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Kelly Ngo

1115

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Finalist

Bio

Hi, my name is Kelly Ngo and I am currently a high school senior located in the Bay Area of California. I am excited to pursue a postsecondary pathway in STEM, especially healthcare and medical fields.

Education

Kipp King Collegiate High

High School
2021 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Majors of interest:

    • Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Administration
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      To work in a interdisciplinary field of health care workers

    • Customer Service Associate

      Walgreens Pharmacy
      2023 – Present1 year

    Sports

    Dancing

    Intramural
    2011 – 202312 years

    Badminton

    Club
    2021 – Present3 years

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      San Leandro Library — As a teen volunteer, I helped organize and assisted children throughout the summer reading programs.
      2022 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Hubert Colangelo Literacy Scholarship
    Growing up in an immigrant household with full-time working parents, I automatically assumed the role of translator for my grandparents and relatives early in my childhood. Because of this, I also witnessed the need for more healthcare support for immigrants and non-English speakers. Specifically, I realized that many non-English speakers lacked the resources to fill out forms required for government aid and faced language barriers when trying to communicate their needs. As a result, these realizations molded my passion and determination to pursue a future in healthcare so that I could do everything within my power to bring about change and advocate for families like my own. During the summer before my senior year, I began working as a customer associate at a Walgreens pharmacy, and it was then that I began to see how medical care positively impacts individuals and benefits the entire community. However, this experience also opened my eyes to the barriers that many underserved groups face. On the first few days of each month, I would see an influx of patients picking up prescriptions, realizing later that most older patients could only afford their co-pays once they received their Social Security checks. Witnessing these struggles pushed me to invest more time into each patient by contacting insurance providers and helping patients without insurance search for coupons through GoodRx. In the future, I hope to continue this advocacy on a larger scale as a pre-pharmacy major at the University of the Pacific. With these educational skills and experience, I aim to serve historically underrepresented and marginalized communities in the medical field and work toward healthcare equity, one step at a time.
    Julie Adams Memorial Scholarship – Women in STEM
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in pharmacy. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity. In the future, I hope to pursue a career in pharmacy and strive to serve my community while making healthcare accessible to everyone. As I embark on my college journey, I am eager to explore and pursue this passion even further. Receiving this scholarship would be a tremendous help in achieving my goals. It would alleviate the financial burden of post-secondary education, allowing me to focus on my studies and activism without worrying about textbooks and living expenses. Aside from financial support, receiving this scholarship will also empower me to continue my healthcare journey.
    Schmid Memorial Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my uncle, whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, or Vietnamese. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients. Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. As I embark on my college journey, I am eager to explore and pursue this passion even further. Receiving this scholarship would be a tremendous help by alleviating the financial burden of post-secondary education, allowing me to focus on my studies without worrying about textbooks and living expenses.
    JT Lampert Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I assisted in organizing and scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the significance and impact of healthcare outreach. Following this experience, I enrolled in the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained practical knowledge in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, which further strengthened my interest in medicine. Despite the limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the nearest option that would enable me to acquire healthcare expertise. This quest led me to apply for a position at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine and healthcare equity. In the future, I hope to pursue a career in pharmacy, where I strive to serve underrepresented and marginalized communities.
