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Daena McLaren

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Bio

I was born and raised in the third-world country of Jamaica. Around seven years ago, I got the opportunity to move to the United States of America to live a better life. While living here, I have taken advantage of the education system to remove the stigma in my family of no one having the opportunity to attend college. By doing so, I have achieved the goal of becoming a first-generation college student within my family.

Education

Texas State University

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
  • Minors:
    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

Lone Star College System

Associate's degree program
2017 - 2020
  • Majors:
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Internal Medicine Doctor

    • Medical Assistant

      Texas State Optical
      2024 – Present6 months
    • Patient Care Technician

      Davita
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Sales Associate

      JD Sports
      2022 – 2022
    • Student Worker

      Texas State University
      2021 – 20232 years
    • Cashier

      Burlington
      2021 – 2021
    • Brand Representative

      Grand Avenue
      2020 – 2020

    Sports

    Basketball

    Intramural
    2014 – 20151 year

    Track & Field

    Intramural
    2015 – 20161 year

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Kid's Food Inc. — Food Prep
      2018 – 2018
    • Volunteering

      Chevron Marathon — Food Prep
      2018 – 2018

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    @normandiealise National Scholarship Month TikTok Scholarship
    @GrowingWithGabby National Scholarship Month TikTok Scholarship
    Cliff T. Wofford STEM Scholarship
    Growing up, I have always had a passion for science. It all started in the 6th grade when I was nominated to join the School Challenge Quiz team. School Challenge Quiz is a program in Jamaica where primary schools form a four-student-team to compete against other schools on national television. Each person on the team was responsible for a specific subject- the subject I got was the sciences. I remembered studying my topics and got very intrigued in learning about the different aspects of biology. I was amazed to discover the impact that biology has on our lives. My love for science continued to blossom as I entered high school. I fell in love with my 9th-grade biology class. I remembered always staying after class to ask my teacher questions that I didn’t need to learn for the curriculum. Throughout my time in the class, I leaned towards learning about the anatomy branch of biology. I would invariably research more on how different systems in the body interact with each other. My love for the class supported me in grasping the information efficiently. The value I had for the subject even inspired me to become a tutor for students who were struggling with the course. By the end of my high school career, I decided to declare biology as my major in college. I realized my fondness for the course has been making an impact on my life since I was a child. When I was younger, I was always admitted to the hospital due to having severe asthma attacks. Being in the hospital environment so frequently played a role in influencing me to become a doctor. I want to give back to society by treating patients who are diagnosed with similar illnesses like myself. However, achieving this goal will not be easy, especially being a woman of color. I will be facing barriers in the healthcare field. People of color are usually placed into circumstances of not having the best possibilities to be accepted into medical schools. They might have the perfect requirements to become an astonishing candidate, however, this opportunity may be revoked due to the color of their skin. This pushes me to become a doctor even more because I want to help break down this systematic racism wall that has been built in place. One day, as a future doctor, I hope to start a foundation that will be dedicated to people of color who aspire to be a part of the medical field. I want to help them through all the obstacles I know I will be facing as I strive to become a doctor in the future.
    Show your Mettle - Women in STEM Scholarship
    Growing up, I have always had a passion for science. It all started in the 6th grade when I was nominated to join the School Challenge Quiz team. School Challenge Quiz is a program in Jamaica where primary schools form a four-student-team to compete against other schools on national television. Each person on the team was responsible for a specific subject- the subject I got was the sciences. I remembered studying my topics and got very intrigued in learning about the different aspects of biology. I was amazed to discover the impact that biology has on our lives. My love for science continued to blossom as I entered high school. I fell in love with my 9th-grade biology class. I remembered always staying after class to ask my teacher questions that I didn’t need to learn for the curriculum. Throughout my time in the class, I leaned towards learning about the anatomy branch of biology. I would invariably research more on how different systems in the body interact with each other. My love for the class supported me in grasping the information efficiently. The value I had for the subject even inspired me to become a tutor for students who were struggling with the course. By the end of my high school career, I decided to declare biology as my major in college. I realized my fondness for the course has been making an impact on my life since I was a child. I was always admitted to the hospital due to having severe asthma attacks. Being in the hospital environment so frequently played a role in influencing me to become a doctor. I want to give back to society by treating patients who are diagnosed with similar illnesses like myself. However, achieving this goal will not be easy, especially being a woman of color. I will be facing barriers in the healthcare field. People of color are usually placed into circumstances of not having the best possibilities to be accepted into medical schools. They might have the perfect requirements to become an astonishing candidate, however, this opportunity may be revoked due to the color of their skin. This pushes me to become a doctor even more because I want to help break down this systematic racism wall that has been built in place. One day, as a future doctor, I hope to start a foundation that will be dedicated to people of color who aspire to be a part of the medical field. I want to help them through all the obstacles I know I will be facing as I strive to become a doctor in the future.
    Mary P. Perlea Scholarship Fund
