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Hadeel Jawad

3165

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

Bio

I am a senior in high school from San Diego, California. I'm originally from Iraq, but I immigrated to America when I was young. I'm very active at my school, as I participate in several clubs and programs on campus. I started the Middle Eastern and North African student union on my campus, and I am currently president. I am also president of Interact Club, a club dedicated to community service. I currently intern with the City of San Diego. Outside of school, I volunteer for Words Alive, the Library of Congress, and currently for the campaign of 4th District Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe. Additionally, I am in the Aaron Price Fellows Class of 2024. My hobbies include reading, embroidery, and badminton. I enjoy learning about a wide range of topics, from art history to philosophy. Some of my best traits include my determination, curiosity, and open-mindedness. I am bilingual; I speak English and Arabic, and I am also currently learning Spanish. Social and political issues have always been interesting to me, especially as an immigrant. I find they encourage me to think and explore the world in new ways while broadening my perspective. I am currently planning on entering the medical field.

Education

San Diego International Studies

High School
2020 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Majors of interest:

    • Public Health
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
    • Health/Medical Preparatory Programs
    • Health Aides/Attendants/Orderlies
    • Practical Nursing, Vocational Nursing and Nursing Assistants
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Healthcare Management

    • Owner/Nail Technician

      Bonny Sets, Self-Employed
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Intern to Deputy Chief Operating Officer

      City of San Diego
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Intern on the Race Exhibit Community Board

      Museum of Us
      2022 – 20231 year
    • Line Cook/Prep Cook

      San Diego Zoo
      2022 – 20231 year

    Sports

    Badminton

    Varsity
    2021 – Present3 years

    Public services

    • Public Service (Politics)