    Connie Konatsotis Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I assisted in organizing and scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the significance and impact of healthcare outreach. Following this experience, I enrolled in the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained practical knowledge in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, which further strengthened my interest in medicine. Despite the limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the nearest option that would enable me to acquire healthcare expertise. This quest led me to apply for a position at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity. As I embark on my college journey, I am eager to explore and pursue this passion even further. Receiving this scholarship would be a tremendous help in achieving my goals. It would alleviate the financial burden of post-secondary education, allowing me to focus on my studies and activism without worrying about textbooks and living expenses. Aside from financial support, receiving this scholarship will empower me to continue my healthcare journey and allow me to serve as many people as possible.
    Redefining Victory Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity. As I embark on my college journey, I am eager to explore and pursue this passion even further. Receiving this scholarship would be a tremendous help in achieving my goals. It would alleviate the financial burden of post-secondary education, allowing me to focus on my studies and activism without worrying about textbooks and living expenses. Aside from financial support, receiving this scholarship will also empower me to continue my healthcare journey and allow me to bring healthcare to as many individuals as possible, which is my vision of success.
    Women in STEM Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to explore and pursue during my time in college and beyond. In the future, I am eager to attend pharmacy school and bring greater gender diversity to the medical field. I aim to support women's empowerment by increasing access to healthcare for women and all gender identities while advocating for opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities to become healthcare leaders. Increasing diversity and representation in healthcare will not only benefit women but will also positively impact the entire community as well.
    Our Destiny Our Future Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity. As I embark on my college journey, I am eager to explore and pursue this passion even further. Receiving this scholarship would be a tremendous help in achieving my goals. It would alleviate the financial burden of post-secondary education, allowing me to focus on my studies and activism without worrying about textbooks and living expenses. Aside from financial support, receiving this scholarship will empower me to continue my healthcare journey and allow me to serve as many people as possible.
    Zamora Borose Goodwill Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity. As I embark on my college journey, I am eager to explore and pursue this passion even further. Receiving this scholarship would be a tremendous help in achieving my goals. It would alleviate the financial burden of post-secondary education, allowing me to focus on my studies and activism without worrying about textbooks and living expenses. Aside from financial support, receiving this scholarship will empower me to continue my healthcare journey and allow me to serve as many people as possible.
    Frederick and Bernice Beretta Memorial Scholarship
    My parents like to tell people that I started reading before I could walk, but the truth is that my passion for books began in elementary school when I picked up, “Junie B. Jones, First Grader.” Although the bright cover initially drew me in, the dialogue kept me reading. I was captivated by Junie’s loud personality and ability to say whatever came to mind, something that seemed impossible to my timid, first-grade self. Over time, I spent more time reading, always carrying a book with me. Reading wasn’t just a way to pass the time; it allowed me to live a hundred lives. I reveled in the newfound relationships I developed through reading. At social events, I instantly connected with anyone who enjoyed reading the same books as me. At home, my sisters and I bonded over the same novels. It wasn’t uncommon for our parents to find us giggling under our bedsheets, poring over the same page. Because of the connections I developed through reading, I also sought these bonds in other areas of my life. As an English tutor for Hong Kong students, I developed a friendship with my tutee, Katelyn. She told me about her academic pressures, and we connected over our parents, who sacrificed everything for our education. It was then that I realized the power of empathy. As a Walgreens pharmacy associate, I approach patients with the humanity I gained through reading, viewing every interaction as an opportunity to make someone smile. I regard patients with the mindset that they have their own stories, treating them with compassion so they feel heard and understood. Looking back, picking up that Junie B. Jones novel might’ve been the most pivotal moment of my life. What began as a way to escape the world eventually opened my eyes to the beauty of humanity and strengthened my empathy. Through the lessons I’ve learned from novels, I pursued connections and recognized the value of learning from those different from myself. In the future, I strive to develop bonds to strengthen my compassion, which is the mindset I aim to contribute to my community.
    Norman C. Nelson IV Memorial Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity. As I embark on my college journey, I am eager to explore and pursue this passion even further. Receiving this scholarship would be a tremendous help in achieving my goals. It would alleviate the financial burden of post-secondary education, allowing me to focus on my studies and activism without worrying about textbooks and living expenses. Aside from financial support, receiving this scholarship will empower me to continue my healthcare journey and allow me to serve as many people as possible.