    “Out of Many One People” is the motto of my home country Jamaica. The motto stands for the unified and diverse culture the country holds. However, I endured a great sense of culture shock when I migrated to the United States of America. I had to overcome the setback of understanding how to deal with racism. While living in Jamaica, I never learned the deeper notions surrounding racism. However, once I moved to the United States, I recognized others were treating me differently. I was puzzled on why my peers would make remarks about my skin complexion. I informed my parents about what was happening-they emphasized that “people will mistreat you because the color of your skin is not the same as theirs.” As soon as I learned this, I began to feel a great sense of distraught due to experiencing racism. The racism I encountered transformed into bullying; It got to the point where I started to hate my accent and complexion. I would even try to suppress my accent to see if I could fit in. However, this backfired because the bullying got worse, and I hated myself even more. My parents decided to transfer me to a new school. At this point in my life, my self-esteem was remarkably low because even at my new school, others barely spoke to me due to how different I was. I went back home to Jamaica to visit my family during the summer. They were very disappointed in me because I allowed others to tempt me into hating my culture. This was a great wake-up call because I started to reflect on every racial encounter I had and how I allowed others to make me feel ashamed to be Jamaican. During my vacation, I fell back in love with my culture. I realized how beautiful my skin complexion was. My skin color, accent, and the type of food I ate; all made me unique. All these attributes from my culture defined my way of life and I should never allow someone to think they can criticize me because I am different. Discrimination will be a problem that I will continue to face throughout my life. So, I transformed this obstacle into motivation. For instance, I grew strongly into my advocacy character and became one of the founders of the Black History Committee at my high school. Moreover, I will like to become a doctor in the future. Achieving this goal will not be easy, especially being a woman of color. I will be facing barriers in the healthcare field. People of color are usually placed into circumstances of not having the best possibilities to be accepted into medical schools. They might have the perfect requirements to become an astonishing candidate, however, this opportunity may be revoked due to the color of their skin. This pushes me to become a doctor even more because I want to help break down this systematic racism wall that has been built in place. One day, as a future doctor, I hope to start a foundation that will be dedicated to people of color who aspire to be a part of the medical field. I want to help them through all the obstacles I know I will be facing as I strive to become a doctor in the future.
    Theresa Lord Future Leader Scholarship
    I grew up seeing my parents undergo a lot of stress to provide for their children. Due to this, my parents taught me how having a good education will impact my future tremendously. While in America, I have decided to take advantage of the education system to remove the stigma in my family of no one having the chance to attend college. I got the opportunity to graduate with my Associate's degree and a high school diploma. However, before I was able to do so, I had to be accepted into the program in the 8th grade. I had to learn how to sign certain documents which were required by the school on my own. When I got accepted, I developed self-advocacy skills in accomplishing tasks such as finding transportation to school or getting free/reduced lunch. These tasks and many more took a toll on me because I just wanted to have an adult by my side to help navigate these obstacles. However, I understand the circumstances that I was in, so I had to learn to push forward. Moreover, the workload at an early college was very tedious because I had to take both college and advanced high school courses simultaneously. There were many nights where I had to pull all-nighters to complete assignments and projects. The workload started to impact both my physical and mental health. Some days, I wanted to drop out because of the many mental breakdowns I had when completing assignments. I even developed imposter syndrome, where I had a fixed mindset that “if I don’t complete this one assignment, I won’t achieve anything in the future.” Throughout it all, I still had a little voice in my head saying, “keep going; everything will work out in the end.” I’m glad I still had some optimism because it helped me in accomplishing great things in school such as being a part of many organizations and getting acknowledged for my academic skills. Furthermore, my biggest aspiration is to become a doctor. When I was younger, I was always admitted to the hospital due to having severe asthma attacks. Being in the hospital environment so frequently played a role in influencing me to become a doctor. I want to give back to society by treating patients who are diagnosed with similar illnesses like myself. However, achieving this goal will not be easy, especially being a woman of color. I will be facing barriers in the healthcare field. People of color are usually placed into circumstances of not having the best possibilities to be accepted into medical schools. They might have the perfect requirements to become an astonishing candidate, however, this opportunity may be revoked due to the color of their skin. This pushes me to become a doctor even more because I want to help break down this systematic racism wall that has been built in place. One day, as a future doctor, I hope to start a foundation that will be dedicated to people of color who aspire to be a part of the medical field. I want to help them through all the obstacles I know I will be facing as I strive to become a doctor in the future.
    Black Students in STEM Scholarship
