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Leonardo Castaneda

1385

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Finalist

Bio

Hello, I'm Leonardo Castaneda, and I'm an outstanding 17-year-old senior student residing in Mission, Texas. Despite facing challenges due to my muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease that weakens the muscles, I have shown exceptional dedication to my studies and a passionate interest in biology. My personal experience has driven me to explore the field of medical health and seek ways to help those facing similar challenges. With a focus on research and establishing my own laboratory, I aspire to make a difference in my community and contribute to advancements in healthcare. My commitment to academic excellence and determination to overcome obstacles serve as inspiring examples to those around me. With perseverance and dedication, I am on the path to achieving great things in my future.

Education

Veterans Memorial High School

High School
2020 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Accounting and Computer Science
    • Biochemical Engineering
    • Biotechnology
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
    • Biology, General
    • Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science/Research and Allied Professions
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Sports

      Soccer

      2019 – 20212 years

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        COBAEZ — I was in charge of painting
        2021 – 2022
      • Volunteering

        COBAEZ — I didn't have a high rank, I was just part of the group collecting garbage
        2021 – 2022
      Reginald Kelley Scholarship
      A Catalyst for Success There are a lot of big and small problems that can introduce numerous challenges and limitations in our lives. However, it is often in the face of adversity that remarkable determination and resilience emerge. When I was fifteen years old I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, (a genetic disease that causes weakness and loss of muscle mass), and by living with this disease I thought my life was destroyed but the more time passed I realized it was built into a life plan. My disease has become a driving force in my pursuit of success and also my reason to gain an education in biochemistry and genetics to offer hope to others like me. Living with muscular dystrophy as a young man has given me a firsthand understanding of the physical, emotional, and social challenges associated with these genetic disorders. This experience has instilled in me a deep sense of empathy and compassion for others facing similar struggles. It has fostered a desire within me to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals affected by genetic diseases, such as muscular dystrophy. Pursuing a career in biochemistry and genetics allows me to contribute to the understanding and treatment of these disorders, providing hope and support to those in need. The field of genetics holds immense potential for advancements in medical research and personalized treatments. Understanding the genetic basis of diseases, like muscular dystrophy, is crucial for developing effective therapies and interventions. By dedicating myself to the study of biochemistry and genetics, I am going to contribute to ongoing efforts to unravel the complexities of genetic diseases. My journey serves as a driving force behind my passion for gaining knowledge and expertise in this field, enabling me to make significant contributions to scientific advancements and patient care. Education and knowledge in biochemistry and genetics empower individuals to actively engage in their healthcare, advocate for themselves, and contribute to the broader scientific community. By pursuing higher education in this field, I am equipping myself with the tools and understanding to navigate the intricacies of genetic diseases and make informed decisions regarding my health and well-being. This knowledge also allows me to educate and empower others, fostering a sense of resilience and hope among those affected by genetic conditions. My journey with muscular dystrophy has exposed me to the limitations imposed by the condition, highlighting the importance of scientific research in finding potential treatments and even a cure. By pursuing a career in biochemistry and genetics, I am actively participating in the search for innovative solutions and breakthroughs that could improve the quality of life for individuals with muscular dystrophy and other genetic disorders. My motivation, combined with scientific expertise, has the potential to catalyze advancements in the field and inspire others to persevere in the face of adversity. Living with muscular dystrophy has been a catalyst for my determination to succeed and contribute to the field of biochemistry and genetics. This personal journey has instilled in me empathy, a desire to make a difference, and a passion for understanding and treating genetic diseases. By pursuing education in this field, I am arming myself with the tools to fight for myself and others, actively engage in scientific research, and potentially impact the lives of countless individuals affected by genetic disorders. My ultimate goal is to fuel advancements in genetics and healthcare, offering hope and support to those in need. With dedication and perseverance, I am confident that I can make a positive difference in the field and inspire others to overcome their challenges.
