For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Karla Villanueva

1635

Bold Points

2x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

Bio

I am a current undergraduate student at the University of Southern California, pursuing a major of Biopharmaceutical Sciences. I graduated from Etiwanda High School and I aspire to obtain a career in the medical or pharmaceutical field oriented towards serving the neurodivergent community and/or pediatric/neonatal patients. I have experience with community involvement, research, leadership positions, community service, public relations, and communication.

Education

University of Southern California

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2027
  • Majors:
    • Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration
  • Minors:
    • Neurobiology and Neurosciences

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Medical Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      physician researcher, pharmaceutical scientist

    • Student researcher

      American Chemical Society
      2021 – 2021

    Research

    • Chemistry

      American Chemical Society Project SEED Summer Program — researcher
      2022 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Flying Samaritans — Volunteer, Translator, Vitals checks
      2024 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Water of Life Community Church — Student teacher
      2018 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Powering The Future - Whiddon Memorial Scholarship
    Some of the first memories I have of my childhood were of crying, yelling, and fighting. It was always typical for me. Something that I never realized was traumatic until I got into middle school. I wouldn't remember the bad mornings or the sleepless nights; the only evidence of them were the bruises and scratches. My sister was diagnosed with behavioral health and neurodevelopmental disorders at around six years old, and we never really knew much about how to help her. I remember everything escalating as we grew older. She would attack my sisters and me when she got mad, call us names, slam doors, hit, kick, scratch, and only listen to reason from my mom. She suddenly became someone I hated; I could never go anywhere because she misbehaved, I could never invite any of my friends, and I could barely do my schoolwork. It seemed as though her behavior governed my life that I was also punished for her wrongs. From when I got home from school to when I woke up the following day, I was walking on eggshells, trying my best not to make her mad so that we could have a good day. My friends at school were my only relief until I got home. But as I continued further into high school, I realized that there were things I wasn't seeing because I was so focused on her anger. Her tearful apologies to us that I would disregard because of my pride. Her temper imprisoned her caring and kind personality. And her genuine remorse for what she had done. I realized I loved my sister and was mad at someone she couldn't control. From then on, I added to my career goal: to never let someone hate the person they love because a condition enslaves them. Since elementary school, I have wanted to make medicine because I have seen its impact on my life. Now, I want to make medicine to help others like my sister experience a better quality of life and let others know that they and their loved ones are not alone and can seek help. Though her illness has given me many challenges, I have overcome them by never letting her behavior define her as something she's not. The need to help her get better has driven me to achieve my goals and motivated me to work hard toward my dreams of working in pharmaceuticals or the medical field. When I was three years old, my father was deported to Mexico. This caused a severe financial burden on my family, as our primary source of income was gone, leaving my mother to care for my three sisters and me and our costly health issues. And even after gaining stability, we were still low-income. Despite our struggles, my family persevered and made the best of our financial situation. Most of all, my mom has done her best to fill the role of both mom and dad and give my sisters and me the best quality of life. However, as of now, my mom has struggled to fund me and my 3 siblings' education. Having this scholarship will help to take more stress off of my family and help me to continue my education with less financial worry so that I eventually reach my goal of obtaining a graduate degree.
    Bulchand and Laxmi Motwani Memorial Scholarship
    Early on in my life, I was diagnosed with ADHD. It was and still is a constant struggle to complete everyday things. When I was in elementary school, I would consistently get distracted and feel alienated from other kids because I was too loud or I talked too much. I was switched constantly from medication to medication trying to find one that would help me focus. These medications were supposed to help me, but instead, their side effects gave me even more distractions than before. With my ADHD I have had to learn different ways of motivating myself and maintaining focus on assignments. I have had to teach myself how to limit any distractions while I am working as well as having to find the best methods for studying that would help me to retain information I learn in school. I as well have had to face