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Evan Thomas

1005

Bold Points

2x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I'm passionate about medicine and fixing many of the problems that ail our current healthcare system. For the last several years, I have worked as an EMT and registered nurse in five different states and two countries. Currently, I'm a first-year medical student pursuing a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree at WSU. I have worked and volunteered extensively with medically under-served patient populations as well as with Latino communities. I speak fluent Spanish and I want to be present in these communities as a physician. Additionally, I hope to pursue a Master's degree in health economics as I want to find ways to decrease both the cost and complexity of our healthcare system. We must find solutions to these challenges as we are on an unsustainable path that continues to bankrupt individuals.

Education

Washington State University

Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Medicine

Roseman University of Health Sciences

Bachelor's degree program
2014 - 2015
  • Majors:
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing

University of Oregon

Bachelor's degree program
2006 - 2009
  • Majors:
    • Sociology

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Medicine
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Medicine

    • Dream career goals:

      Physician

    • Pediatric ICU Nurse

      Seattle Children's Hospital
      2018 – Present6 years

    Sports

    Football

    Varsity
    2002 – Present22 years

    Awards

    • Most inspirational, Defensive MVP, Single game tackle record

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      General Hospital of Queretaro — EMT
      2010 – 2013
    • Volunteering

      City of Seattle — Registered Nurse and Spanish Interpreter
      2020 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      City of Seattle — Vaccinator
      2021 – 2021