    Growing up, I have always had a passion for science. It all started in the 6th grade when I was nominated to join the School Challenge Quiz team. School Challenge Quiz is a program in Jamaica where primary schools form a four-student-team to compete against other schools on national television. Each person on the team was responsible for a specific subject- the subject I got was the sciences. I remembered studying my topics and got very intrigued in learning about the different aspects of biology. I was amazed to discover the impact that biology has on our lives. My love for science continued to blossom as I entered high school. I fell in love with my 9th-grade biology class. I remembered always staying after class to ask my teacher questions that I didn’t need to learn for the curriculum. Throughout my time in the class, I leaned towards learning about the anatomy branch of biology. I would invariably research more on how different systems in the body interact with each other. My love for the class supported me in grasping the information efficiently. The value I had for the subject even inspired me to become a tutor for students who were struggling with the course. By the end of my high school career, I decided to declare biology as my major in college. I realized my fondness for the course has been making an impact on my life since I was a child. When I was younger, I was always admitted to the hospital due to having severe asthma attacks. Being in the hospital environment so frequently played a role in influencing me to become a doctor. I want to give back to society by treating patients who are diagnosed with similar illnesses like myself. However, achieving this goal will not be easy, especially being a woman of color. I will be facing barriers in the healthcare field. People of color are usually placed into circumstances of not having the best possibilities to be accepted into medical schools. They might have the perfect requirements to become an astonishing candidate, however, this opportunity may be revoked due to the color of their skin. This pushes me to become a doctor even more because I want to help break down this systematic racism wall that has been built in place. One day, as a future doctor, I hope to start a foundation that will be dedicated to people of color who aspire to be a part of the medical field. I want to help them through all the obstacles I know I will be facing as I strive to become a doctor in the future.
    Tanya C. Harper Memorial SAR Scholarship
    Growing up, I have always had a passion for science. It all started in the 6th grade when I was nominated to join the School Challenge Quiz team. School Challenge Quiz is a program in Jamaica where primary schools form a four-student-team to compete against other schools on national television. Each person on the team was responsible for a specific subject- the subject I got was the sciences. I remembered studying my topics and got very intrigued in learning about the different aspects of biology. I was amazed to discover the impact that biology has on our lives. My love for science continued to blossom as I entered high school. I fell in love with my 9th-grade biology class. I remembered always staying after class to ask my teacher questions that I didn’t need to learn for the curriculum. Throughout my time in the class, I leaned towards learning about the anatomy branch of biology. I would invariably research more on how different systems in the body interact with each other. My love for the class supported me in grasping the information efficiently. The value I had for the subject even inspired me to become a tutor for students who were struggling with the course. By the end of my high school career, I decided to declare biology as my major in college. I realized my fondness for the course has been making an impact on my life since I was a child. When I was younger, I was always admitted to the hospital due to having severe asthma attacks. Being in the hospital environment so frequently played a role in influencing me to become a doctor. I want to give back to society by treating patients who are diagnosed with similar illnesses like myself. However, achieving this goal will not be easy, especially being a woman of color. I will be facing barriers in the healthcare field. People of color are usually placed into circumstances of not having the best possibilities to be accepted into medical schools. They might have the perfect requirements to become an astonishing candidate, however, this opportunity may be revoked due to the color of their skin. This pushes me to become a doctor even more because I want to help break down this systematic racism wall that has been built in place. One day, as a future doctor, I hope to start a foundation that will be dedicated to people of color who aspire to be a part of the medical field. I want to help them through all the obstacles I know I will be facing as I strive to become a doctor in the future.
    Caring Chemist Scholarship
    Growing up, I have always had a passion for science. It all started in the 6th grade where I was nominated to join the School Challenge Quiz team. School Challenge Quiz is a program in Jamaica where primary schools form a four-student team to compete against other schools on national television. Each person on the team was responsible for a certain subject; the subject I got was the sciences. I remembered studying my topics and got very intrigued in learning about the different aspects of biology. I was amazed to learn the impact that biology has on our lives. My love for science continued to blossom as I entered high school. I fell in love with my 9th-grade biology class. I remembered always staying after class to ask the teacher questions that I didn’t need to learn for the curriculum. Throughout my time in the class, I leaned towards learning about the anatomy branch of biology. I would invariably research more on how different systems in the body interact with each other. My love for the class supported me in grasping the information efficiently. The value I had for the subject even inspired me to become a tutor for students who were struggling with the course. By the end of my high school career, I decided to declare biology as my major in college. Now pursuing this major, I realized my fondness for the subject has been making an impact on my life since I was a child. I remembered how I would periodically get admitted to the hospital due to having severe asthma attacks growing up. Being in a hospital setting frequently played a role in inspiring me to become a doctor. I want to give back to society by treating patients who are diagnosed with similar illnesses like myself. However, achieving this goal will not be easy, especially being a woman of color. I will be facing barriers in the healthcare field. People of color are placed into the position of not having the best opportunity to be accepted into medical schools. They might have the perfect requirements to become an astonishing candidate however, this chance may be ripped away due to the color of their skin. This drives me to become a doctor even more because I want to help break down this systematic racism wall that was built in place. One day, as a future doctor, I will start a foundation that will be dedicated to people of color who aspire to be a part of the medical field. I want to help them through all the obstacles I know I will be facing as I strive to become a doctor in the future.