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Paulima Branch

1275

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

My passion is to pursue a career in the medical field where I can be able to help people every day. I like knowing that I can make a positive change in someone's life and I know I can achieve this through medicine. I am a great candidate because I know whatever field or specialty I pursue, I will be making people smile every day. I am a determined and motivated person who can see the end goal of all my hard labor. Perseverance is something I never lose because I believe in the saying, "Just because something is hard doesn't mean it's impossible". Coming from a low to middle-class community where I have seen people suffer from mental illness, poverty, and crimes I know that once I make it in this world I want to give back to my community and try to prevent younger people from seeing what I had to see my people go through. In addition, I am determined to help the other side of my family in Antigua. It is located in the Caribbean and doesn't have the best healthcare compared to the United States. My aunt from Antigua suffered from cancer because the hospitals were unable to defeat the cancer nor slow down the cancer cell's aggression. She attempted to come to the United States for treatment but her country didn't allow her to causing her to pass a couple of months later. Knowing that she could have still been alive if she had received advanced medical technology and staff breaks my heart to this day. This pushes me to succeed in my career so I can improve Antigua's hospitals or build a practice of my own, helping as many people as I can.

Education

Cardinal Spellman High School

High School
2020 - 2024

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Health/Medical Preparatory Programs
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Medical Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      Nurse Practitioner

      Arts

      • The STEP Team (Cardinal Spellman Highschool)

        Dance
        2021 – Present

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Cardinal Spellman Highschool — I held a banner to represent Cardinal Spellman Highschool during an Irish parade event. I marched all the way down to the end of the street.
        2023 – 2023
      • Volunteering