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Ms. Susy’s Disney Character Scholarship
    My favorite Disney character is Moana because she demonstrates great perseverance, chases her dreams, and helps her family and community. Another reason to love her is because she is a great singer (plus Moana has the best music of any Disney movie!). From the very beginning, Moana is called to the ocean but the fears of her father pull her away. What I like about Moana is she perseveres and although she initially does attempt to forget about the ocean and obey her father, the fact that her island is dying pushes Moana to overcome her fears, go out to sea, and follow her calling. Sometimes it's hard to explain why we are attracted to certain paths in life. We only know that for some reason we want to follow our calling, just because. Frequently, society, other people, or our own fears prevent us from following our instincts and dreams. It's happened to me which is why I love that Moana follows her calling despite various opposing forces. When most people or characters follow their calling, it's usually to satisfy their own personal desires, and there is nothing wrong with that. But few seem to simultaneously chase their own calling while also looking to help their community as well. Moana is clearly called to the ocean but she also wants to help her community and their dying island. While on her journey, Moana never forgot about her roots, her community, and her family. Finally, Moana is my favorite character (and my favorite Disney movie) because she is a great singer. The musical aspects of Moana are fantastic and enrich the story. Moana shares her emotions, desires, and fears through singing and music. This helps her keep her community present in her mind and persevere through the difficult stages of her journey, probably when she most wanted to be able to quit on go home. Moana is a strong, smart, and caring Disney character that follows her calling despite having many reasons not to. Her family, culture, and community are clearly the most important parts of her life, and she never forgets about them while on her journey. Moana is courageous and an example of how to live life. These are the reasons why Moana is my favorite Disney character.
    Mental Health Importance Scholarship
    Adulthood has taught me that curating and improving my mental health is not only important but is an absolute necessity for daily life. Like so many things in life, being mentally healthy takes dedication, work, and executing a plan. I maintain my mental health in the following ways: 1. Prioritizing family 2. Doing something fun and interesting to me every single day 3. Taking a fun trip at least once a year 4. Exercising and avoiding certain foods and 5. Taking time daily to practice mindfulness and gratitude every day when I wake up. Despite being an extremely busy medical student, I prioritize my family. For example, I set aside time every day to eat dinner with my wife and I schedule dedicated time for her every weekend. I also make sure to call my out-of-state and out-of-country family members once a month. This keeps me grounded and connected to the people who most support me. I make sure to do something fun every day. I usually play the drums for about 15-30 minutes daily or watch some comedy. This is a great way to break up the many hours of studying. I also think it helps me learn better and study for longer periods of time. I love to travel. Sometimes being in school is frustrating because travel opportunities are limited. However, planning at least one trip a year gives me something to look forward to. Of course, the trips are economical and I have learned that I can drive to another city or use credit card points to fund a flight. We all know that exercise benefits our mental health. I go to the gym at least three times a week in order to stay healthy. There are many days that I don't want to go either because I feel overwhelmed with school or because I am tired. But like anything else in life, it takes effort and practice to maintain health. After some time, those efforts turn into habits. I always feel better after spending some time lifting weights or running. Also, I avoid excessive sweets and alcohol. I'm lucky to say that I've had many wonderful life experiences which have taken me to live and work in five different states and two different countries. These experiences have provided me with the gift of seeing how other people live and the struggles that some people face. As an American, I recognize that I live in one of the most prosperous nations in the world. I haven't really had to worry about food scarcity, lack of drinking water, lack of hot water, or basic sanitation since these items are generally available to nearly everyone in the United States, with a few exceptions. Living in other places has given me perspective and I feel very fortunate and lucky as a human being. Every day, when I wake up in the morning I take 5-10 minutes to be mindful, relax, and remind myself of how fortunate I am. This exercise has greatly helped my mental health, it may be the single most important thing I have done to help strengthen my mental health. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. Be well.
    Analtha Parr Pell Memorial Scholarship