      San Diego County Board of Education — Student Boardmember
      2023 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      National City Public Library — President
      2021 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Library of Congress — Transcriber
      2020 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Words Alive — Scheduler & Page Turner
      2021 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Fernandez Scholarship
    My childhood in Iraq was made of odes by Abdel Halim Hafez and Fairuz. While my parents worked, I was raised by my grandmother. She was an unapologetic and passionate woman. Any afternoon, music could be heard bellowing from our gated windows and onto the dirt paths outside. Soon after my fourth birthday, my parents received the news that we had been approved to immigrate. Before we moved, she’d sit me in her lap and tell me lessons on honesty and kindness, and she'd warn me not to forget in the new world. My grandma’s words echo in my mind, reminding me of the importance of perseverance and determination and fueling my drive to succeed despite the odds. Losing my grandmother to metastatic breast cancer not only left a void in my life but also sparked a realization of the inequalities within the healthcare system in my home country of Iraq and here in America. This pivotal moment inspired me to pursue a career dedicated to addressing these disparities and advocating for women's health. She struggled to get quality healthcare, which made me reflect on the shortcomings of women's medicine, not only in Iraq but also here in America. Witnessing her struggles led me to reflect on the inadequacies in women's medicine and ignited a sense of outrage at the lack of legislative support for those in similar vulnerable situations, particularly concerning financial barriers. I have always had a love for math, though, and after my statistics class last year, I’ve also been very interested in data science. This class, combined with Honors Precalculus, AP Calculus, Honors Human Body Systems, Honors Chemistry, and IB Chemistry, has given me an expansive background in the sciences. Outside of school, I’ve been active in extracurriculars such as MESA, a program that explores careers relating to mathematics, engineering, and science, and I’ve volunteered in a hospital for 100 hours. The convergence of my life experiences and motivations has cemented my steadfast dedication to addressing healthcare inequalities. I've already initiated my pursuit to establish a foundation in policy through my internship with the City of San Diego, which immersed me in working in government and policy. I had been introduced to these topics during my time in the Aaron Price Fellows program; however, working in the space where civic operations actually took place made me realize how much I enjoyed them. As a student board member on the San Diego County Board of Education, I was further able to deepen my understanding of policy formulation and implementation. I plan to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, followed by a Masters in Health Policy or Biostatistics. I will advocate for and empower people’s voices through Health Policy within the field of Public Health. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were only accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during the pandemic. After receiving my education, I hope to come back to the communities I grew up in and provide essential healthcare services that improve the well-being of individuals and families within them. Unfortunately, most of the research done on minority communities is often done by the majority, creating an intimidating atmosphere that breeds mistrust. I hope to change this narrative by conducting research within communities that look like me and inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in the healthcare field.
    Women in Healthcare Scholarship
    From a young age, my academic journey has been shaped by a profound interest in science and mathematics, nurtured by passionate teachers who instilled in me a curiosity for STEM. However, it was a deeply personal experience that solidified my commitment to this path. The loss of my grandmother to metastatic breast cancer not only left a void in my life but also sparked a realization of the inequalities within the healthcare system in my home country of Iraq and here in America. This pivotal moment inspired me to pursue a career dedicated to addressing these disparities and advocating for women's health. I have always had a love for math, though, and after my statistics class last year, I’ve also been very interested in data science. This class, combined with Honors Precalculus, AP Calculus, Honors Human Body Systems, Honors Chemistry, and IB Chemistry, has given me an expansive background in the natural sciences. I plan to continue to learn about these interests as they relate to Public Health, a field that largely requires science skills. Outside of school, I’ve been active in extracurriculars such as MESA, a program that explores careers relating to mathematics, engineering, and science, and have completed engineering and coding competitions. The convergence of my life experiences and motivations has cemented my steadfast dedication to addressing healthcare inequalities. I've already initiated my pursuit to establish a foundation in policy through my internship with the City of San Diego, which immersed me in the workings of government and policy. I was introduced to these topics during my time in the Aaron Price Fellows program; however, working in the space where civic operations actually took place made me realize how much I enjoyed them. As a student board member on the San Diego County Board of Education, I was further able to deepen my understanding of policy formulation and implementation. I plan to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, followed by a Masters in Health Policy or Biostatistics. I will advocate for and empower people’s voices through Health Policy within the field of Public Health. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were only accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during this time. Many people commented that they felt left in the dark while trying to understand an overwhelmed institution. I plan to return to the communities I grew up in and provide essential healthcare services that improve the well-being of individuals and families within them. Unfortunately, most of the research done on minority communities is often done by the majority, creating an intimidating atmosphere that breeds mistrust. I hope to change this narrative by conducting research within communities that look like me and inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in the healthcare field. Through pursuing a degree in healthcare, I aspire to leverage data-driven approaches and innovative solutions. These tools will enable me to transform healthcare systems, ensuring equitable access to quality care for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances.