    Snap EmpowHER Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to explore and pursue during my time in college and beyond. In the future, I am eager to attend pharmacy school and bring greater gender diversity to the medical field. I aim to support women's empowerment by increasing access to healthcare for women and all gender-identities while advocating for opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities to become healthcare leaders. Increasing diversity and representation in healthcare will not only benefit women, but will also positively impact the entire community as well.
    Eleven Scholarship
    Staring down at my laptop screen, I rubbed my eyes, trying to follow the rapid-fire code projected on the wall. When I first heard about a Google coding program in our area, I signed up, enthusiastic to explore a new skill. However, after walking into the building, I was immediately struck by the number of students in the classroom, each typing quietly on their laptops. Everyone in the room, some as young as 12, seemed to know exactly what they were doing, whereas I was a 16-year-old novice. As we introduced ourselves, I noticed that most students already had previous experience with computer science. Surrounded by experienced coders, I felt like a fish out of water, already dreading the next few hours. I attended class for weeks afterward, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I wouldn't be able to catch up. Sitting in a room full of child prodigies, I had convinced myself that I wasn't cut out for coding and that it was too late for me to start learning. However, this all changed when a guest speaker came to speak with us. She explained that as a data analyst, she was able to connect her passion for biology with coding to track genetic information. Suddenly, something inside my mind clicked, and my perspective shifted. Inspired by her ability to combine healthcare and computer science, I wanted to join something I was passionate about, such as public health, with technology. That night, I brainstormed and set my sights on building a website. From then on, I sat dreary-eyed at my desk every day after school, teaching myself HTML and CSS as I pieced chunks of code into a functioning website. Although initially frustrating, I found support among my peers, teachers, and even YouTube tutorials, pushing me to continue even when I encountered persistent bugs. At the end of the term, I finalized my project, Health Here, a website aimed to educate youth on the most pressing health concerns, a topic I was genuinely eager about. Beyond computer science, this experience taught me the power of perseverance and resilience. The pride I felt when my program ran smoothly the first time illuminated the value of pushing myself to try new opportunities, regardless of my obstacles. In the future, when I face unfamiliar challenges, I will remind myself of the lessons I learned through this experience and carry them with me throughout college and beyond.
    Rod Tucci Memorial Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to explore and pursue during my time in college and beyond.
    Kayla Nicole Monk Memorial Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to explore and pursue during my time in college and beyond. Receiving this scholarship will empower me on my healthcare journey as it will alleviate the financial burden of post-secondary education and allow me to pour my focus into my studies and activism without worrying about the costs of textbooks and living expenses.
    Bright Lights Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to explore and pursue during my time in college and beyond. Receiving this scholarship will empower me on my healthcare journey as it will alleviate the financial burden of post-secondary education and allow me to pour my focus into my studies and activism without having to worry about the costs of textbooks and living expenses.
    CEW IV Foundation Scholarship Program
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bring social justice to medicine by bridging the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to explore and pursue during my time in college and beyond.
    Fernandez Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to explore and pursue during my time in college and beyond.
    Aaryn Railyn King Foundation Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to explore and pursue during my time in college and beyond.
    Maxwell Tuan Nguyen Memorial Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. This is just the beginning.
    Sunshine Legall Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. This is just the beginning.
    John Young 'Pursue Your Passion' Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society.
    Otto Bear Memorial Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. This is just the beginning.
    Barbara Cain Literary Scholarship