    I am a first-year medical student at Washington State University's College of Medicine. I am also a career changer in my early 30s and a soon-to-be father. During the last ten years, I have worked in five different states and two countries as both a paramedic and an intensive care nurse. These experiences have allowed me to grow tremendously, and appreciate the differences in people, as well as given me a great deal of domestic and international perspective on different problems. I speak two languages fluently and I am heavily involved with the Latino community. I chose to pursue a career as a physician for several reasons. First, I'm very passionate about the medical field because I've always enjoyed helping patients. I enjoy the process of taking care of very sick patients and finding ways to make patients feel better - whether it's with a laugh, a listening ear, or with medicine. I wanted to study medicine because the science in the medical field fascinates me and I love learning about our bodies and health. Second, I want to make positive contributions to the medical field. I envision myself adding to both clinical and non-clinical improvements to healthcare. One of my loftiest goals is to further study health economics with the intent to find ways to make the financial side of our healthcare system less complex and far more affordable. It is well established that medical expenses are one of the top reasons for bankruptcy and that financial trouble is one of the main reasons for divorce. It is also well known that patients avoid seeking health care because they are afraid of generating large bills. This is unacceptable in a first-world country and is heartbreaking to meet patients that did not begin to seek care for different medical problems until damage was done to their health. We must find solutions to our expensive and complicated system. Lastly, I chose to study medicine so that I can contribute to providing health care to underserved, rural, and international patients. I think that it is important for physicians to seek opportunities to care for patients that are vulnerable or otherwise have a difficult time accessing healthcare. Personally, I am dedicated to serving the Latino population. I spent many years working in Mexico, my wife and sister-in-law, my extended family, and my (future) child are all part of the Latino community. I would like to continue the long tradition of the United States of contributing to healthcare around the world. Where there is a need, I would like to participate in training medical professionals, directly caring for patients, or helping establish permanent healthcare facilities. Despite the challenges of studying medicine, I am very happy and extremely grateful to be studying such a fascinating subject. I look forward to every day as well as contributing to society in the future as a physician. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application.
    Manny and Sylvia Weiner Medical Scholarship
    I am an example of a "late bloomer" in becoming a doctor - but I am now living my dream at Washington State University College of Medicine as a first year medical student, and I couldn't be happier! I grew up thinking that only the super rich, or children of physicians, could go to medical school. So I chose a different route. I started my medical journey as an emergency medical technician, however I was never able to gain full time employment. Since I enjoyed the medical field and needed more stability, I decided to go to nursing school, and I worked as an ICU nurse for several years. I loved being at the bedside taking care of very sick patients. As a nurse, I met inspiring physicians that were from diverse backgrounds and were the first physicians in their family. They taught me that any one who is determined and wanting to help people can attend medical school. I wanted to learn more about the body and have a deeper impact, so I decided to go for medical school. In addition to direct patient care, my EMS and nursing experience served as a great way to learn about the healthcare system. Unfortunately, I realized that their were aspects of the system that I despised. However, I decided to use that disgust as motivation to make positive contributions to healthcare. Personally, I find medicine a sacred career. We learn the intimate details of how cells work as well as form special entrusting relationships with patients and other healthcare professionals. It's a beautiful dance. As a married, non-traditional student, I have faced several financial challenges. First, I'm married to an immigrant whose second language is English and she didn't begin learning English until she was 27. This has put her at an extreme disadvantage in the labor market. To date, all of her jobs have paid minimum wage, or just above the minimum. Although I have been working, I've been paying down the debt from my previous degrees (which I admit I did not understand the true costs of the education nor did I understand how student loan debt functions). This has made it difficult to save. I've also been paying for life: rent in Seattle, WA, food, electric bills, car insurance, medical insurance, and emergency expenses. Last year my wife's uncle was diagnosed with cancer and we helped pay for his chemotherapy and other bills (her uncle lives outside of the U.S.). Because my wife is an immigrant, she was unable to obtain healthcare during her first three years here. Our only option was to purchase a catastrophic plan which only covers severe medical illnesses or accidents. This meant that we had to pay out of pocket for all of her routine and emergent care. We've spent thousands on care for a second degree burn, an emergency root canal, female reproductive issues, and an extensive eye and facial tissue infection. Someone with health insurance would have paid only a fraction of what we paid. I also find that there are limited scholarships for non-traditional students, which makes it hard to qualify for financial help. How will this contribute to my practice? I can sympathize with those that avoid medical care due to costs. My wife has had to do the same, which broke my heart. I can help large groups of people through policymaking. I'm motivated to eliminate the 'cost-decision' as a determining factor for a person that is seeking medical care. I'm also determined to find solutions that lower the cost of healthcare; our nation's health depends on it.
