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Melissa Swain


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I am a widow and single mom, with the sweetest and most adventurous son. I am recently separated from Active Military service and am currently serving in the National Guard. I am a Biomedical Sciences, Pre-Med student. I am passionate about Healthcare, with an interest and goal of pursuing a career in Public Health.


University of Washington-Tacoma Campus

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
  • Minors:
    • Sociology

George Washington University

Associate's degree program
2017 - 2019
  • Majors:
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other


  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

    • MLT

      2015 – Present9 years



    2018 – Present6 years


    • Pharmacology and Toxicology

      KCMEO — MLT
      2021 – Present
    • Microbiological Sciences and Immunology

      Madigan Army Medical Center — Laboratory Technician
      2018 – 2020

    Public services

    • Public Service (Politics)

      Army — Non-Commissioned Officer, Lab Instructor
      2019 – 2022

    Future Interests




    Barbara J. DeVaney Memorial Scholarship Fund
    I was not allowed to dream of being a doctor, but I did anyway. I was brought up in a family and culture in which women are taught to be wives, mothers, and homemakers. I was not encouraged to pursue higher education but always dreamed of joining a service and healthcare profession. I married at 18, to my wonderful husband Jared. He encouraged me to pursue my dreams and break away from our restrictive cultural upbringing. With his support, I joined the Army as a medical laboratory technician and we moved across the states several times. Jared was my greatest supporter, and when we found out we were expecting, he became my birth coach, physical trainer, and, later, an amazing stay-at-home dad. Tragically, Jared passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in 2018. Our son Jasper was 18 months old at the time. I suddenly found myself a widow, single mom, and active-duty soldier. I made a commitment to Jasper that I would rebuild our life and create a home of healing and safety. He inspired me to work harder, study harder, and love harder. I prioritized our health and safety and worked tirelessly to conquer my grief and be a present parent for him. Two years ago, I decided to transition to the national guard and pursue my education full-time. I am a Biomedical Sciences major, pursuing medical school and a career as a Public Health physician. I am passionate about Public Health and providing health services to my community, marginalized groups and especially children within those groups. I am passionate about my career path and my dedication to serving my country and community. My greatest barrier to pursuing my education as a widow and single parent is the financial barrier. Despite working part-time for public health and continuing my national guard service, I struggle to keep up with providing our necessities, child care and school-related expenses. This scholarship would transform my next two years, at which time I will graduate. Not only would it relieve the burden of tuition, it would alleviate the constant stress and anxiety of providing our basic necessities. I am pressing forward, determined to honor Jared’s memory by pursuing the dreams we dreamt together and successfully build a legacy for our son. A legacy with resilience, tenacity, compassionate service and love at its core. Lastly- thank you to the Baraba J. DeVaney Memorial Fund for reaching out to help women of these demographic groups. It is immensely difficult to go through these tragic and traumatizing life events, but even more so when you are alone and trying to raise children. I believe in hope, and through tragedy and grief may come unity and community. I am honored to apply and truly believe this scholarship will help many achieve their dreams and support families.
    Divers Women Scholarship
    I have known I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare since I was very young, but due to financial and cultural barriers, this was a dream far out of reach. I got married at 18 and turned my focus to support my husband Jared in his career. He encouraged me to pursue my dreams and with his support, I joined the Army as a medical laboratory technician. Only a year into my enlistment, we found out we were expecting. My pregnancy and postpartum experience were difficult, due to the expectations and obligations of my military service. Jared prioritized my health, and pregnancy over everything. He became my personal trainer and birth coach. When our son Jasper was born, he become an amazing stay-at-home dad. Tragically, Jared passed away when Jasper was only eighteen months old. I found myself an active-duty soldier, widow and single mom. I was devastated. I could not fathom raising our son without him. I could not fathom continuing on every day without him. I could not fathom how I could provide a life for Jasper, the life he deserved. In the midst of battling my severe grief-related depression and PTSD, I struggled to maintain my work responsibilities. I felt any day I would be discharged due to my failing mental health. There was a moment, laying on the floor with my son, when I made a commitment. A commitment that I would conquer my despair and be a present parent for him. That I would continue to work hard so I could provide for him. That I would grieve and heal so that someday, as he grew, I could help him grieve his father in healthy ways. I prioritized Jasper's wellness over everything else as I rebuilt our life. Focusing on providing a healthy home and pouring myself into the service of my work, saved me from unhealthy coping mechanisms and pushed me to heal through those psychological injuries that I could have never imagined. I can say now, four years later, that without Jasper, my life would have been lost to my grief. Jasper was and will always be my motivation and inspiration. As I continue to prioritize his safety and health, I have found myself safer and healthier than ever before. Last year I decided I would rededicate myself to pursuing my education and career. I left active army service and transitioned to the National Guard. I am determined to pursue and achieve the goals Jared and I dreamt of together. I am determined to honor his memory while building a legacy for our son Jasper. A legacy with resilience, tenacity and love at its core. As my career began at an intersection of healthcare and service, I feel passionate about continuing to serve and provide critical and timely care to those in need. I currently intern with Public Health of King County (Seattle), and am determined to continue on this path and pursue a career combating societal health epidemics.