      Anthony Bruder Memorial Scholarship
      Beyond the posts Life has a series of moments that shape our character and define who we are. Among these moments, some bring us immense joy and pride, while others test our resilience and strength. When I was a child I remember being given goalkeeper gloves with the name Buffon on them, every time I put them on I felt like I was Buffon himself on the field. My journey in soccer as a goalkeeper was one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life, because I experienced both extremes, from being hailed as the best in a tournament to facing the harsh reality of muscular dystrophy. These contrasting experiences have not only shaped me as an individual but have also taught me invaluable life lessons. My moment of triumph was when I was hailed as the best goalkeeper in a prestigious soccer tournament. During the final match, I made a series of remarkable saves, securing our team's victory. In that game, I was very focused and confident in myself, during the first 45 minutes of the game I did a good job gaining peace of mind and in the second half I acted much better, there were more than 10 shots at my goal and I saved all the shots. At the end of the game, the crowd's cheers and the praise from my teammates and coaches filled me with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. The admiration and recognition I received from both friends and strangers alike fueled my passion for the sport and motivated me to strive for excellence. This experience instilled in me a deep sense of self-belief and confidence, teaching me the importance of work, dedication, and concentration. On the other hand, when I was sixteen years old, the onset of muscular dystrophy, a degenerative condition that gradually weakened my muscles, took an unexpected turn in my soccer career. I remember playing a friendly game with my friend and jumping to save the ball, but when it came time to get up from the ground I noticed that it was difficult for me to get up of the ground. As the symptoms progressed, I found myself unable to perform even the simplest physical tasks, let alone play the sport I loved. Witnessing my teammates continue their journey without me was a painful reminder of the limitations imposed by my condition. This devastating news shattered my dreams of pursuing a career in professional football and left me feeling helpless and defeated. Despite the challenges posed by muscular dystrophy, I refused to let it define me. Instead, I channeled my energy into finding alternative ways to contribute to the sport and make a positive impact on others. This experience taught me the importance of resilience, adaptability, and embracing new opportunities. The journey from being hailed as the best to face the challenges of my disease has shaped me into the person I am today. These contrasting experiences have taught me the value of perseverance, resilience, and adaptability. While the moment of triumph instilled in me a sense of self-belief and confidence, the onset of muscular dystrophy taught me the importance of embracing change and finding new ways to contribute. I once read in an ESPN article that soccer is not only played on the field but also off it. Through my experiences, I have discovered a new purpose and a way to stay connected to the sport that once defined me by coaching young people. Ultimately, these experiences have molded me into a resilient individual who is determined to overcome any obstacle that comes my way.
      Goobie-Ramlal Education Scholarship
      Navigating the College Journey as an Immigrant Growing up as a college-bound student in an immigrant family has shaped my perspective and aspirations in profound ways. The unique challenges, sacrifices, and opportunities that come with this experience have instilled in me a strong desire to make a positive impact on the world through my education and personal growth. In this essay, I will share my journey as a college-bound student of an immigrant family and outline my plans to contribute positively to society. As the child of immigrant parents, I have witnessed firsthand the struggles they faced to provide us with a better future. The determination, resilience, and unwavering work ethic they displayed have been a constant source of inspiration. The immigrant experience has taught me the value of hard work, perseverance, and the importance of seizing educational opportunities. Moreover, education has played a pivotal role in my family's journey, catalyzing upward mobility. Witnessing the transformative power of education has fueled my desire to pursue higher learning. I believe that education equips individuals with the knowledge, skills, and perspective necessary to effect positive change in the world. Growing up in an immigrant family has exposed me to diverse cultures, languages, and perspectives. This exposure has fostered empathy, cultural understanding, and a deep appreciation for diversity. I plan to leverage my experiences and education to promote inclusivity, bridge cultural divides, and create a more interconnected and harmonious society. Otherwise, having experienced the challenges and obstacles faced by immigrant families, I am passionate about advocating for immigrant rights. I plan to utilize my education and voice to raise awareness about the importance of comprehensive immigration reform, promote social justice, and fight against discrimination. By advocating for equitable policies, I hope to create a more inclusive society that values the contributions of immigrants. Through my college education, I aim to develop a deep understanding of global issues and their interconnectedness. I recognize the urgency of challenges such as climate change, poverty, and social inequality. Armed with knowledge and critical thinking skills, I aspire to contribute to finding sustainable solutions that address these pressing global issues. Whether through research, activism, or entrepreneurship, I intend to be an agent of positive change. In addition, education is not just about personal growth; it is also about empowering others. As an aspiring college graduate, I recognize the responsibility to uplift and inspire those who come from similar backgrounds. I aspire to be a mentor, sharing my experiences and knowledge with younger generations, and encouraging them to pursue their dreams and overcome obstacles. By empowering others, I believe we can create a ripple effect of positive change. Therefore, as a college-bound student of an immigrant family, I am grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead. My experiences have shaped my perspective, instilled resilience, and fueled my determination to make a positive impact on the world. Through my education, I plan to advocate for immigrant rights, address global issues, embrace diversity, and empower others. I am committed to leveraging my experiences, skills, and knowledge to create a more inclusive, just, and sustainable world for future generations. Together, let us strive for a better future, where the dreams and aspirations of all are valued and realized.