    Noah Jon Markstrom Foundation Scholarship
    Winner
    As a Pediatric ICU nurse in Washington state, I have the pleasure of meeting the world's strongest patients. Children with cancer are resilient and courageous but often they have to suffer horrible consequences from both their disease and their treatment regimens. Every week, I work with pediatric oncology patients that are put through experiences that I would not be able to handle with such grace. Many of these ICU patients are intubated, on CRRT dialysis, and receive boatloads of medications. Yet, they're still able to give you a thumbs up when asked. I've been fortunate to create strong bonds with several pediatric patients, and their families, through the years. Unfortunately, many of those patients passed away. Their optimism, strength, and determination are what inspire me to pursue further studies in pediatric medicine. I have now been accepted to several medical schools, including Washington State University (UW Medical School is pending). I want to study medicine to take my knowledge and potential to the next level so that I can make a greater impact. As a nurse, I'm able to positively affect people's lives but as a physician, I will be able to do the same and also make larger contributions to cancer research, practice implementation, and policy-making. This will not be an easy endeavor. I will lean on my experiences of having worked with pediatric oncology patients and those of my own family. Last year, my uncle was blind-sided with a cancer diagnosis of multiple myeloma. Now he is going through the turmoil of receiving chemotherapy and has a scheduled bone marrow transplant. Although cancer survival rates have increased over the years, cancer still severely decreases the quality of many patients' lives. For other patients, their cancer ends their life far too soon. I’m inspired to reduce the incidence and prevalence of childhood cancer. I’m also inspired by the possible outcomes: less suffering, less loss, and fewer financial burdens. Seattle is one of the world's top cancer treatment cities in the world. I want to leverage the resources and training opportunities that will be available in this area to maximize my development in pediatric medicine so that I can make as large of an impact as humanly possible for pediatric cancer patients and their families. Despite living in the Pacific Northwest, I’m tremendously inspired by the fact that discoveries and positive progress can be shared worldwide. Prior to working as a nurse, I was an EMT/Paramedic in Mexico. Mexico has wonderful oncology clinics and hospitals. However, they face unique challenges. I’m motivated and inspired to also improve pediatric oncology care in that part of the world as well. The bottom line is that I know that the medical community can continue to improve cancer care, discover more about cancer, and make a real impact in the lives of those currently battling cancer. I’ll never forget one of my favorite patients and his family. He was a recent college graduate who had just gotten an offer of employment at his dream engineering job with a top aerospace agency when his cancer relapsed. The patient and his family were wonderful and advocated for his well-being at all times. For weeks we spent time exchanging jokes and sharing food. Ultimately, he died and his dad cried intensely on my shoulder. It was an extremely emotional moment but one that has filled me with motivation to keep fighting for patients. I can contribute to pediatric medicine with this scholarship. Thank you.
    Bold Growth Mindset Scholarship
    I keep a growth mindset by understanding change, looking for opportunities for personal improvement, and establishing a mission for my life. Change is constant in our lives. Whether it's your family, school, hobbies, or work, change is always part of the equation. Some change is lightning fast, just look at how much technology has changed and how technology affects our educational, banking, and personal tools. By understanding that change is constant, I've been able to establish in my mind that I must grow with that change in order to not be left behind. I also like to take a step back from time to time and consider the larger picture of my life. When I do this, I always find portions of my life that could be optimized and improved. Common sense would suggest that if I work on improving a given aspect of my life, I will enjoy the increased levels of rewards. This also helps me keep a growth mindset. Finding the purpose of life takes people down different paths. I find that there are multiple answers to this age-old question. For me, having a mission, goal, or purpose is what makes life worth making. In order to accomplish my personal mission and goals, I need to work hard and be focused. Again, knowing this allows me to keep a growth mindset in place.
    Bold Patience Matters Scholarship
    Life doesn't always happen as we imagine it. In fact, I've learned that I can plan on things not working out as originally planned! That's why I believe that we must learn to develop and practice patience. I am a non-traditional student who has been accepted to various medical schools at the age of 33. I have wanted to be a physician since I was 25, but life took me down another path. However, I never lost the desire to eventually become a physician. Even though I wasn't able to accomplish this goal earlier, I always told myself to be patient. In the meantime, I learned that I could make small steps of progress toward my goal. I did this by taking a class here and there or finding work experience little by little. There were times when I felt frustrated, impatient, and my path felt as if it was taking forever. But, there have been many advantages to not having gone straight into medical school at the more traditional age of 22 or 23. In the long run, I think I will be better off having gone to school later in life. While I wasn't in medical school, I was able to boost my savings, have life experiences that have taught me about emotional intelligence and allowed me to mature, and to spend time with family. By being patient, I was able to persevere and not give up on my goal. Sure, it's all happening later, but late is better than never and patience will get me through the next obstacle as well.