    My parents like to tell our relatives that I started reading before I could walk, but the truth is that my passion for books began in my elementary school library, where I picked up Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. Although the bright cover initially drew me in, the dialogue kept me reading. I was captivated by Junie’s loud personality and her ability to say whatever came to mind, something that seemed impossible to my timid, first-grade self. I couldn’t get enough of her shenanigans, itching to know what sticky situation she would get into next. I returned to the library the next day, frantically searching for more. As the years passed, I spent more time reading, always carrying a book with me in case I had spare time. Reading wasn’t just a way to pass the time; it allowed me to live a hundred different lives and learn a thousand lessons. Each time I opened a book, I could choose to be a soldier in the Gulf War, a student at Hogwarts, or even a brutally honest kindergartener. Most of all, reading motivated me to overcome my childhood shyness and inspired me to pursue new relationships. At the library, I grew closer to the librarian, Ms. England, whom I consulted for book recommendations. At social events, I instantly connected with anyone who enjoyed reading the same books as me. At home, my younger sisters and I bonded over the same novels. It wasn’t uncommon for our parents to find us quietly giggling under our bed covers at midnight, poring over the same page. Reading bonded us on a deeper level; it gave us something to discuss, debate, and laugh over. Because of the sense of community I felt around other readers, I also sought these bonds in other areas of my life. In eleventh grade, I volunteered to tutor English learners in Hong Kong, where I developed a friendship with Katelyn, my peer and friend. I listened as she told me about her immense academic pressures, and we connected over our shared hopes of succeeding academically to honor our parents’ vast sacrifices. It was then, realizing that I could relate to someone across the world, that I began to understand the power of empathy. As a Walgreens pharmacy associate, I approach patients with the humanity I've gained through reading and view every interaction as an opportunity to impact someone’s life. I address others with the mindset that they, too, have their own stories, treating them with respect and understanding so they feel heard and understood. Looking back now, picking up that copy of Junie B. Jones might’ve been one of the most pivotal moments of my life. What began as a way to escape the world eventually opened my eyes to the beauty of humanity and strengthened my empathy. Taking the lessons I've learned from novels, I pursued meaningful connections and began recognizing the value of connecting to those different from myself. Reading has allowed me to look through another’s eyes and walk in another’s shoes, and for that, I am eternally grateful. In the future, I am eager to develop personal connections and strengthen my empathy while contributing to my community.
    West Family Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working in a pharmacy has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. This is just the beginning.
    Boddu/Nekkanti Dance Scholarship Fund
    “Does anyone have a bobby-pin?” I yell over the buzz of 80 girls packed into one dressing room. Someone slides me a container, and I pull one out, quickly fastening it to a little girl’s ponytail. “You’re all set,” I tell her as she runs to catch up with her classmates who are lining up to perform. I walk around, distributing the pins as the scent of hairspray wafts through the room, signifying the beginning of another recital. Along with my three younger sisters, I have studied Chinese dance for over 12 years. Although it has been a long journey, it hasn’t gone without its fair share of obstacles. Growing up, I was always the shortest of my peers, especially during our teenage years when it seemed like everyone except me had gotten their growth spurt. Combined with the fact that I was chubbier than the rest of my classmates, I spent many of my younger years struggling with self-doubt. Fortunately, I was surrounded by classmates who pushed me to persevere when my vision was clouded by insecurity. Their supportive comments and inspiring work ethic motivated me to practice the choreography during breaks and at home. Although I often felt overwhelmed and doubtful, seeing my sisters' and friends' dedication to dance gave me the encouragement I needed to persevere. As I focused on self-improvement, my confidence and stage presence grew as my perspective of dance shifted. Dance became a creative outlet, a way to express myself in ways I couldn’t through words. As soon as the music began, all of my surroundings melted away as my body remembered the choreography. Nothing was comparable to the pride I felt when I saw my reflection in the mirror, trying to catch my breath after successfully completing my routine. Inspired by my journey, I aimed to become a support system for younger girls. Eventually, I became a leader, assisting other dancers with anything, whether it was hair and makeup or emotional support. Leadership meant more than a title; it was a way to connect with and contribute to the community that cheered for me when I doubted myself. Learning the intricacies of Chinese dance has influenced both my identity and relationships with others. Through this unique dance style, I became part of a tight-knit community and developed life-long friendships. These experiences have taught me more than just pirouettes and spins; they illuminated the power of community, encouraging me to mentor others who have experienced similar struggles to mine.
    Simon Strong Scholarship