struggles with my mental health that come with ADHD and overcome them. Having to learn how to do all these things was very difficult and they are things that a “normal” person who has never experienced the condition themselves wouldn’t give any thought to. But, through all these obstacles I have become more aware of the benefits and necessary impacts that medications have on the lives of those with neurological disorders. This obstacle in my life has motivated me to want to pursue a career in pharmaceuticals or as a physician and do work for treating individuals with neurological disorders. A secondary factor in my life that has also motivated me to achieve this would be my sister. Some of the first memories I have of my childhood were of crying, yelling, and fighting; It was always normal for me. Something that I never realized was traumatic until I got into middle school, I wouldn’t remember the bad mornings or the sleepless nights, the only evidence of them were the bruises and scratches. My sister was diagnosed with a behavioral disorder around the age of 6, and we never really knew much about how to help her. The first time that I remember her acting out was when I was 7, we were driving home and she was pulling my mom's hair because we weren’t stopping to buy her what she wanted. Her situation escalated as we grew older. She would attack me and my sisters when she got mad, call us names, hit, kick, scratch. She became someone I hated and it seemed as though my life was governed by her behavior. But as I continued further into high school I realized that there were things I wasn’t seeing because I was so focused on her anger. Her tearful apologies to us that I would disregard because of my pride. Her temper that imprisoned her caring and kind personality. I realized that I loved my sister and that I was mad at a person she couldn’t control. From then on I added to my career goal; to never let someone hate the person they love because they are enslaved by a condition. Seeing her overcome challenges, and helping her through her daily struggles has motivated me to become someone who can give others help and understanding of the conditions they or their loved ones face.
    Dylan's Journey Memorial Scholarship
    Early on in my life, I was diagnosed with ADHD. It was and still is a constant struggle to complete everyday things. When I was in elementary school, I would consistently get distracted and feel alienated from other kids because I was too loud or I talked too much. I was switched constantly from medication to medication trying to find one that would help me focus. These medications were supposed to help me, but instead, their side effects gave me even more distractions than before. With my ADHD I have had to learn different ways of motivating myself and maintaining focus on assignments. I have had to teach myself how to limit any distractions while I am working as well as having to find the best methods for studying that would help me to retain information I learn in school. I also have had to face struggles with my mental health that come with ADHD and overcome them. Having to learn how to do all these things was very difficult and they are things that a “normal” person who has never experienced the condition themselves wouldn’t give any thought to. But, through all these obstacles I have become more aware of the benefits and necessary impacts that medications have on the lives of those with neurological disorders. This obstacle in my life has motivated me to want to pursue a career in pharmaceuticals or medicine and work in finding treatments or directly treating individuals with neurological disorders. A secondary factor in my life that has also motivated me to achieve this would be my sister. Some of the first memories I have of my childhood were of crying, yelling, and fighting; It was always normal for me. Something that I never realized was traumatic until I got into middle school, I wouldn’t remember the bad mornings or the sleepless nights, the only evidence of them were the bruises and scratches. My sister was diagnosed with a behavioral disorder around the age of 6, and we never really knew much about how to help her. The first time that I remember her acting out was when I was 7, we were driving home and she had unbuckled her car seat and was pulling my mom's hair because we weren’t stopping to buy her what she wanted. From there everything escalated as we grew older. She would attack me and my sisters when she got mad, call us names, hit, kick, scratch. She became someone I hated and it seemed as though my life was governed by her behavior, that I was also punished for her wrongs. But as I continued further into high school I realized that there were things I wasn’t seeing because I was so focused on her anger. Her tearful apologies to us that I would disregard because of my pride. Her temper that imprisoned her caring and kind personality. I realized that I loved my sister and that I was mad at a person she couldn’t control. From then on I added to my career goal; to never let someone hate the person they love because they are enslaved by a condition. Seeing her overcome challenges, and helping her through her daily struggles has motivated me to become someone who can give others help and understanding of the conditions they or their loved ones face. This scholarship will help me as I pursue this goal through my education.