    Dr. Michal Lomask Memorial Scholarship
    From a young age, my academic journey has been shaped by a profound interest in science and mathematics, nurtured by passionate teachers who instilled in me a curiosity for STEM. However, it was a deeply personal experience that solidified my commitment to this path. The loss of my grandmother to metastatic breast cancer not only left a void in my life but also sparked a realization of the inequalities within the healthcare system in my home country of Iraq and here in America. This pivotal moment inspired me to pursue a career dedicated to addressing these disparities and advocating for women's health. I have always had a love for math, though, and after my statistics class last year, I’ve also been very interested in data science. This class, combined with Honors Precalculus, AP Calculus, Honors Human Body Systems, Honors Chemistry, and IB Chemistry, has given me an expansive background in the natural sciences. I plan to continue to learn about these interests as they relate to Public Health, a field that largely requires science skills. Outside of school, I’ve been active in extracurriculars such as MESA, a program that explores careers relating to mathematics, engineering, and science, and have completed engineering and coding competitions. The convergence of my life experiences and motivations has cemented my steadfast dedication to addressing healthcare inequalities. I've already initiated my pursuit to establish a foundation in policy through my internship with the City of San Diego, which immersed me in the workings of government and policy. I was introduced to these topics during my time in the Aaron Price Fellows program; however, working in the space where civic operations actually took place made me realize how much I enjoyed them. As a student board member on the San Diego County Board of Education, I was further able to deepen my understanding of policy formulation and implementation. I plan to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, followed by a Masters in Health Policy or Biostatistics. I will advocate for and empower people’s voices through Health Policy within the field of Public Health. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were only accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during this time. Many people commented that they felt left in the dark while trying to understand an overwhelmed institution. I plan to return to the communities I grew up in and provide essential healthcare services that improve the well-being of individuals and families within them. Unfortunately, most of the research done on minority communities is often done by the majority, creating an intimidating atmosphere that breeds mistrust. I hope to change this narrative by conducting research within communities that look like me and inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in the healthcare field. Through an education in STEM, I aspire to leverage data-driven approaches and innovative solutions. These tools will enable me to transform healthcare systems, ensuring equitable access to quality care for all individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances.
    Redefining Victory Scholarship
    To me, success looks like pursuing a career in Public Health and continuing my commitment to empowering others and advocating for change. I’ve found so much joy in helping make significant, positive change, regardless of how big or small. I hope to attend college and learn how to build on these foundations so I can further help others. Inspired by the loss of my grandmother and fueled by my passion for STEM, I am driven to pursue a career where I can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. The death of my grandma strongly inspired me to pursue women’s health and health sciences. She died of metastatic breast cancer when I was in the eighth grade. She struggled to get quality healthcare, which made me reflect on the shortcomings of women's medicine, not only in Iraq but also here in America. Witnessing her struggles led me to reflect on the inadequacies in women's medicine and ignited a sense of outrage at the lack of legislative support for those in similar vulnerable situations, particularly concerning financial barriers. I have always had a love for math, though, and after my statistics class last year, I’ve also been very interested in data science. This class, combined with Honors Precalculus, AP Calculus, Honors Human Body Systems, Honors Chemistry, and IB Chemistry, has given me an expansive background in the sciences. Outside of school, I’ve been active in extracurriculars such as MESA, a program that explores careers relating to mathematics, engineering, and science, and I’ve volunteered in a hospital for 100 hours. The convergence of my life experiences and motivations has cemented my steadfast dedication to addressing healthcare inequalities. I've already initiated my pursuit to establish a foundation in policy through my internship with the City of San Diego, which immersed me in working in government and policy. I had been introduced to these topics during my time in the Aaron Price Fellows program; however, working in the space where civic operations actually took place made me realize how much I enjoyed them. I plan to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, followed by a Masters in Health Policy or Biostatistics. I will advocate for and empower people’s voices through Health Policy within the field of Public Health. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were only accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during the pandemic. Many people commented that they felt left in the dark while trying to understand an overwhelmed institution. During college, I plan to pursue extracurriculars and programs related to Public Health by actively participating in health advocacy groups, volunteering at local health organizations, and seeking internships in Public Health agencies. Additionally, I aim to attend conferences and workshops to expand my knowledge and network within the field. After receiving my education, I hope to come back to the communities I grew up in and provide essential healthcare services that improve the well-being of individuals and families within them. Unfortunately, most of the research done on minority communities is often done by the majority, creating an intimidating atmosphere that breeds mistrust. I hope to change this narrative by conducting research within communities that look like me and represent them well to help them receive resources and aid. Pursuing a career in this field heavily relies on a college education. As a Muslim family, we hold education very highly as an integral value. Being immigrants, we’ve also been able to see the obvious benefits that a college degree brings financially. I hope to earn my college degree to honor the hardships my family went through to get me here, honor myself and my potential, and open up opportunities. Without financial assistance, it’ll be very hard for me to afford to go to college, especially at private institutions that offer more of the specialized programs and curriculum that I am looking to utilize in achieving my goals. I started working as soon as I could and began collecting money before then as well. It’s difficult to pay for unexpected expenses like clothes, technology, and most things that aren't a necessity. By working, I was able to fill this gap and take the burden off of my parents while they also support their families in Iraq. I’ve been able to buy my phone and laptop. These expenses would’ve been impossible for my family to afford on their own. I will be funding the entirety of my college education myself, and so any help is crucial for me to overcome financial challenges.
    Kalia D. Davis Memorial Scholarship
    During my childhood in Iraq, music could be heard billowing from my grandma’s gated windows and onto the dirt paths outside. Before we immigrated, she’d sit me in her lap and tell me lessons she’d warn me not to forget in the new world. In America, I paid attention to my classes and found joy in learning. Despite the challenges I faced in learning English, I persevered, determined to master the language and embrace the opportunities it would afford me in my new life. By remembering my grandma’s stories and music, I was also able to stay connected to my culture. This led me to create the Middle Eastern and North African student union on campus. With other officers, I was able to create a safe space to empower students’ voices. The death of my grandma inspired me to pursue Public Health and Health Policy. Witnessing her struggles with metastatic breast cancer led me to reflect on the inadequacies in women's medicine and ignited a sense of outrage at the lack of legislative support for those in similar vulnerable situations. The convergence of my life experiences and motivations has cemented my steadfast dedication to addressing healthcare inequalities. I've already initiated my pursuit to establish a foundation in policy through my internship with the City of San Diego, which immersed me in the workings of government and policy. I was introduced to these topics during my time in the Aaron Price Fellows program; however, working in the space where civic operations actually took place made me realize how much I enjoyed them. As a student board member on the San Diego County Board of Education, I was further able to deepen my understanding of policy formulation and implementation. I plan to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, followed by a Masters in Health Policy or Biostatistics. I will advocate for and empower people’s voices through health policy within the field of Public Health. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were only accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during this time. Many people commented that they felt left in the dark while trying to understand an overwhelmed institution. I plan to return to the communities I grew up in and provide essential healthcare services that improve the well-being of individuals and families within them. Unfortunately, most of the research done on minority communities is often done by the majority, creating an intimidating atmosphere that breeds mistrust. I hope to change this narrative by conducting research within communities that look like me and inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in the healthcare field. Without financial assistance, it’ll be very hard for me to afford to go to college, especially at private institutions that offer more of the specialized programs and curriculum that I am looking to utilize in achieving my goals. I started working as soon as I could and began saving money. By working, I’m able to take the burden off of my parents while they support their families in Iraq. I’ve been able to buy my phone and laptop. These expenses would’ve been impossible for my family to afford on their own. I will be funding the entirety of my college education myself, and so any help is crucial for me to overcome financial hardship.
    John J Costonis Scholarship