      Windward Spirit Scholarship
      The New Generation The Ode to Millennials-Gen Z text is a thought-provoking piece that highlights the challenges faced by the younger generation as they step into adulthood. The comparison drawn between the Millennials-Gen Z and the Greatest Generation of the past is intriguing, as it sheds light on the similarities in the economic and societal struggles they have both encountered. The author mentions the low incomes and high levels of underemployment that plague the Millennials-Gen Z, much like the hardships faced by the Greatest Generation during the Great Depression. This parallel emphasizes the resilience and determination displayed by the younger generation in the face of adversity. Furthermore, the piece delves into the issues of student loans, medical insurance, and the impact of global warming on the planet. These are pressing concerns that weigh heavily on the minds of the Millennials-Gen Z, as they inherit a world grappling with financial instability and environmental crises. What stands out is the sense of duty and optimism exhibited by the younger generation. They embrace their rendezvous with destiny, recognizing the need to address and rectify the challenges inherited from previous generations. Their willingness to tackle these issues head-on reflects a maturity and sense of responsibility beyond their years. The author also touches on the sometimes strained relationship between different generations. Older generations may struggle to understand how the Millennials-Gen Z communicate and navigate the world. However, all generations need to recognize the unique perspectives and strengths that each one brings to the table. In conclusion, the Ode to Millennials-Gen Z presents a compelling exploration of the challenges and potential of the younger generation. It highlights their determination to create a better future and their ability to positively impact society. By embracing their rendezvous with destiny, the Millennials-Gen Z has the potential to become "The Greatest Generation 2.0." It is up to all of us to support and empower them in their journey towards making a lasting and meaningful difference.
      @ESPdaniella Disabled Degree Scholarship
      I hope to help people with disabilities as a biochemist, making a world where disabilities don't limit our potential and where everyone can thrive. As someone with muscular dystrophy, I've faced various challenges due to my condition. However, I've found that these experiences have given me a unique perspective and an unwavering determination to make a difference. With my background in biochemistry, I'm driven to delve deeper into the scientific understanding of muscular dystrophy and explore innovative ways to improve the quality of life for individuals with similar disabilities. Through research, hope, and collaboration, I aim to contribute to advancements in treatment or therapies that can alleviate symptoms and ultimately lead to a brighter future. My dream is to have my own laboratory and help all the people who are living with disabilities. I would especially like to give them hope and be one of the first people to support them at that stage of their lives.