    Staring down at my laptop screen, I rubbed my eyes, trying to follow the rapid-fire code projected on the wall. When I first heard about a Google coding program in our area, I signed up, enthusiastic to explore a new skill. However, after walking into the building, I was immediately struck by the number of students in the classroom, each typing quietly on their laptops. Everyone in the room, some as young as 12, seemed to know exactly what they were doing, whereas I was a 16-year-old novice. As we introduced ourselves, I noticed that most students already had previous experience with computer science. Surrounded by experienced coders, I felt like a fish out of water, already dreading the next few hours. I hesitantly attended class for weeks afterward, knowing I couldn't keep up with everyone else. Sitting in a room full of child prodigies, I had convinced myself that I wasn't cut out for coding and that it was too late for me to start learning. However, my mindset shifted when a guest speaker came to speak with us. She explained that as a data analyst, she was able to connect her passion for biology with coding to track genetic information. Inspired by her ability to combine healthcare and computer science, I wanted to join something I was passionate about, such as public health, with coding. From there, I decided to build a website. Each night, I sat dreary-eyed at my desk, teaching myself HTML and CSS as I pieced chunks of code into a functioning website. Although initially frustrating, I found support among my peers, teachers, and even YouTube tutorials, pushing me to continue even when I encountered persistent bugs. At the end of the term, I finalized my project, Health Here, a website aimed to educate youth on the most pressing health concerns, a topic I was genuinely eager about. Beyond computer science, this experience taught me the power of perseverance and the value of pushing myself to try new opportunities, regardless of my obstacles, a mindset that I will carry with me throughout my life. Now, when I am faced with challenges that seem far-reaching, I look for silver linings and ways to grow from the experience. If I knew someone facing similar circumstances, I would remind them that they are not alone and encourage them to find personal interests within their situation. I would urge them not to feel pressured by others and that it is never too late to start something new.
    San Marino Woman’s Club Scholarship
    Growing up in an immigrant household, I witnessed firsthand many of the hurdles that immigrants and non-English speakers faced when seeking medical treatment. Many of my close relatives had trouble acquiring healthcare early in their lives, which resulted in consequences to their health later on. These experiences catalyzed me to research career paths that would allow me to aid others like my own family, and I realized that I wanted to pursue a future in pharmacy, specifically in rural and underserved areas. However, I also knew that becoming a pharmacist required extensive schooling and dedication. To equip myself for the educational requirements that would be expected of me, I enrolled in concurrent courses at my local community college while also taking various AP classes at school. Although taking on such a rigorous course load felt overwhelming at times, remembering my goal of helping others in my community inspired me to persevere. In order to balance my classwork, I utilized organizational strategies, including calendars, online lists, and reminders. Applying this strategy to my classes enabled me to acquire a 4.2 GPA throughout high school and earn 5's on all of my AP exams. Additionally, I looked toward my peers and school community to build connections through clubs such as Red cross, badminton, and volunteering clubs, which allowed me to gain new experiences. By combining academics with extracurriculars, I am one step closer to achieving my dream career in healthcare and contributing to my community.
    Morgan Stem Diversity in STEM Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. If I am fortunate enough to be awarded the Morgan Stem Scholarship, I aim to put the scholarship towards tuition and textbook fees in college, which will support me throughout my journey as a healthcare provider. This is just the beginning.
    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. This is just the beginning.
    Netflix and Scholarships!
    Star crossed lovers, suspenseful drama, lighthearted humor, Crash Landing on You embodies the perfect feel good Netflix series. The Korean show follows Yoon Se Ri, a South Korean heiress who accidentally finds herself in North Korea after a paragliding accident. While in North Korea, she figuratively and literally falls into the life of a North Korean soldier, Ri Jeong Hyeok, who reluctantly agrees to help her hide until she can find a way back home. However, as they begin to interact closely, they begin to develop a deeper bond. Overtime, they fall in love and attempt to remain together despite the obstacles and political tensions that keep them apart. As the show continues, we are able to see the depth of their connection as they do everything in their power and sacrifice their entire lives to stay together. Although the show follows the conventional star-crossed lovers trope, the on screen chemistry between the two lead actors and the North Korean subplot make it refreshingly unique. I first came across this show during the COVID-19 pandemic while scrolling through Netflix. In an attempt to fill my my weekend with something to do, I started the first episode. However, I was soon hooked. After the first few minutes, I was completely enamored with the characters, script, and plot. Every episode left