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Olivia Patterson

1025

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

Bio

My name is Olivia Patterson and I am a senior at Haas Hall Academy in Rogers, AR. I was accepted to Boston College early decision and will be double majoring in Political Science and Public Health with the goal of becoming a medical lawyer giving back to underserved communities like the one I was raised in. I am President of National Beta Club, Vice President of Art Club, and Historian in Computer Science Club. I also serve as a member of Spanish Club, Mu Alpha Theta Honors Society, Conservation and Hiking Club, and placed second regionally under Medical Law and Ethics in the Health Occupation Students of America competition. I have been elected as a member of the Student Leadership Team at my church for five consecutive years. Through my church, I have also competed in the AG Youth Ministries National Fine Arts Festival and placed first at the regional level and third at the national level for my writing. My longtime appreciation for art led me to start my business - Art by Oliva - my freshman year, through which I create commissioned work. I have had my art featured in the INTERFORM Gallery and have won several art competitions. When I am not participating in extracurriculars or painting, I enjoy volunteering. As a volunteer for Warehouse479, I thrift clothes and model them to be resold. All profits made are used to fight local food insecurity. I also volunteer for Socks & Cookies, a local nonprofit that makes care packages to send to deployed military troops. Thank you for supporting me by providing me the opportunity to pursue all of my “bold” dreams!

Education

Haas Hall Academy At The Lane

High School
2017 - 2023
  • GPA:
    4

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Law
    • Public Health
    • Political Science and Government
    • English Language and Literature, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Test scores:

    • 31
      ACT

    Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

    • Founder, Artist

      Art by Olivia
      2020 – Present4 years

    Sports

    Track & Field

    Varsity
    2017 – 20203 years

    Research

    • Social Sciences, General

      Haas Hall Academy — Student
      2021 – 2022

    Arts

    • Stage One

      Acting
      Alice In Wonderland, the Musical, Beauty and the beast, the Musical, Aladdin, the Musical
      2015 – 2018