      Beatrice Diaz Memorial Scholarship
      A Catalyst for Success There are a lot of big and small problems that can introduce numerous challenges and limitations in our lives. However, it is often in the face of adversity that remarkable determination and resilience emerge. When I was fifteen years old I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, (a genetic disease that causes weakness and loss of muscle mass), and by living with this disease I thought my life was destroyed but the more time passed I realized it was built into a life plan. My disease has become a driving force in my pursuit of success and also my reason to gain an education in biochemistry and genetics to offer hope to others like me. Since my diagnosis, it gave me a firsthand understanding of the physical, emotional, and social challenges associated with these genetic disorders. This experience has instilled in me a deep sense of empathy and compassion for others facing similar struggles. It has fostered a desire within me to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals affected by genetic diseases, such as muscular dystrophy. Pursuing a career in biochemistry and genetics allows me to contribute to the understanding and treatment of these disorders, providing hope and support to those in need. The field of genetics holds immense potential for advancements in medical research and personalized treatments. Understanding the genetic basis of diseases, like muscular dystrophy, is crucial for developing effective therapies and interventions. My journey serves as a driving force behind my passion for gaining knowledge and expertise in this field, enabling me to make significant contributions to scientific advancements and patient care. Furthermore, my journey with muscular dystrophy has exposed me to the limitations imposed by the condition, highlighting the importance of scientific research in finding potential treatments and even a cure. By pursuing a career in biochemistry and genetics, I am actively participating in the search for innovative solutions and breakthroughs that could improve the quality of life for individuals with muscular dystrophy and other genetic disorders. My motivation, combined with scientific expertise, has the potential to catalyze advancements in the field and inspire others to persevere in the face of adversity. Education and knowledge in biochemistry and genetics empower individuals to actively engage in their healthcare, advocate for themselves, and contribute to the broader scientific community. By pursuing higher education in this field, I am equipping myself with the tools and understanding to navigate the intricacies of genetic diseases and make informed decisions regarding my health and well-being. This knowledge also allows me to educate and empower others, fostering a sense of resilience and hope among those affected by genetic conditions. Therefore, living with muscular dystrophy has been a catalyst for my determination to succeed and contribute to the field of biochemistry and genetics. This personal journey has instilled in me empathy, a desire to make a difference, and a passion for understanding and treating genetic diseases. By pursuing education in this field, I am arming myself with the tools to fight for myself and others, actively engage in scientific research, and potentially impact the lives of countless individuals affected by genetic disorders. My ultimate goal is to fuel advancements in genetics and healthcare, offering hope and support to those in need. With dedication and perseverance, I am confident that I can make a positive difference in the field and inspire others to overcome their challenges.
      Joieful Connections Scholarship
      Genes of Hope Life has a curious way of presenting us with unexpected obstacles, and challenges that test our mettle and shape our character. For many, these challenges become defining moments that propel them towards greatness. Since the age of fifteen, I have faced the unique hurdles of muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. Due to this circumstance, I found a fascination and intrigue for biochemistry to understand how genetic traits are transmitted through successive generations and able to support people with diseases like these. That's why I plan to study biochemistry in college and use what I learn to benefit my community at large. Before my diagnosis, I lived in Mexico and to go for medical tests I had to travel to big cities that were hours away from me. This bothered me as people in small places struggle with this, limiting the health opportunities of anyone in rural areas. Therefore, one of my goals after pursuing a biochemistry major is to establish my research laboratory, where I can conduct innovative studies to find new ways to diagnose diseases and improve people's quality of life. I want to be part of the scientific advance that allows us to detect diseases in early stages and develop more effective treatments. Also from personal experiences, I feel that my support would be a good example of hope for anyone suffering from a serious illness. Additionally, I have a vision of collaborating with local health organizations and hospitals to carry out projects that address the specific health challenges of our community. One of my goals is to be able to have a non-profit organization around low-resource countries where we can help people with genetic diseases. Especially in rural places where having medical studies is quite difficult and the concept of various diseases is still not very understandable. Whether researching prevalent diseases in our area or working to implement prevention programs around the world, my goal is to make a tangible difference in the lives of the people around me. To this end, I could save lives by finding diseases when they are most vulnerable to fighting. If my opportunities in life were very good, I would like to study the field of genetics in more depth. Since my muscular dystrophy happened, I realized how this affects thousands of people around the world. Therefore I want to be able to help people like me. By studying genetics I could find ways to support people and even find cures. Especially as a person who has had an experience with these diseases, I would love to be able to help people just as they helped me. Finding a major in genetics could make a big change in all people who suffer from genetic diseases, especially those with muscular dystrophy. Having said all that, I believe that everything happens with a purpose, I feel that my illness led me to my path to study biochemistry and my desire to contribute to my community. With my own eyes and with my own experiences as a person with a genetic disease, I feel that I could help people in many ways but above all by giving them hope. I am excited about the future opportunities to learn and grow in this field, and I am committed to using my knowledge and skills to make the world a better place.