me on a cliff-hanger and I was left scrambling to watch the next scene. Soon enough, I had binged the entire 16 episodes within a few days. I simply couldn’t get enough. This show took me on a roller coaster of emotions, from sorrow and anxiety to excitement and giddiness. Every episode was a combination of comedy, romance, action, and heartfelt scenes. Even the side characters, such as the North Korean citizens and soldiers were all complex and layered, each with their own background and story. Their dialogue was simultaneously humorous and thought-provoking as I witnessed a glimpse of what life was in North Korea. Watching Se-Ri interact with them humanized North Koreans and expanded my perspective on the people beyond what I was previously taught. Ultimately, this wasn’t just a show, it was an eye-opening experience where I was able to see things from a completely new perspective and learn more about different walks of life. If you’re in the mood for an all rounder K-drama that will make you cry and laugh at the same time, clear out your weekend and prepare a box of tissues because you’re in for a ride. Enjoy!
    1989 (Taylor's Version) Fan Scholarship
    We were playing hide and seek by our old elementary school courtyard, giggling as we took turns between counting and anxiously waiting for someone to find us. We were so young, so naive. I was so naive. They told me to turn around, to count first. I walked to the willow tree and turned around, closing my eyes. But as I looked back to ask them when I should stop, I saw it. Bam, the gun screeched and scowled in the wind. I jolted awake, my palms seating and my heart racing. I desperately attempted to control my breathing, taking slow inhales as I reminded myself it was just a nightmare. Reality began to sink in, realization that I wasn’t in my old school but in my bed, the pillow soft against my warm cheek, my wool blanket half-heardely draped across my body. But the heaviness in my chest and the loneliness in my heart lingered. I wanted to go on my phone, to scroll mindlessly until I was numb. But I didn’t want to see what they were saying about me. I didn’t want to look at the rumors they were spreading, their faulty proofs and baseless accusations. Gossip rolled off the tongues of the people I used to call friends, my life and my pain a source of entertainment for them. The worst feeling was the sting of betrayal I felt, looking back on memories I had with people I was closest with, wondering if it was all some dark, sick dream. I wanted to scream at them, wanted to yell my heart out until my voice was sore. How could you do this? I wanted to beg for them to come back, to stay by my side through my cloud of loneliness. How could you do this? But the question that rang in my mind yeilded no answer. I wanted to say that the songs that best represented this year was, “Style,” or, “Wildest Dreams,” both of which encapsulated the bittersweet feeling of living in the moment even if the end was inevitable, and being able to look back at those memories with fondness and love. But the song that truly represented the hardships of this year, that represented the feeling of drowning under waves of hurt and heartbreak was, “Clean.” I would listen carefully as she sang, “And by morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean…” This lyrics perfectly encapsulated the feeling I had when I realized I didn’t care about what they said about me. When I wore the hoodie they made fun of me for wearing and didn’t notice it was the same one until the day was over. When I made new friends who supported me through every step in my life, who laughed with me instead of at me. This epiphany was such an indesrcibale feeling, yet Taylor Swift captured it perfectly. The way she described drowning and finally being able to breathe made me feel heard and understood. Even when I felt the most isolated and misunderstood, listening to this song made me realize that life goes on. That no matter how earth-shattering my feelings are right now, I have the strength to move on. That this experience only made me cherish my true friends more, and appreciate those who stuck beside me. That one of the worst events in my life suddenly lead to a feeling a peace, finally being able to live. And like Taylor Swift sang, “When I was drowning, that's when I could finally breathe…”
    Eras Tour Farewell Fan Scholarship
    Everyone had their favorite part of The Eras Tour; whether it was the bedazzled outfits carefully coordinated with each album, the flashing wristbands lit up with each song or the not-so-secret chant before the chorus of Delicate. But for me, the Versace bodysuits and friendship bracelets couldn't compare to the one event that had me wringing my palms in anticipation: the surprise songs. The anticipation of a new song being played, combined with the hopeful prayers that it was your personal favorite, was an exhilarating experience. Even if I couldn't go myself, I anxiously waited after each performance to see which song was added. That first night of the US tour, I stayed up all night to watch the videos recorded online, my eyes squinting at my bright phone screen as I watched her play the first surprise song of the tour. When I heard the first lyric, the sweet voice, and the delicate chords, I knew the song immediately. Mirrorball was not the song I had been expecting, but she sang it with such raw emotion that I felt an ache in my chest and a bruise on my heart. I listened intently as she sang, "I've never been a natural; all I do is