    During my childhood in Iraq, music could be heard billowing from my grandma’s gated windows and onto the dirt paths outside. Before we immigrated, she’d sit me in her lap and tell me lessons she’d warn me not to forget in the new world. In America, I paid attention to my classes and found joy in learning. Despite the challenges I faced in learning English, I persevered, determined to master the language and embrace the opportunities it would afford me in my new life. By remembering my grandma’s stories and music, I was also able to stay connected to my culture. This led me to create the Middle Eastern and North African student union on campus. With other officers, I was able to create a safe space to empower students’ voices. The death of my grandma inspired me to pursue Public Health and Health Policy. Witnessing her struggles with metastatic breast cancer led me to reflect on the inadequacies in women's medicine and ignited a sense of outrage at the lack of legislative support for those in similar vulnerable situations. The convergence of my life experiences and motivations has cemented my steadfast dedication to addressing healthcare inequalities. I've already initiated my pursuit to establish a foundation in policy through my internship with the City of San Diego, which immersed me in the workings of government and policy. I was introduced to these topics during my time in the Aaron Price Fellows program; however, working in the space where civic operations actually took place made me realize how much I enjoyed them. As a student board member on the San Diego County Board of Education, I was further able to deepen my understanding of policy formulation and implementation. I plan to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, followed by a Masters in Health Policy or Biostatistics. I will advocate for and empower people’s voices through health policy within the field of Public Health. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were only accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during this time. Many people commented that they felt left in the dark while trying to understand an overwhelmed institution. After losing a dear friend to suicide my junior year, I am more motivated than ever to pursue higher education. The experience has equipped me with the skills and knowledge needed to advocate for mental health awareness and support others in need. This personal tragedy has underscored the critical need for mental health support and advocacy, inspiring my future work in public health to address these pressing issues. I plan to return to the communities I grew up in and provide essential healthcare services that improve the well-being of individuals and families within them. Unfortunately, most of the research done on minority communities is often done by the majority, creating an intimidating atmosphere that breeds mistrust. I hope to change this narrative by conducting research within communities that look like me and inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in the healthcare field.
    Elijah's Helping Hand Scholarship Award
    Growing up in a war-torn country, my parents prided themselves on surviving alone. I idolized them and held myself to the same ideals. I hated asking for help; I was afraid of vulnerability as much as failure. That was until I came to a breaking point. About three years ago, I had a friend who was struggling with depression and substance abuse. Her sister had played badminton and suggested she try it to distract herself. She encouraged me to join, and I wanted to support her. We climbed the ranks together, and I was able to see her streaks of sobriety grow. Unfortunately, in March of last year, that friend died due to suicide. It was the middle of the season, and practices became tormenting reminders of her absence. I rejected everything that had to do with badminton and her. Outside of the team, I struggled to grieve as the brunt of my junior year continued. I was bombarded with assignments, quizzes, and exams for seven weighted classes. I was utterly exhausted. I neglected to take care of myself to make sure my grades stayed high. After contemplating self-harm, I forced myself to talk to my coach. As we talked, I felt lighter. Every week, he listened intently and reminded me of the support I have. This gave me the confidence to talk to my teachers and explain my circumstances. I also began to open up to my friends, communicate my feelings, and develop better mechanisms like meditation to deal with them. As president of the badminton club, I’ve been able to find a new place for myself on the team and serve as a role model for other students. I hope to support them the same way I supported my friend. I am also working to honor the badminton program, as it’s played such a significant role in my life. I’ve spearheaded multiple fundraising and outreach events to sustain it. I have already raised over $1,000 this school year and recruited dozens of students. Overcoming my loss has also made me more motivated than ever to pursue higher education. I plan to major in Public Health to advocate, empower people’s voices from within the field of Public Health, and use Health Policy to make sure their needs are being met. After losing a dear friend to suicide my junior year, I am more motivated than ever to pursue higher education. The experience has equipped me with the skills and knowledge needed to advocate for mental health awareness and support others in need. This personal tragedy has underscored the critical need for mental health support and advocacy, inspiring my future work in public health to address these pressing issues.
    Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
    The death of my grandma strongly inspired me to pursue women’s health and health sciences. She died of metastatic breast cancer when I was in the eighth grade. She struggled to get quality healthcare, which made me reflect on the shortcomings of women's medicine, not only in Iraq but also here in America. Witnessing her struggles led me to reflect on the inadequacies in women's medicine and ignited a sense of outrage at the lack of legislative support for those in similar vulnerable situations, particularly concerning financial barriers. I have always had a love for math, though, and after my statistics class last year, I’ve also been very interested in data science. This class, combined with Honors Precalculus, AP Calculus, Honors Human Body Systems, Honors Chemistry, and IB Chemistry, has given me an expansive background in the sciences. Outside of school, I’ve been active in extracurriculars such as MESA, a program that explores careers relating to mathematics, engineering, and science, and I’ve volunteered in a hospital for 100 hours. The convergence of my life experiences and motivations has cemented my steadfast dedication to addressing healthcare inequalities. I've already initiated my pursuit to establish a foundation in policy through my internship with the City of San Diego, which immersed me in working in government and policy. I had been introduced to these topics during my time in the Aaron Price Fellows program; however, working in the space where civic operations actually took place made me realize how much I enjoyed them. I plan to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, followed by a Masters in Health Policy or Biostatistics. I will advocate for and empower people’s voices through Health Policy within the field of Public Health. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were only accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during the pandemic. Many people commented that they felt left in the dark while trying to understand an overwhelmed institution. During college, I plan to pursue extracurriculars and programs related to Public Health by actively participating in health advocacy groups, volunteering at local health organizations, and seeking internships in Public Health agencies. Additionally, I aim to attend conferences and workshops to expand my knowledge and network within the field. After receiving my education, I hope to come back to the communities I grew up in and provide essential healthcare services that improve the well-being of individuals and families within them. Unfortunately, most of the research done on minority communities is often done by the majority, creating an intimidating atmosphere that breeds mistrust. I hope to change this narrative by conducting research within communities that look like me and represent them well to help them receive resources and aid.
    Janean D. Watkins Overcoming Adversity Scholarship
    Growing up in a war-torn country, my parents prided themselves on surviving alone. I idolized them and held myself to the same ideals. I hated asking for help; I was afraid of vulnerability as much as failure. That was until I came to a breaking point. About three years ago, I had a friend who was struggling with depression and substance abuse. Her sister had played badminton and suggested she try it to distract herself. She encouraged me to join, and I wanted to support her. We climbed the ranks together, and I was able to see her streaks of sobriety grow. Unfortunately, in March of last year, that friend died due to suicide. It was the middle of the season, and practices became tormenting reminders of her absence. I rejected everything that had to do with badminton and her. Outside of the team, I struggled to grieve as the brunt of my junior year continued. I was bombarded with assignments, quizzes, and exams for seven weighted classes. I was utterly exhausted. I neglected to take care of myself to make sure my grades stayed high. After contemplating self-harm, I forced myself to talk to my coach. As we talked, I felt lighter. Every week, he listened intently and reminded me of the support I have. This gave me the confidence to talk to my teachers and explain my circumstances. I also began to open up to my friends, communicate my feelings, and develop better mechanisms like meditation to deal with them. As president of the badminton club, I’ve been able to find a new place for myself on the team and serve as a role model for other students. I hope to support them the same way I supported my friend. I am also working to honor the badminton program, as it’s played such a significant role in my life. I’ve spearheaded multiple fundraising and outreach events to sustain it. I have already raised over $1,000 this school year and recruited dozens of students. Overcoming my loss has also made me more motivated than ever to pursue higher education. I plan to major in Public Health to advocate, empower people’s voices from within the field of Public Health, and use Health Policy to make sure their needs are being met. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during the pandemic. Many people commented that they felt left in the dark while trying to understand an overwhelmed institution. During college, I plan to pursue extracurriculars and programs related to Public Health by actively participating in health advocacy groups, volunteering at local health organizations, and seeking internships in Public Health agencies. Additionally, I aim to attend conferences and workshops to expand my knowledge and network within the field. After receiving my education, I hope to come back to the communities I grew up in and provide essential healthcare services that improve the well-being of individuals and families within them. Unfortunately, most of the research done on minority communities is often done by the majority, creating an intimidating atmosphere. I hope to change this narrative by conducting research within communities that look like me and represent them well to help them receive resources and aid. People of all races, genders, and sexualities should feel their health is a priority and not a financial burden.
    Linda Kay Monroe Whelan Memorial Education Scholarship
    In the quiet of my bedroom as a freshman in high school, I wanted to find hobbies that could take my mind off of quarantine. I began volunteering for the Library of Congress, transcribing documents as part of their digital initiative, By the People. I then began volunteering for a literary non-profit, Words Alive, and helped manage their social media. A similar non-profit had donated books to my school when I was still learning English, and I was hoping to pay the kindness forward. I finally felt like I was involved in my community and was inspired to do more. It became harder to ignore issues of access and inequality, which I saw in my neighborhood, especially in relation to health services during the pandemic. I learned that volunteering meant being invested without the incentive of money or profit. My parents thought I was naïve when I first told them I’d started volunteering. "Why would you work for free?" they asked. Growing up in a war-torn country with missiles whizzing above their heads, they had never had the privilege of having all their needs met and being able to put the rest of their energy and time into something other than staying alive. However, I knew that the work of nonprofits and volunteers supported us for months when we first immigrated, and it would be wrong to belittle their work and all they did. Volunteering has taught me that there’s a moral responsibility to help others when you no longer need it. Now, I have over 200 volunteer hours. I’ve worked in a hospital, for a political