      Frank and Patty Skerl Educational Scholarship for the Physically Disabled
      Genes of Hope Life has a curious way of presenting us with unexpected obstacles, and challenges that test our mettle and shape our character. For many, these challenges become defining moments that propel them towards greatness. Since the age of fifteen, I have faced the unique hurdles of muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. Due to this circumstance, I found a fascination and intrigue for biochemistry to understand how genetic traits are transmitted through successive generations and able to support people with diseases like these. That's why I plan to study biochemistry in college and use what I learn to benefit my community at large. Before my diagnosis, I lived in Mexico and to go for medical tests I had to travel to big cities that were hours away from me. This bothered me as people in small places struggle with this, limiting the health opportunities of anyone in rural areas. Therefore, one of my goals after pursuing a biochemistry major is to establish my research laboratory, where I can conduct innovative studies to find new ways to diagnose diseases and improve people's quality of life. I want to be part of the scientific advance that allows us to detect diseases in early stages and develop more effective treatments. Also from personal experiences, I feel that my support would be a good example of hope for anyone suffering from a serious illness. Additionally, I have a vision of collaborating with local health organizations and hospitals to carry out projects that address the specific health challenges of our community. One of my goals is to be able to have a non-profit organization around low-resource countries where we can help people with genetic diseases. Especially in rural places where having medical studies is quite difficult and the concept of various diseases is still not very understandable. Whether researching prevalent diseases in our area or working to implement prevention programs around the world, my goal is to make a tangible difference in the lives of the people around me. To this end, I could save lives by finding diseases when they are most vulnerable to fighting. If my opportunities in life were very good, I would like to study the field of genetics in more depth. Since my muscular dystrophy happened, I realized how this affects thousands of people around the world. Therefore I want to be able to help people like me. By studying genetics I could find ways to support people and even find cures. Especially as a person who has had an experience with these diseases, I would love to be able to help people just as they helped me. Finding a major in genetics could make a big change in all people who suffer from genetic diseases, especially those with muscular dystrophy. Having said all that, I believe that everything happens with a purpose, I feel that my illness led me to my path to study biochemistry and my desire to contribute to my community. With my own eyes and with my own experiences as a person with a genetic disease, I feel that I could help people in many ways but above all by giving them hope. I am excited about the future opportunities to learn and grow in this field, and I am committed to using my knowledge and skills to make the world a better place.
      Diverse Abilities Scholarship
      Genes of Hope Life has a curious way of presenting us with unexpected obstacles, and challenges that test our mettle and shape our character. For many, these challenges become defining moments that propel them towards greatness. Since the age of fifteen, I have faced the unique hurdles of muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. Due to this circumstance, I found a fascination and intrigue for biochemistry to understand how genetic traits are transmitted through successive generations and able to support people with diseases like these. That's why I plan to study biochemistry in college and use what I learn to benefit my community at large. Before my diagnosis, I lived in Mexico and to go for medical tests I had to travel to big cities that were hours away from me. This bothered me as people in small places struggle with this, limiting the health opportunities of anyone in rural areas. Therefore, one of my goals after pursuing a biochemistry major is to establish my research laboratory, where I can conduct innovative studies to find new ways to diagnose diseases and improve people's quality of life. I want to be part of the scientific advance that allows us to detect diseases in early stages and develop more effective treatments. Also from personal experiences, I feel that my support would be a good example of hope for anyone suffering from a serious illness. Additionally, I have a vision of collaborating with local health organizations and hospitals to carry out projects that address the specific health challenges of our community. One of my goals is to be able to have a non-profit organization around low-resource countries where we can help people with genetic diseases. Especially in rural places where having medical studies is quite difficult and the concept of various diseases is still not very understandable. Whether researching prevalent diseases in our area or working to implement prevention programs around the world, my goal is to make a tangible difference in the lives of the people around me. To this end, I could save lives by finding diseases when they are most vulnerable to fighting. If my opportunities in life were very good, I would like to study the field of genetics in more depth. Since my muscular dystrophy happened, I realized how this affects thousands of people around the world. Therefore I want to be able to help people like me. By studying genetics I could find ways to support people and even find cures. Especially as a person who has had an experience with these diseases, I would love to be able to help people just as they helped me. Finding a major in genetics could make a big change in all people who suffer from genetic diseases, especially those with muscular dystrophy. Having said all that, I believe that everything happens with a purpose, I feel that my illness led me to my path to study biochemistry and my desire to contribute to my community. With my own eyes and with my own experiences as a person with a genetic disease, I feel that I could help people in many ways but above all by giving them hope. I am excited about the future opportunities to learn and grow in this field, and I am committed to using my knowledge and skills to make the world a better place.
