For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Maddison Westbrooks

875

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

Bio

I am a biomedical engineering major at the University of Texas at Arlington. My career goals are to work as a professional engineer in health informatics, computational biology, or food engineering. My overall goals in life are to live comfortably, serve God, and ensure the world is healthy.

Education

The University of Texas at Arlington

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2027
  • Majors:
    • Biomedical/Medical Engineering

Klein Oak High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biomedical/Medical Engineering
    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Biomedical Engineering

    • Dream career goals:

      Professional Engineer

      Sports

      Dancing

      Junior Varsity
      2017 – 20192 years

      Research

      • Neurobiology and Neurosciences

        Cook Children’s Neuroscience research team — Undergraduate Research Assistant
        2023 – Present

      Arts

      • Technical Theatre

        Theatre
        One act plays
        2018 – 2021

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Disability Resources — Note taker
        2023 – 2023

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Philanthropy

      Lester and Coque Gibson Community Service Scholarship
      Having grown up in the suburbs. Any time I’d open my fridge there was something to eat, whether that was leftovers from dinner or meat, bread, and veggies for a sandwich. I never had to wonder where my next meal would come from, how we’d afford it, or if I’d have to split with my siblings. Food was never a concern and I couldn’t fathom a life where it was. That was, until high school. My senior year, I was in AP capstone, a course where students do college level research for a formal presentation and 25+ page essay. My topic of choice was food insecurity and its effect on the educational success of K-12 students. I studied extensively about food deserts, placement of grocery stores, access to nutritious meals, and the effect of missing meals on the brain. In addition to my textbook research, I did field work, surveying students about their level of focus and comprehension at various degrees of hunger, ranging from empty stomachs to full. After completing my research, and compiling the survey results, I determined that children without access to nutritional meals are at an academic disadvantage when compared to their peers. The academic gap grows when additional factors such as environment, household income, and ethnicity are included. From that day forward I have dedicated my studies to ensuring that American children have access to affordable, nutritious options. So, in college I’m majoring in biomedical engineering and plan to obtain a masters in a food science to work in the food engineering industry after graduation. My long term goal is to build credibility and experience in my field and eventually work for the FDA or USDA studying crop yield, chemical structures of plants, and altering crop genes to increase nutrients and diminish crop illnesses. Any and all research conducted and data compiled throughout my career would be shared with the public, to inform them of healthy food options that are within their budget. As a government employee, I’d use the information to pitch ideas and advocate for new governmental standards that increase accessibility to healthy diets and decrease the amount of food deserts. Although my goals are well intentioned, I recognize that eating healthy takes more than simply providing food. A healthy mindset towards food is required. So, in addition to my work in industry, I’d also present to students across America to students from a wide variety of backgrounds the importance of healthy meals, delicious substitutes to their favorite unhealthy snacks, and how to save money when grocery shopping. My research in high school and continued education in science and engineering has led to a better understanding of what life is like when food is not a guarantee. The effect hunger has on the mind, the body, and how they function. My service to the community is dedication to 6+ years of formal education to later share my knowledge with American citizens so that no child has to wonder if they will eat today.
      Minority Women in STEM Financial Need Scholarship
      In October or 2023, I began working as an undergraduate researcher for Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. I joined the hospitals neuroscience research team and currently work alongside a graduate researcher, together we use codes and manually check for high frequency oscillations in MRIs and EEGs of patients with epilepsy. The purpose of our research is to locate the epileptogenic zones, the part of the brain responsible for seizures. After we locate the zones, the data is sent to Cook Children’s neurologist to remove that portion of the brain. When done successfully, the patient no longer experiences seizures for years and during that time, is able to live a full life. I shared my experience as a researcher because it is a glimpse of my goals after I graduate. I finish school in 2027, after which I plan to apply for my universities masters program to study either genetics, computational biology, or health informatics. While working on my masters, I plan to use my bachelors degree and work as an entry level biomedical technician for a hospital in Houston or Dallas. After obtaining my masters and having worked in industry for 3-4 years I will either use my degree to advance in my current position, or pursue higher level positions with other hospitals or biomedical companies. Once I’ve established credibility in my field, my final goal is to work for a government administration, either the FDA, CDC, or USDA. My dream career is a food engineer for the FDA where I’d be responsible for reviewing sensitive scientific and technical data and presenting information to scientific review panels. As an undergraduate student in my second year of college, my goals lack detail and clarity. I’m still deciding the specifics of my career and acknowledge that I may not have all of the answers until I graduate. But I can say with confidence that my dedication to my studies and work as a researcher are one step towards my future career that I’ve already taken. As for completion of these goals, I plan to maintain a 3.4 or higher GPA to ensure I am a good candidate for the masters program. I’ll do so by studying smart, managing my time, and saying “yes” to every tutoring session offered. To exalt my resume, I am gaining hands-on experience in my field by working as a researcher on the neuroscience team. I plan to remain on the team until I graduate in 2027, 4 years from when I began in 2023. By working in the lab for most of my undergraduate I will gain extensive experience with programming, handling sensitive data, deciphering and managing complex data, and solving technical problems. To ensure my experience is not too niche, I will apply for summer programs in various other biomedical engineering specialties such as health informatics, computational biology, and medical devices. The work I’m doing now, paired with my future goals, are to establish myself as a well rounded student who will in turn become a well rounded engineer. One that can handle demanding work loads, complete projects on time, and provide the public with accurate and reliable health information.