campaign, and at a local library. I’ve found so much joy in helping make significant, positive change, regardless of how big or small. I hope to attend college and learn how to build on these foundations and invest energy in myself, which I can then use to further help others. I plan to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, followed by a Masters in Health Policy or Biostatistics. I will advocate for and empower people’s voices through health policy within the field of public health. During college, I plan to pursue extracurriculars and programs related to public health by actively participating in health advocacy groups and volunteering at local health organizations. In these roles, I hope to contribute to health promotion initiatives, participate in community health education programs, and engage in advocacy efforts to address health disparities and promote health equity. By volunteering, I gain practical experience, expand my understanding of public health issues, and contribute to meaningful change in my community. My volunteer experiences have profoundly shaped my understanding of community service and its impact. Coming from a background where survival was paramount, I've learned that true fulfillment comes from investing in others and giving back. As I look towards the future and my aspirations in public health, I am committed to continuing my community service efforts. Through these experiences, I hope to inspire others to join me in the rewarding journey of service and make a positive impact on the world around us.
    Overcoming Adversity - Jack Terry Memorial Scholarship
    Growing up in a war-torn country, my parents prided themselves on surviving alone. I idolized them and held myself to the same ideals. I hated asking for help; I was afraid of vulnerability as much as failure. That was until I came to a breaking point. About three years ago, I had a friend who was struggling with depression and substance abuse. Her sister had played badminton and suggested she try it to distract herself. She encouraged me to join, and I wanted to support her. We climbed the ranks together, and I was able to see her streaks of sobriety grow. Unfortunately, in March of this year, that friend died due to suicide. It was the middle of the season, and practices became tormenting reminders of her absence. I rejected everything that had to do with badminton and her. Outside of the team, I struggled to grieve as the brunt of my junior year continued. I was bombarded with assignments, quizzes, and exams for seven weighted classes. I was utterly exhausted. I neglected to take care of myself to make sure my grades stayed high. After contemplating self-harm, I forced myself to talk to my coach. As we talked, I felt lighter. Every week, he listened intently and reminded me of the support I have. This gave me the confidence to talk to my teachers and explain my circumstances. I also began to open up to my friends, communicating my feelings and developing better mechanisms like meditation to deal with them. Now, as president of the badminton club, I’ve been able to find a new place for myself on the team and serve as a role model for other students. I hope to support them the same way I supported my friend. I am also working to honor the badminton program, as it’s played such a significant role in my life. I’ve spearheaded multiple fundraising and outreach events to sustain it. I have already raised over $1,000 this school year and recruited dozens of new students. Overcoming my loss has also made me more motivated than ever to pursue higher education. I plan to major in Public Health to advocate, empower people’s voices from within the field of Public Health, and use Health Policy to make sure their needs are being met. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were only accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during the pandemic. Many people commented that they felt left in the dark while trying to understand an overwhelmed institution. Fixing the American healthcare system requires comprehensive reforms focusing on universal access, cost control measures, addressing disparities, improving preventive care, enhancing healthcare infrastructure, and fostering innovation in delivery and payment models. People of all races, genders, and sexualities should feel their health is a priority and not a financial burden. Like Terry, I immigrated to America as a refugee in childhood. I admire his perseverance and dedication to his education. As immigrants, education is one of the biggest opportunities we have to succeed, and his story is one of the best showing how it can change one’s life. His involvement in the medical field was especially striking to me, as that’s an interest I also share. I hope to carry on the optimism and diligence he displayed as I pursue higher education.
    Bright Lights Scholarship
    Throughout my education and career journey, the convergence of my life experiences and motivations has cemented my steadfast dedication to addressing healthcare inequalities. From the loss of my grandmother to my extensive engagement in policy, healthcare, and data science, I've cultivated a deep commitment to improving healthcare access and affordability. Throughout middle school, I had strong science and math influences who were passionate and remained involved in my education. Their presence heavily motivated me to explore STEM, while the death of my grandma strongly inspired me to pursue women’s health and health sciences. She died of metastatic breast cancer when I was in the eighth grade. Her struggle to get quality healthcare made me reflect on the shortcomings of women's medicine, not only in Iraq but also here in America. I was upset there wasn’t more legislation to help people in similar vulnerable positions, especially financially. My internship with the City of San Diego illuminated my love for government and policy. I learned a lot about these topics during my time in the Aaron Price Fellows program; however, being in the space where civic operations take place made me realize how fascinating they were. My love of math persists, though, and after my statistics class last year, I’ve also been very interested in data science. Within Public Health, I can continue to explore all these topics. I want to be an advocate and empower people’s voices