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Socks & Cookies — Volunteer
      2021 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Warehouse479 — Volunteer
      2020 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    MedLuxe Representation Matters Scholarship
    I grew up in a poor, rural area in Central Mississippi. I lived in a small community plagued with generational poverty. It seemed that most didn’t know how to break the cycle, and it seemed that some didn’t want to. But as a child, I was oblivious to the restrictions of our financial situation. My parents were hard workers—my father working as both a pastor and high school teacher, and my mother a housewife and founder of a nonprofit organization that they managed together. I was proud of my parents and inspired by their occupations. In fact, I didn’t realize that I grew up underprivileged until much later. I happily poured welfare milk over my off-brand sugar cereal. Our situation did not allow for a healthy lifestyle. Our government aid only afforded us cheap, processed foods. Moreover, health conditions such as breast cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes run in my family and are conditions that I am predisposed to. But because of our financial situation, medical checkups only occurred annually and we never paid for additional testing or antibiotics. Having such limited access to healthcare proved to be fatal. My grandmother went to her doctor to get the annual mammogram covered by her insurance. The results came back normal. But a short two months later, breast cancer began developing unbeknownst to her. By the time her next annual mammogram came along ten months later, her cancer had already developed to Stage 4. She was given six months to live. At the age of ten, the existence of a healthcare system was thrust upon me at the expense of my grandmother’s life. I was forced to consider the influence of medical insurance and policy in her death. Mortality rates for breast cancer are highest for Black women. Insurance companies know this, so why were more mammograms not covered for her? Practitioners know this, so why were additional checkups not suggested as a precaution? If either of these things had occurred, how much more life could my grandmother have lived? As a committed freshman at Boston College, I will double major in Political Science and Public Health, with plans to apply the knowledge learned in my courses to a career as a medical lawyer. I want to open my own firm in a primarily Black community such as the one I grew up in so that I can offer affordable services to marginalized and underserved groups such as people of color. Such services include health literacy courses and patient defense in medical malpractice cases. It is incredibly important that we work to increase racial diversity in healthcare, as research shows correlations between race and increased risk of certain diseases. For example, Black women are at much higher risk for maternal mortality than white women. Such racial disparities in health are not only caused by disproportionate poverty levels among White communities and minority communities but are also further escalated by the existence of implicit bias within the health industry in which people of color may be recipients of lower-quality health care. Increasing racial diversity in healthcare is imperative to ensuring that quality healthcare is equally accessible and affordable to all. Through such measures, we can continue the work of eliminating the existence of systemic racism and establish longer, healthier, and ultimately happier lifestyles.
    Rev. Herman A. Martin Memorial Scholarship
    My parents have always been my greatest example of people making a positive impact on the world. When I was just one year old, my parents felt called to do ministry in a small town in Mississippi. Soon after moving, my parents founded a small church but wanted to be even further involved in the community. They founded The Exodus Project, which was a mentorship program that sought to expand the horizons of junior high and high school students past living in their small hometown after graduation as their parents and their grandparents had done. My parents spent countless hours contacting donors and planning fundraisers to send these kids on week-long trips in which they could explore new places. For some, it was their first time leaving the small town of Kosciusko. Others spent their first nights in a hotel or experienced their first plane ride on these trips. As a kid, I shared many of these firsts with them. But the first I will never forget was my first time on a college campus. Beyond the youthful chaos and the grandeur, what really stuck with me was the library. The shelves seemed to stretch for miles, each spine a different color, with a different story. At that moment I vowed that I would do whatever it took to get into my dream college and read every book on every shelf of that library. After going back to Kosciusko, I could feel my ambition fading. Back home, I was once again surrounded by people who were satisfied with staying in our town of seven thousand forever. Our community was very poor and it became more evident over time. Crime increased, and my parents began receiving frequent phone calls in the middle of the night from neighbors and church members asking for money, even though we had no money to give. The five of us were living on a single teacher’s salary and were receiving government aid. As the harassment increased and shots sounded closer and closer to our home, my parents knew we needed to move. This move was the biggest culture shock of my life. Kosciusko had a largely Black population, but in Arkansas, I was the only African-American person in my classes. I suddenly felt I had the responsibility to outperform my classmates academically, as I was one of the few representations of a Black person in the school. As I continued on my academically rigorous path, I never forgot my family who sacrificed so much to give me the gift of education or those teenagers back in Kosciusko, some of whom would never get to go to college despite being qualified, because of their financial struggles. As a political science and public health double major at Boston College, I intend to gain the knowledge necessary to give back to the community from which I came. Health is incredibly important, but oftentimes can be incredibly expensive to look after. In my hometown, it was common to eat processed foods as healthier alternatives were often unaffordable. I believe this led to an increase in diseases in the area such as diabetes and high blood pressure. With my degrees, I would like to eventually become a medical lawyer and open a law firm through which I would offer affordable and accessible services to marginalized and underserved communities. I hope to be able to defend plaintiffs in medical malpractice classes and offer free courses in health literacy and choosing the best medical insurance policy.