    Bold Perseverance Scholarship
    In 2010, I moved to San Diego to find work. At the time, I was unemployed and only able to find short-term gig work. Of course, in 2010 the country was still suffering from the effects of the 2008 financial crash. I remember going to job fairs and open interview days and standing in line with hundreds of other job applicants. When I stopped counting, I had applied to over 600 jobs from 2009 through 2010. I had moved to San Diego, CA with the hope that my luck would change, but unfortunately, the situation was just as bad. It didn't matter what kind of job opening there was, hundreds of people applied. Eventually, I ran out of money. My mother lent me $1,000 dollars. I was able to find a garage that I rented for $200 hundred dollars for 4 months. For food, I would go with a roommate that had a Costco membership and eat the food that was being offered for samples. I also ate bananas and raw oatmeal. I spent all day looking for jobs, but there was absolutely nothing. This was the reality for millions of people across the country. Once I spent the $1,000 from my mother, I slept in my car for a little over a week. I had a jar of peanut butter and some clothes in my car. I finally had to throw in the towel and go back home with my mother. I was trying to transition into young adulthood and make it on my own. Being unable to find work was depressing and discouraging. However, I learned that I was incredibly lucky to have another home to go back to and to have my health. I just had to keep marching!
    Bold Books Scholarship
    The most inspiring book that I have ever read is titled 'A Life Worth Living.' It's authored by a Holocaust survivor that finds a way to overcome trauma and find triumph and love in his life. This book is not well known and it was given to me by the author as a thank you gift. In the book, the author, Ben, arrives in New York after being liberated from a concentration camp by allied forces. Upon his arrival, Ben had only a few dollars in his pocket, but luckily, he was able to stay with family members that had managed to escape to the U.S. at the start of the war. Through grit, resilience, and determination, Ben acquires a job, starts businesses, and finds time to go to school. Eventually, Ben moved to Los Angeles, CA, and started a career with UPS where he climbed up the ranks experiencing great success. At the same time, Ben learned how to successfully invest in, buy, and sell real estate. Of course, his journey was never easy. In New York, he was assaulted and scammed multiple times. In L.A., Ben worked during the day and attended night school. He married and had children, and remarkably, he continued to work two full-time and still continued in school. Ben's story is truly inspirational. What I learned from Ben's book is the importance of never giving up, despite living in absolutely atrocious conditions. Ben's story is one of constant resilience and a never-ending drive to live a wonderful life. He managed to achieve professional success and raise a loving family. The last I heard, Ben had founded an organization dedicated to remembering the true history of the Holocaust.
    Bold Relaxation Scholarship
    I plan scheduled mental health breaks in order to relax. I use this time to be with my wife, watch a movie or show, go out to eat, and play the drums. As a married student, it's vital that I be extremely organized and disciplined in order to finish my school tasks and also to have time with my wife. My wife is very supportive of my educational goals. I owe it to her to spend time with her and when we spend time together all of my stress melts away (unless I forgot to do the dishes!). We relax by watching a show or a movie. We love comedies and planet Earth or animal documentaries. We also go out to eat Thai food, for tea or coffee, or the occasional beer. Lastly, I absolutely love to play the drums. In my apartment, I have an electrical drum set through which I connect my favorite music and I can jam for hours. I completely get in the zone and forget about other things in life.
    Bold Confidence Matters Scholarship
    To me, confidence is the ability to approach a situation, control it, and reach a solution in a relatively effortless manner. There are many situations in life and work that can quickly get out of control. But confidence allows you to prevent overwhelm and problem solve. Ultimately, mastering outcomes will lead to success. I'm an ICU nurse (now pursuing a career as a physician) and I often face situations that are daunting. Despite several years of experience, there are times when I feel like I might not be successful, but I have to remind myself that confidence can help me get through the situation. When I feel nervous, I tell myself that I have to be confident, I have done this before, and my experience and skills will help me get through it. I believe that when you feel nervous or overwhelmed, that is the perfect time to practice confidence. We gain confidence when we charge through a situation, despite feeling nervous or overwhelmed. It's normal to have those feelings, but courage is when we march ahead anyways. This all helps to build confidence. I remind myself of this, approach the situation, and when I reach a successful outcome I reflect on how I approached the situation, how I controlled it, and how I reached the solution. This is how I build confidence in myself.