from within the field using health policy to make sure their needs are being met. Growing up in underserved communities, a lot of my neighbors and friends felt uncared for and unwanted in medical spaces. These inequalities were only accentuated during the pandemic. Testing sites in our neighborhood were sparse and unreliable, with endless lines. I was able to see these problems further arise as I volunteered in a hospital during the pandemic. Many people commented that they felt left in the dark while trying to understand an overwhelmed institution. Fixing the American healthcare system requires comprehensive reforms focusing on universal access, cost control measures, addressing disparities, improving preventive care, enhancing healthcare infrastructure, and fostering innovation in delivery and payment models. People of all races, genders, and sexualities should feel their health is a priority and not a financial burden. Pursuing a career in this field heavily relies on a college education. As a Muslim family, we hold education very highly as an integral value. Being immigrants, we’ve also been able to see the obvious benefits that a college degree brings financially. I hope to earn my college degree to honor the hardships my family went through to get me here, honor myself and my potential, and open up opportunities. However, without financial assistance, it’ll be very hard for me to afford to go to college. I started working as soon as I could and began collecting money before then as well. Oftentimes, it’s difficult to pay for unexpected expenses like clothes, technology, and most things that aren't a necessity. By working, I was able to fill this gap and take the burden off of my parents while they also support their families in Iraq. I’ve been able to buy my phone and laptop. These expenses would’ve been impossible for my family to afford on their own. I will be funding the entirety of my college education myself, and so any help is crucial for me to overcome financial challenges and create transformative change in healthcare.
    Lauren Czebatul Scholarship
    Growing up in a war-torn country, my parents grew up with a survival mindset. As missiles whizzed over them, their focus was on themselves and their family only. About 20 years later, in the quiet of my bedroom as a freshman in high school, I wanted to find hobbies that could take my mind off of quarantine. I began volunteering for the Library of Congress, transcribing documents as part of their digital initiative, By The People. I then began volunteering for a literary non-profit, Words Alive and helped manage their social media. A similar non-profit had donated books to my school when I was still learning English, and I was hoping to pay the kindness forward. I finally felt like I was involved in my community and was inspired to do more. Walking around my neighborhood, I began to not only recognize issues but I was inspired to do something about them. It became harder to ignore them and deem them a problem for someone else. I learned that volunteering meant being invested. Without the incentive of money or profit, all focus can go towards simply reaching a goal and doing good work. My parents thought I was naive when I first told them I’d started volunteering. "Why would you work for free?", they asked one night at dinner. They had never had the privilege of having all their needs met and being able to put the rest of their energy and time into something other than staying alive. However, I knew that the work of nonprofits and volunteers carried us for months when we first immigrated, and it would be wrong to belittle their work and all they did. Volunteering has taught me that there’s a moral responsibility to help others when you no longer need it. Communities grow and prosper when members lift each other. I’ve now collected over 200 volunteer hours. I’ve worked in a hospital, for a political campaign, and at a local library. I’ve found so much joy in helping make significant, positive change, regardless of how big or small. I hope to attend college and learn how to build on these foundations and invest energy in myself, which I can then use to further help others. However, without financial assistance, it’ll be very hard for me to afford to go to college. I started working as soon as I could and began collecting money before then as well, but it is not nearly enough as I actively support myself and my family. I will be funding the entirety of my college education myself, and this scholarship will help me immensely.
    Learner Math Lover Scholarship
    I didn’t always love math, but as I grew older, I became more and more appreciative of its dimensions. There’s a universal beauty to math that transcends even our existence and understanding. When I was little, I struggled to imagine values and make connections between them. My third grade teacher was a math fanatic and showed me method after method that went beyond counting on my fingers. He’d show me how I can recall my nine-times table just by holding out my hand. At some point, I could visualize the values so easily on paper and in myself that they came naturally. I always thought of it as a vine that grew and twisted around my arms, as I understood it. As I excelled in math and explored increasingly challenging theorems and proofs, my vines grew into a forest. I love math’s quiet beauty and provocativeness. Every piece that fit perfectly and was reflected in nature would inspire so much wonder. Whether it was the Pythagorean theorem or concentric circles in a tree stump, they’d make me stop and recognize this secret language for which we wrote an alphabet. Its universality across cultural and linguistic barriers is also an incredible example of such broad human collaboration. Growing up a first-generation immigrant, I faced language barriers with my parents as I strayed from Arabic and they struggled to take on English. However, they never hesitated to explain my math problems to me. They spoke confidently and unwaveringly, as there was no difference in the math they learned, despite having grown up thousands of miles away and decades earlier. This was my first insight into the power of math. It's able to be understood by everyone and utilized by anyone. Math will always be my favorite subject for its understated aesthetics and ubiquitous abilities.