      AHS Scholarship
      Genetic of Hope Life has a curious way of presenting us with unexpected obstacles, and challenges that test our mettle and shape our character. For many, these challenges become defining moments that propel them towards greatness. Since the age of fifteen, I have faced the unique hurdles of muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. Due to this circumstance, I found a fascination intrigue and passion for exploring the intricate world of biochemistry and conducting groundbreaking research. By pursuing this path, I hope to contribute to scientific advancements and make a positive impact on society, especially on those with genetic disorders. First of all, going to university will indeed be a crucial step in my journey towards becoming a successful biochemist. By pursuing higher education, I will have the opportunity to immerse myself in a rich academic environment where I can expand my knowledge, develop essential skills, and access valuable resources that will propel me forward in my chosen field. Moreover, I will have access to an experienced professor and researcher who can guide me along my academic journey. Collaborating with fellow students who share my passion for biochemistry will not only foster a sense of camaraderie but also allow for the exchange of ideas and the cultivation of critical thinking skills. With my passion for biochemistry and the knowledge I’ll gain from university, I'll be equipped to make a real difference in my community. Creating my lab is an integral part of my vision because it will serve as a hub for innovation, where I can conduct experiments, analyze data, and collaborate with my community. Having my laboratory will not only provide me with the freedom to explore my research interests but also contribute to the overall well-being of my community. I would like to help people who live in rural places who are having major problems due to illnesses, where health tests are very difficult to acquire and even inform awareness among the community and those who are facing these problems. In addition to pursuing my personal goals, I am driven by a strong desire to help others with genetic disorders. Since I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, I began to have great curiosity and intrigue about genetic diseases and now I am determined to make a difference in the lives of individuals affected by these conditions. That's why I envision establishing a non-profit organization called 'Genetics of Hope.' Through this organization, I aim to provide support, resources, and awareness for individuals and families dealing with genetic problems. Beyond my dream to help people or because this has to do with my career goal, I want to do this because unfortunately, I know all the problems that these types of diseases entail. By offering a helping hand and promoting research in this field, I hope to contribute to the development of better treatments and ultimately, bring hope to those in need. Ultimately, my journey as a biochemist and the establishment of 'Genetics of Hope' are intertwined. Through my research and the non-profit organization, I aspire to bridge the gap between scientific advancements and the individuals who can benefit from them the most. By combining my passion for biochemistry with my commitment to helping others, I believe I can create a meaningful and lasting impact in the field of genetics. Sadly I know that this clearly will not be possible if I do not have enough support to enter a university, yet I know that if I have a dream, nothing can stop me.
      Ward Green Scholarship for the Arts & Sciences
      Genes of Hope Life has a curious way of presenting us with unexpected obstacles, and challenges that test our mettle and shape our character. For many, these challenges become defining moments that propel them towards greatness. Since the age of fifteen, I have faced the unique hurdles of muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. Due to this circumstance, I found a fascination and intrigue for biochemistry to understand how genetic traits are transmitted through successive generations and able to support people with diseases like these. That's why I plan to study biochemistry in college and use what I learn to benefit my community at large. Before my diagnosis I lived in Mexico and to go for medical tests I had to travel to big cities that were hours away from me. This bothered me as people in small places struggle with this, limiting the health opportunities of anyone in rural areas. Therefore, one of my goals after pursuing a biochemistry major is to establish my research laboratory, where I can conduct innovative studies to find new ways to diagnose diseases and improve people's quality of life. I want to be part of the scientific advance that allows us to detect diseases in early stages and develop more effective treatments. Also from personal experiences, I feel that my support would be a good example of hope for anyone suffering from a serious illness. Additionally, I have a vision of collaborating with local health organizations and hospitals to carry out projects that address the specific health challenges of our community. One of my goals is to be able to have a non-profit organization around low-resource countries where we can help people with genetic diseases. Especially in rural places where having medical studies is quite difficult and the concept of various diseases is still not very understandable. Whether researching prevalent diseases in our area or working to implement prevention programs around the world, my goal is to make a tangible difference in the lives of the people around me. To this end, I could save lives by finding diseases when they are most vulnerable to fighting. If my opportunities in life were very good, I would like to study the field of genetics in more depth. Since my muscular dystrophy happened, I realized how this affects thousands of people around the world. Therefore I want to be able to help people like me. By studying genetics I could find ways to support people and even find cures. Especially as a person who has had an experience with these diseases, I would love to be able to help people just as they helped me. Finding a major in genetics could make a big change in all people who suffer from genetic diseases, especially those with muscular dystrophies. Having said all that, I believe that everything happens with a purpose, I feel that my illness led me to my path to study biochemistry and my desire to contribute to my community. With my own eyes and with my own experiences as a person with a genetic disease, I feel that I could help people in many ways but above all by giving them hope. I am excited about the future opportunities to learn and grow in this field, and I am committed. to use my knowledge and skills to make the world a better place.