      Bold Deep Thinking Scholarship
      The biggest problem facing the world right now is ignorance facilitated by technology and is responsible for all other problems plaguing our societies including political polarization, and declining literacy rates and work ethic. We simply do not know enough and in more recent years have become deterred from learning. However, we must acknowledge that it is astounding how far we have come technologically before we address it’s harmfulness. Because of advancements, we can now perform medical procedures with precise machinery that are void of human error, track and manage our finances with the help of digital accountants, and even work online from our homes. In these ways and others, technology has undoubtedly made our lives better, but the negatives significantly out weigh the positives. In simple terms, people have become lax in their work because machinery has become a guaranteed source of accurate and efficient labor, we no longer desire to seek an education beyond high school because “get rich quick” schemes have taken on the form of tech entrepreneur, children no longer read visually due to automated voices that read aloud, and peoples political views are now nonsensical opinions found on Google. Our only hope for re-educating the world to combat this ignorance is by proving the importance of knowledge. We need to host seminars from professionals in career fields that are successful and happy, attended college, and represent all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. In order for people to see that there is more that they can do, regardless of where they come from and without machines, is to hear the stories of those who came from the same places and have worked, by hand, to be successful despite their beginnings. This is the only way the world can learn again, being taught by those who never stopped.
      CEW IV Foundation Scholarship Program
      Black Americans are one of the most underrepresented and unheard groups in America. Our voices are silenced by stereotypes and stigmas regarding sex, physical features, personality, and unrealistic strength, forcing us to create spaces that are hidden from the peering eyes of those outside of our group in order to discuss safely. Even social justice movements such as #MeToo, made to uplift the voices of sexual assault and rape victims of all colors across America, began to underrepresent black women with the belief that sexual crimes against white women are inherently worse, belittling the experiences of women of color. Along with other downfalls such as the exclusion of men and failing to acknowledge LGBTQ+ victims. Many movements such as this one, ignore marginalized groups, leaving them behind as the stories of others are placed in the front of the line and labeled “empowering, revolutionary, and life changing”. These movements are not made for us, or originally were, but are dismantled based on the belief that they’re promoting black supremacy or being exclusive, so we created our own. Starting as far back as the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s to the Civil Rights movement in the 50’s and 60’s and in modern day, the Black Lives Matter movement that all stretched across large cities in America, seeping into the suburbs and rural areas, black voices regardless of gender have been given a platform. Social movements such as these, ones that stand against oppression, political injustice, use of unnecessary force, and inclusivity have guided Black Americans in the fight for true equality. The Harlem renaissance paved the way for black musicians, artist, and culture to thrive within the inner city where we stepped foot into the male/white dominated world of the arts. Popularizing the names of Aaron Douglas, Louis Mailo, and Jacob Lawerence, whilst challenging sexual stigmas such as domesticity and the masculinity of black women with the birth of flappers such as Josephine Baker who altered the definition of a women and broke the shackles placed on their bodies that enforced modesty. The civil rights movement prompted the signing and enforcement of the Civil Rights act of 1964 that ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination, the Voting Rights act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of self-identifying features including race, sex, and religion, and the ruling in Brown v. The board of education that overturned the rulings of Plessy v. Ferguson and permitting black boys and girls and white boys and girls to attend the same institutions. Together, these three movements, alongside others not mentioned, dismantled the established and practiced segregation that depicted and treated black people as inferiors, paving our way into positions of power, alongside our fellow Americans who closed and locked the doors. Finally, the Black Lives Matter movement, despite opposition, united the black community under one cause, calling out discrimination, racism, and inequality against Black Americans. The movement brought us out in droves into the city to March and protest against the injustices seen in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all other black names on the long list of victims. There is still a long way to go before Black Americans enjoy the fruits of our labor, until our protest lead to permanent changes in the world around us, ones that ensure protection and equality in all spaces. But until then, it is important to acknowledge how far we have come from enslavement to equal opportunity to work and learn, and rejoice in honor of our successful movements that have shaped our community and all within.