    Bold Goals Scholarship
    I am currently pursuing medical school to become a physician. I have received multiple acceptances so far. With this in mind, I have several goals for the future including personal and professional goals. Professionally, I want to become a physician. Once I achieve this, I want to be involved in policymaking, improving access to care while decreasing the cost of the American medical system. I feel that I must fight to lower the cost of insurance, medications, and provision of care while also protecting the income of healthcare workers. People shouldn't have to go to other countries to secure insulin or stop to think about how much care will cost at a time when they absolutely need to be cared for (this, unfortunately, leads to chronic health conditions). I believe there is a way to both marry capitalism and innovation with government regulation in healthcare. I want to be heavily involved in education, training upcoming nurses, paramedics, and physicians. I also want to take more technology to developing countries. Specifically, I want to improve dialysis, burn care, and central catheter use. I also want to improve ICU education of nurses. Personally, I want to live a long and healthy life with my wife, see her and my families often, and check off all of the items on our bucket list, which mostly consists of travel and adventure. I don't need or want big things, lots of toys, or consumer debt. I'm happy living in a small space where we can have a pet and grow our own food. Thank you.
    Bold Bucket List Scholarship
    I've been lucky to achieve several items on my bucket list. The random set of achievements so far have been: To see Mana in concert, travel to Canada, visit Central America, live in another country (Mexico for several years), to save a life, to visit more than 5 U.S. states (Tennessee, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Hawaii, and California), and work for myself. The remaining items on my bucket list include: Travel to South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe; to see the Aurora Borealis; visit all the Island of Hawaii; go to the annual Mexican Military Parade on September 16th; see a game of Barcelona soccer club, Chelsea, between Cruz Azul and America, Michigan vs Ohio State, and Mexican National Team at Estadio Azteca; build a house for someone in a developing country; help establish more dialysis, central access, and burn care in Mexican hospitals; start a scholarship fund; start a business; play the drums live in front of a crowd again (as I did in high school); and hike the entire Andes chain. I periodically review my bucket list and add to it. It takes planning and dedication but I will check off every single one of those items!
    Bold Legacy Scholarship
    I want to leave a legacy of service, tangible impact, and unification of people. When people think back on my life, I want them to have memories of someone who woke up in the morning determined to improve the lives of others. I want people to know that I volunteered as an EMT, a nurse, and (in the future) as a physician, having done so in other countries, in his home city during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the uninsured. I want people to know that I cared deeply about the Latino community and that I worked domestically and in Mexico serving the Latino population in an effort to improve their health and feel welcomed. In addition to service, I want to leave behind tangible examples of a positive impact. I want there to be buildings that house people, or clinics that attend to the sick, or classrooms that teach children and adults. I don't care if my name is on those buildings, but that if anyone took the time to research how these places came to be, they'll know it was me. I also want to start a scholarship fund for people like myself (career changers, non-traditional students) so that they can pursue their educational aspirations with less financial pressure. Lastly, I want a legacy of having unified people, especially during a time of extreme polarization in the world. This will be done by treating others with respect, welcoming others wherever they may find themselves, and working to actually improve the lives of others. For me, that will be a life worth living.
    Bold Study Strategies Scholarship
    I use the principles of neuroscience that are proven to impact retention and learning in order to achieve academic success. This means that I use flashcards and progressive memory software, like Anki. These flashcards quickly weed out which topics you know very well and which you struggle with. For the items that you struggle with, the program will present you those cards frequently while your stronger topics are presented to you less frequently. Secondly, I make sure that I use organizational skills to stay on top of my studies. Nowadays, there are so many programs, websites, and resources that students actually face an overwhelming array of options, and this can lead to dangerous inaction. Therefore, I make sure that I avoid this overwhelm. I do this by selecting just one to two software programs, and I commit to it. I set a schedule and make sure that I review the daily cards presented by the program. I do this daily and with discipline. If you fail to review your cards daily, the program becomes less efficient and your learning will suffer. The great thing about using technology for learning is that most programs are portable or stored on a cloud. This makes it easy to seamlessly transition from mobile to computer without having to haul around tangible cards. Lastly, I vary the sites where I study. Neuroscience shows that when you learn something only in one place, it can be harder to recall that information when you are in a different setting, like in a lecture hall taking a test.