same issues. Once, one of my friend’s mothers looked at me disapprovingly when I asked for whole milk in my coffee, saying “that stuff will make you fat”. Baffled and embarrassed, I realized just how important it is for young girls and women to have strong female role models and mentors who encourage healthy habits and body image. This is why I volunteer as a mentor at my local foster care center, where I provide guidance and companionship to underserved teens. If I am awarded this scholarship, I plan to use it to help pay for a master’s degree in nutrition. I hope to use this degree in combination with my mentorship positions to encourage healthy lifestyles among young girls, who are particularly susceptible to eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Following graduate school, I hope to attend medical school where I will further strengthen my understanding of nutrition, as well as physical and mental health more generally. One day, I hope to be a surgeon where I can make female students, residents, and nurses feel like they are welcome, worthy, and valued in any space. Additionally, I plan to continue to stay involved in mentorship programs to provide this influence to underprivileged children and teens. Being a woman is incredibly important to me, and encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to love themselves and strive for their dreams is one of the most important things I can hope to accomplish. This scholarship will help me to do just that.