      Krewe de HOU Scholarship
      Helping Individuals with Genetic Disorders Genetic disorders affect millions of people worldwide, impacting their quality of life and limiting their potential. As a high school student, with muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass, I believe that we have the potential to make a positive impact and help those facing these challenges. There are too many ways to help my community, I plan to contribute towards assisting individuals with genetic disorders, emphasizing the importance of education, support, and fundraising. Raising awareness is one crucial step to help those with genetic disorders. Educating ourselves and others about the different types of genetic disorders, their symptoms, and available treatments increases understanding and reduces stigmatization. I plan to organize information sessions or awareness campaigns at school, inviting healthcare professionals and affected individuals to share their experiences. By doing so, we can foster empathy, compassion, and acceptance within our community. Individuals with genetic disorders often face physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Understanding these difficulties, I propose organizing support groups where affected individuals and their families can connect, share experiences, and find solace in a supportive community. Additionally, I would encourage volunteering at local healthcare facilities or charitable organizations, assisting patients and families in need. Small acts of kindness, such as visiting hospitals or offering a helping hand, can make a significant difference in their lives. Scientists and medical researchers work tirelessly to find cures and effective treatments for different genetic disorders. Unfortunately, inadequate funding often limits their progress. As a high school student, I will take the initiative to lobby my local representatives and participate in advocacy campaigns urging governments and scientific institutions to allocate more funds to genetic disorder research. Writing letters, signing petitions, and engaging in discussions will help draw attention to this critical issue and promote change. Financial support is essential in the battle against genetic disorders. Whether it is helping to fund treatment costs or enabling research efforts, monetary contributions make a significant impact. To raise funds, I plan to organize charity events, such as bake sales, fun runs, or talent shows, with the proceeds going directly to reputable organizations that support individuals with genetic disorders. Engaging my school community and local businesses in these events would ensure a wider reach and a stronger impact. Living with a genetic disorder can sometimes feel isolating and overwhelming. I believe that spreading hope and positivity is crucial for uplifting the spirits of individuals facing these challenges. I will use social media platforms, school bulletins, and public speaking engagements to share inspirational stories, success stories, and the achievements of individuals with genetic disorders. By highlighting their resilience, we can create a culture of inclusivity and inspire others to overcome obstacles. By actively participating in educational initiatives, support groups, advocacy campaigns, and fundraising events, and spreading hope, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals with genetic disorders. As a teenager with a genetic disorder, I believe we possess the power to unite our communities, raise awareness, and contribute towards better treatment options, improved research, and a more compassionate world. Together, let us embrace the opportunity to help those in need and work towards a future where individuals with genetic disorders can lead fulfilling lives without limitations.