try, try, try…" My entire life, I've felt like my accomplishments were a fraud. I believed that every award I won, every exam I did well on, and every time I succeeded was deceitful and cheating. Every word of praise or compliment on my looks made me feel guilty, like an imposter who seemed to fool everyone. I loathed having to stay up until two in the morning to study, jealous of the students who appeared to ace every test. I envied the girls who woke up naturally stunning, whereas I felt like a clown in lipstick. I struggled with my self-perception and battled with feelings of worthlessness and frustration. I thought that the only way I would be loved was to change myself, to dull my sharp edges so I couldn't cut anyone. I felt isolated and alone, drowning under the waves of self-doubt. However, Taylor Swift was able to encapsulate the feeling I've had my entire academic career in such an eloquent and emotional way that made me feel heard and understood. Taylor Swift, the mega-pop star with worldwide fame, felt the same emotions and faced the same struggles as I did. This song taught me that I am worthy of what I receive. I learned that I deserve all my accomplishments. I learned that I can be unapologetically myself and that my most significant strength isn't my ability to adapt and conform to others but my ability to stay true to myself.
    RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
    Excerpt from Tony Morrison's Sula, page 53: “Their friendship was as intense as it was sudden. They found relief in each other’s personality. Although both were unshaped, formless things, Nel seemed stronger and more consistent than Sula, who could hardly be counted to sustain any emotion for more than three minutes. Yet there was one time when that was not true, when she held on to a mood for weeks, but even that was in defense of Nel.” In Toni Morrison’s novel, Sula, Morrison utilizes the juxtaposition and symbolism of Sula’s and Nel’s upbringings to illustrate that while their different families have heavily impacted their identities, readers cannot simply categorize them based on our preconceived notions of their backgrounds. Through this comparison, Morrison ultimately warns readers of unthinkingly following society’s norms and expectations. At the novel's beginning, Morrison immediately sets the tone of their hometown, Bottom, as a predominantly African-American neighborhood and differentiates between Nel and Sula’s families. While Nel lives with her strict mother, Helene, who follows society's expectations and takes on a more traditional female role, Sula is raised by her unconventional mother and grandmother, Hannah and Eva. Sula’s house is described as “woolly, where a pot of something was always cooking on the stove; where the mother, Hannah, never scolded or gave directions;” (Morrison 29). Based on the differences in Nel and Sula’s households, readers feel they are complete opposites. While Nel is watched under the stern eye of her mother and pressured to abide by society’s expectations, Sula is raised to be unapologetically independent. She doesn’t seem to mind the opinions of others in Bottom. These differences are most highlighted in Chicken Little’s drowning scene, where Sula accidentally lets go of Chicken Little while playing with him, causing him to drown to death. While Nel’s first reaction was, “Somebody saw,” Sula immediately “ran up to the little plank bridge that crossed the river to Shadrack’s house” for help. (Morrison 61) Their differing reactions to Chicken Little’s death demonstrate how their households have influenced their identities; because Nel was raised to be a people-pleaser, she instantly thinks about how others might view this and whether or not she will be caught. On the other hand, Sula jumps to action and runs to find help from Shadrack despite initially finding him frightening. By purposefully placing two juxtaposing characters side by side, Morrison invites readers to view the differences in how the town of Bottom compares the two girls. When describing Sula’s return to Bottom, Morrison writes that she was “accompanied by a plague of robins” and cursed because she witnessed her mother, Hannah, burn to death. (Morrison 112) Alternatively, Nel is seen as the victim of Jude’s infidelity with Sula and is viewed as the “good” one because she did what was expected of her and settled down early as her mother always wanted. However, as Nel begins to follow the path laid out for her in society, she also begins to believe what Bottom has said about Sula and assumes that she is the “good” one of the pair while Sula is the “evil” one. Her shift in thinking is shown in the aftermath of Jude’s infidelity when she sits in her bathtub and blames Sula for what happened. Morrison writes, “It was Sula who had taken the life from them [her thighs] and Jude who smashed her heart.” (Morrison 110) At the same time, Nel misses being able to talk to Sula and realizes that the only person she wants to talk to about her situation is Sula. Based on this scene, Morrison warns readers about falling victim to society’s judgment. Because Nel believed that Sula was “evil,” she placed the blame for Jude’s infidelity on Sula and allowed the situation to break their friendship. By buying into the roles that the town of Bottom has placed on them, Nel loses both the ability to choose her fate and her closest friend. At the end of the novel, when Nel visits Sula on her deathbed, Sula asks Nel a question that invites readers to contemplate both characters' perspectives. As Nel is about to leave, Sula asks, “About who was good. How you know it was you? I mean, maybe it wasn’t you. Maybe it was me.” (Morrison 146) Though this question is meant for Nel, Morrison purposefully places this rhetorical question at the novel's end to encourage readers to reflect on their definitions of good and evil. By doing so, she warns us from following Nel’s mistakes and pushes us to think beyond what society has taught us.