    Lotus Scholarship
    My parents have always been my greatest example of people making a positive impact in the world. They founded The Exodus Project, which was a mentorship program that sought to expand the horizons of junior high and high school students past living in their small hometown after graduation as their parents and their grandparents had done. They couldn’t personally fund these initiatives, but instead spent countless hours contacting donors and planning fundraisers to send these kids on week-long trips in which they could explore new places. For some, it was their first time leaving the small town of Kosciusko. Others spent their first nights in a hotel or experienced their first plane ride on these trips. As a kid, I shared many of these firsts with them. But the first I will never forget was my first time on a college campus. Beyond the youthful chaos and the grandeur, what really stuck with me was the library. The shelves seemed to stretch for miles, each spine a different color, with a different story. At that moment I vowed that I would do whatever it took to get into my dream college and read every book on every shelf of that library. After going back to Kosciusko, I could feel my ambition fading. With newfound awareness, I realized pursuing higher education might not be obtainable. I had never registered that we were living in poverty because everyone around us lived the same way. Our community was very poor and it became more evident over time. Crime increased, and my parents began receiving frequent phone calls in the middle of the night from neighbors and church members asking for money, even though we had no money to give. The five of us were living on a single teacher’s salary and were receiving government aid. As the harassment increased and shots sounded closer and closer to our home, my parents knew we needed to move. This move was the biggest culture shock of my life. Kosciusko had a largely Black population, but in Arkansas, I was the only African-American person in my classes. I suddenly felt I had the responsibility to outperform my classmates academically, as I was one of the few representations of a Black person in the school. As I continued on my academically rigorous path, I never forgot my family who sacrificed so much to give me the gift of education or those teenagers back in Kosciusko, some of whom would never get to go to college despite being qualified, because of their financial struggles. As a political science and public health double major at Boston College, I intend to gain the knowledge necessary to make a positive impact on the community from which I came. Health is incredibly important, but oftentimes can be incredibly expensive to look after. In my hometown, it was common to eat processed foods as healthier alternatives were often unaffordable. I believe this led to an increase in diseases in the area such as diabetes and high blood pressure. With my degrees, I would like to eventually become a medical lawyer and open a law firm through which I would offer affordable and accessible services to marginalized and underserved communities. I hope to be able to defend plaintiffs in medical malpractice classes and offer free courses in health literacy and choosing the best medical insurance policy.
    She Rose in STEAM Scholarship
    I found that my grandmother went to the doctor and received the annual mammogram covered by her insurance, and the results came back normal. So she carried on work at the hair shop as normal. It is speculated that two months after her health checkup, she began to develop breast cancer. When she went back for her next annual health checkup and mammogram, the cancer had already progressed to Stage 4. She was given six months to live. Learning about the circumstances of her death piqued my interest in medical insurance and policy. Her cancer could have been more sufficiently treated, and perhaps could have even reached a point of undetectability, if she had been aware of its existence during the ten months in which it developed and spread throughout her body. Even more so, if her insurance had covered more mammograms or if she had been informed of the benefits of additional health checkups, her death by cancer could have potentially been postponed or prevented altogether. As a Political Science and Public Health double major, I will become educated in the theoretical aspect of law and will also learn of its implications in reality. By gaining a holistic understanding of how laws are written and enforced, I will better be able to overcome legal obstacles if I choose to become a medical lawyer or a legislator. Furthermore, a degree in Public Health specifically would allow me to obtain knowledge about health standards in America and national health procedure when it comes to states of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing the federal process for preserving national health will allow me to create realistic and specific goals of changes that need to be made to improve healthcare. I plan to use my degrees to become a medical lawyer or legislator and offer affordable medical legal aid and defense to marginalized and underserved communities such as the queer community, BIPOC individuals, and those that identify as low-income. Lots of insurance policies do not cover medical services and treatments that may be necessary for their Black clientele. Research shows that Black women are more likely to die from pregnancy, breast cancer, and high blood pressure than other demographics, yet insurance companies seldom cover prevention care for such developments as they lose money by doing so. Similarly, procedures such as hormone therapy, facial reconstruction surgery, and gender-reassignment surgery are almost never paid for by insurance and preexisting laws seek to limit accessibility of these procedures to trans and otherwise gender-nonconforming groups. Though such services may not be deemed as a physical necessity to the government, violence and other forms of discrimination against these communities serves as proof of the importance of these treatments being able to be easily accessed. Being able to “pass” as the desired gender may be what keeps that individual from facing physical and mental harm due to their sexuality. I want to use my degree to find a solution that would allow communities to have access to the medical treatments they deem necessary while making sure insurance companies are still able to generate revenue and that such offers are not taken advantage of by consumers. I want to rewrite policy and help rewrite people’s futures.