      Nasser Seconi Scholarship Fund
      Between the posts Life is a series of moments that shape our character and define who we are. Among these moments, some bring us immense joy and pride, while others test our resilience and strength. When I was a child I remember being given goalkeeper gloves with the name Buffon on them, every time I put them on I felt like I was Buffon himself on the field. My journey as a goalkeeper was one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life, because I experienced both extremes, from being hailed as the best in a tournament to facing the harsh reality of muscular dystrophy. These contrasting experiences have not only shaped me as an individual but have also taught me invaluable life lessons. My moment of triumph was when I was hailed as the best goalkeeper in a prestigious tournament. During the final match, I made a series of remarkable saves, securing our team's victory. In that game, I was very focused and confident in myself, during the first 45 minutes of the game I did a good job gaining peace of mind and in the second half I acted much better, there were more than 10 shots at my goal and I saved all the shots. During and at the end of the game the crowd's cheers and the praise from my teammates and coaches filled me with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. The admiration and recognition I received from both friends and strangers alike fueled my passion for the sport and motivated me to strive for excellence. This experience instilled in me a deep sense of self-belief and confidence, teaching me the importance of hard work, dedication, and concentration. On the other hand, when I was sixteen years old, the onset of muscular dystrophy, a degenerative condition that gradually weakened my muscles, took an unexpected turn in my soccer career. I remember playing a friendly game with my friend and jumping to save the ball, but when it came time to get up from the ground I noticed that it was difficult for me to get up of the ground. As the symptoms progressed, I found myself unable to perform even the simplest physical tasks, let alone play the sport I loved. Witnessing my teammates continue their journey without me was a painful reminder of the limitations imposed by my condition. This devastating news shattered my dreams of pursuing a career in professional football and left me feeling helpless and defeated. Despite the challenges posed by muscular dystrophy, I refused to let it define me. Instead, I channeled my energy into finding alternative ways to contribute to the sport and make a positive impact on others. This experience taught me the importance of resilience, adaptability, and embracing new opportunities. The journey from being hailed as the best to face the challenges of my disease has shaped me into the person I am today. These contrasting experiences have taught me the value of perseverance, resilience, and adaptability. While the moment of triumph instilled in me a sense of self-belief and confidence, the onset of muscular dystrophy taught me the importance of embracing change and finding new ways to contribute. I once read in an ESPN article that soccer is not only played on the field but also off it. Through my experiences, I have discovered a new purpose and a way to stay connected to the sport that once defined me by coaching young people. Ultimately, these experiences have molded me into a resilient individual who is determined to overcome any obstacle that comes my way.
      Gomez Family Legacy Scholarship
      A Catalyst for Success There are a lot of big and small problems that can introduce numerous challenges and limitations in our lives. However, it is often in the face of adversity that remarkable determination and resilience emerge. When I was fifteen years old I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, (a genetic disease that causes weakness and loss of muscle mass), and by living with this disease I thought my life was destroyed but the more time passed I realized it was built into a life plan. My disease has become a driving force in my pursuit of success and also my reason to gain an education in biochemistry and genetics to offer hope to others like me. Living with muscular dystrophy as a young man has given me a firsthand understanding of the physical, emotional, and social challenges associated with these genetic disorders. This experience has instilled in me a deep sense of empathy and compassion for others facing similar struggles. It has fostered a desire within me to make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals affected by genetic diseases, such as muscular dystrophy. Pursuing a career in biochemistry and genetics allows me to contribute to the understanding and treatment of these disorders, providing hope and support to those in need. The field of genetics holds immense potential for advancements in medical research and personalized treatments. Understanding the genetic basis of diseases, like muscular dystrophy, is crucial for developing effective therapies and interventions. By dedicating myself to the study of biochemistry and genetics, I aim to contribute to ongoing efforts to unravel the complexities of genetic diseases. My journey serves as a driving force behind my passion for gaining knowledge and expertise in this field, enabling me to make significant contributions to scientific advancements and patient care. Education and knowledge in biochemistry and genetics empower individuals to actively engage in their healthcare, advocate for themselves, and contribute to the broader scientific community. By pursuing higher education in this field, I am equipping myself with the tools and understanding to navigate the intricacies of genetic diseases and make informed decisions regarding my health and well-being. This knowledge also allows me to educate and empower others, fostering a sense of resilience and hope among those affected by genetic conditions. My journey with muscular dystrophy has exposed me to the limitations imposed by the condition, highlighting the importance of scientific research in finding potential treatments and even a cure. By pursuing a career in biochemistry and genetics, I am actively participating in the search for innovative solutions and breakthroughs that could improve the quality of life for individuals with muscular dystrophy and other genetic disorders. My motivation, combined with scientific expertise, has the potential to catalyze advancements in the field and inspire others to persevere in the face of adversity. Living with muscular dystrophy has been a catalyst for my determination to succeed and contribute to the field of biochemistry and genetics. This personal journey has instilled in me empathy, a desire to make a difference, and a passion for understanding and treating genetic diseases. By pursuing education in this field, I am arming myself with the tools to fight for myself and others, actively engage in scientific research, and potentially impact the lives of countless individuals affected by genetic disorders. My ultimate goal is to fuel advancements in genetics and healthcare, offering hope and support to those in need. With dedication and perseverance, I am confident that I can make a positive difference in the field and inspire others to overcome their challenges.