    “The Office” Obsessed! Fan Scholarship
    Of all the characters on The Office, Dwight's unique humor and eccentric personality quirks resonate with me the most. When I first came across this TV show during the pandemic, I was looking for a quick way to pass time and unknowingly started one of the most iconic TV shows of all time. Since then, I binged every episode, fervently watching season after season and doubling over in laughter each time Dwight came on screen. From the very first episode, While I was initially intrigued by his deadpan facial expressions and intensely competitive rivalry with Jim, I later found his peculiar nature to be more complex than I originally believed. Although it seems that Dwight lacks knowledge of common societal norms, his interactions with others reveal a deeper side of him. His relationship with Micheal Scott demonstrates his extreme loyalty, his unexpected friendship with Pam illustrates his empathy, and his dedication to his cousin Mose exemplifies his familial values. Ultimately, The Office has significantly influenced my sense of humor as I now realize the value in subtle jokes in between dialogue, as characters in The Office often use. I often catch myself chuckling to myself when I hear something that reminds me of a running joke in The Office and break into inappropriately loud laughter. It is more than just a TV show, The Office has taught me to find joy and humor in seemingly mundane situations.
    Innovators of Color in STEM Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. This is just the beginning.
    Women in Healthcare Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. This is just the beginning.
    Julie Adams Memorial Scholarship – Women in STEM
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. In the future, I hope to obtain a degree in biology and public health to further pursue this advocacy on a grander scale. This is just the beginning.
    Women in STEM Scholarship
    It's 9 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm in the pharmacy, cleaning up the vaccination room for Saturday morning. I reach under a table for a disinfectant wipe, the sharp scent of alcohol stinging my nose, the latex gloves powdery against my fingertips. How did I get here? I think to myself. It all began three years ago when I walked through the mahogany doors of my grandparents' house and left those same doors a changed person. During dinner, my lao dia (great uncle), whom I hadn't seen in a year, took off his sunglasses, revealing his eyes, one of which had turned completely gray. Later, he confessed that he had been battling glaucoma, and his optic nerves had been so damaged that he completely lost vision in his right eye. After immigrating to the U.S. decades ago, he couldn't afford health insurance, leaving his glaucoma undiagnosed and worsening over time. When he qualified for Medicare at 65, it was too late to control the disease. My heart ached for him, imagining what it would be like not to recognize his family anymore, knowing that his vision could have been preserved if he had received assistance earlier on. From then on, my focus shifted. I poured my efforts into ensuring that healthcare was available and affordable to everyone, including immigrant families like my own. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I joined the San Lorenzo Public Health Internship, where I scheduled and organized COVID-19 vaccinations for students and families in our community. It was then that I realized the importance of healthcare outreach. Afterward, I attended the University of the Pacific's pharmacy summer institute and gained hands-on experience in outpatient, clinical, and research settings, further solidifying my interest in medicine. Although there were limited job opportunities for teenagers, I searched for the closest option that would allow me to gain healthcare experience. This search led me to apply for an opening at Walgreens Pharmacy. Immediately, I began working Fridays and weekends. Despite the long commute and sore feet, my chest swelled with pride, knowing I was making an impact when I was able to lower someone's hefty co-pay or translate to Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and even my limited Spanish. I enthusiastically clocked in each weekend, looking forward to interactions with my team and patients: a greeting, curt nod, or simple "How's your day?" Although it wasn't a glamorous position, the skills and first-hand experience I gained were invaluable. Working has also opened my eyes to the number of underserved individuals in my community. Whether it was economic or language barriers, many patients faced obstacles that reflected those of my own family. Witnessing these first-hand struggles has shaped my outlook and fortified my resolve to bridge the healthcare gap. I strive to serve my community and am committed to making medical care accessible to everyone. These experiences have strengthened my empathy and fueled my passion for medicine, healthcare equity, and integrity, which I’m eager to contribute to my community and society. This is just the beginning.