        HOPE Community Services — Preparer and Server
        2023 – 2023

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Philanthropy

      Entrepreneurship

      William Griggs Memorial Scholarship for Science and Math
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented. Following this mentality, I plan to return to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      Career Test Scholarship
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” This was a question that at least one person from school would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. Hearing things like “Why do you sound or act white?” made me feel like I wasn’t “black” enough. There was pressure to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black means. Was it that I had to “act” ghetto and listen to rap music about gangs, money, and crime? Why did it seem like my culture was engulfed in only negative things? Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Feeling disconnected from my culture, I planned to join the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture. The activity piqued my interest, and I had prior knowledge of it beforehand. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to lead my team while also being myself. There were opportunities for me to support my team in times of struggle. My team members looked up to me for guidance and strength. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and were very similar to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge me based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about a multitude of things. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences revealed that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Following this positive mindset about myself and my people, I plan to pursue an education in nursing to become a nurse practitioner. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. This scholarship will help me to be the person who is there for my people and provides the best healthcare possible. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. It will also help me achieve my goals of making sure no one gets left behind and reminding others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.
      Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” This was a question that at least one person from school would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. Hearing things like “Why do you sound or act white?” made me feel like I wasn’t “black” enough. There was pressure to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black means. Was it that I had to “act” ghetto and listen to rap music about gangs, money, and crime? Why did it seem like my culture was engulfed in only negative things? Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Feeling disconnected from my culture, I planned to join the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture. The activity piqued my interest, and I had prior knowledge of it beforehand. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to lead my team while also being myself. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and were very similar to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge me based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about a multitude of things. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences revealed that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Following this positive mindset about myself and my people, I plan to pursue an education in nursing to become a nurse practitioner. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. This scholarship will help me to be the person who is there for my people and provides the best healthcare possible. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. It will also help me achieve my goals of making sure no one gets left behind and reminding others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.
      #AuthenticallyYOU Scholarship
      I sit back and watch as the people in front of me converse. It is as if I'm watching a movie unfold and I'm just the viewer. I always remember my presence in a social setting being like an outsider looking in. Imagine being the “third wheel” in almost every social situation. Whenever the spotlight was on me, I never knew what to say. It was like I was now the main character who forgot all their lines in the script. My personality always swayed towards the more introverted side. This made people have the impression that I was “gullible”, “too nice” or needed to be protected from something. I felt like people underestimated my ability to branch out of my comfort zone. I was tired of being ignored or the “side character.” Wanting to break free from the constricting label put on me by others, I took on a leadership role where I explored another side of me that I didn't know I possessed. Through hours of practicing and dedication, I became the captain of the Step Team. I now had a chance to lead people. I choreographed my steps and taught multiple people who looked up to me. People had new expectations of me where I would have to lead the chants, steps, performances, and conversations. There were opportunities for me to stick up for my team and introduce my team to collaborations with the choir and dance team. I was more involved and included with my peers and I rarely had moments where I didn’t know what to say. These experiences put me right in the middle of multiple conversations where my input was required and looked for. There was no excuse for me to be just a viewer anymore. I did it. I was able to achieve a life where I could still be introverted but also be more involved in social situations. I no longer was the outsider looking in, I was now a part of the main cast. What it means to be authentically myself is to know that it is possible to excel at multiple things that don't fit under one personality. I can adapt to diverse situations and assess how to act and perform to the best of my ability. It is fine to be timid but also to go all out on stage in front of thousands of students. One characteristic cannot define you. Instead of letting that characteristic stop you, allow it to take you even further into new opportunities. I can be introverted and social at the same time without feeling drained or left behind. These experiences have improved my confidence, management skills, and leadership making me the person I am today. Gathering these moments alongside my passion to remind people that they are heard, I want to pursue a nursing education until I become a nurse practitioner. I’ll be able to support people at their worst who might feel like they are invisible. My patients would know that they are important and that their health is the main priority. I want my patients to know that they are seen, their problems matter, and they don’t have to be afraid to speak their minds. There is a saying that a closed mouth doesn’t get fed and I believe it stands true for anyone from wanting to be more socially accepted to people who wish to receive the best healthcare. My patients should feel open to telling me anything and know they are special too.
      Maxwell Tuan Nguyen Memorial Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for reminding people that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented, especially in medicine where its important to see representation. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      Tanya C. Harper Memorial SAR Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      Eleven Scholarship
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” Growing up in the Bronx, this was a question that at least one person would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. There was this harsh expectation to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black means. Was it that I had to "act ghetto" and listen to rap music about gangbanging, money, and crime? There was pressure to act a certain way so that you could fit in but I couldn't seem to grasp the idea, leaving me to feel isolated. Compared to other neighborhoods where their streets were clean, mine were dirty and filled with people sleeping on carboards or begging for money. Rarely feeling safe to walk the streets alone, hanging out with friends outside seemed like a special occasion. Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people and my home. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Feeling disconnected from this false narrative of my culture, I joined the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture, and later on became Captain. There were hours of practice,multiple moments of being out of breath, and a rush of adrenaline. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to "turn it up to 11" by leading my team while being myself. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and had similar experiences to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge me based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about almost anything. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences taught me that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Following this positive mindset about myself and my people, I learned that I want to pursue an education in nursing until I become a nurse practitioner. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. I will make sure no one gets left behind and remind others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.
      Ojeda Multi-County Youth Scholarship
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” Growing up in the Bronx, this was a question that at least one person would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. Hearing things like “Why do you sound or act white?” made me feel like I wasn’t “black” enough. There was pressure to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black means. Was it that I had to "act ghetto" and listen to rap music about gangbanging, money, and crime? There was pressure to act a certain way so that you could fit in but I couldn't seem to grasp the idea, leaving me to feel isolated. Why did it seem like my culture was engulfed only by negative things such as poverty and crime? Compared to other neighborhoods where their streets were clean, mine were dirty and filled with people sleeping on carboards or begging for money. Rarely feeling safe to walk the streets alone, hanging out with friends outside seemed like a "once in a blue moon" occasion. Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people and my home. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Feeling disconnected from this false narrative of my culture, I joined the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture, and later on became Captain. The activity piqued my interest, and I had prior knowledge of it beforehand. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to lead my team while also being myself. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and had similar experiences to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge me based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about almost anything. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences revealed that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Following this positive mindset about myself and my people, I plan to pursue an education in nursing so that I can become a nurse practitioner. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. This scholarship will help me to be the person who is there for my people and provides the best healthcare possible. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. It will also help me achieve my goals of making sure no one gets left behind and reminding others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.
      Dashanna K. McNeil Memorial Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      Zamora Borose Goodwill Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      Margalie Jean-Baptiste Scholarship
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” This was a question that at least one person from school would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. Hearing things like “Why do you sound or act white?” made me feel like I wasn’t “black” enough. There was pressure to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black really means. Was it that I had to “act” ghetto and listen to rap music about gangbanging, money, and crime? Why did it seem like my culture was engulfed only by negative things? Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Feeling disconnected from my culture, I planned to join the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture. The activity piqued my interest, and I had prior knowledge of it beforehand. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to lead my team while also being myself. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and were very similar to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge me based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about a multitude of things. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences revealed that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Following this positive mindset about myself and my people, I plan to pursue an education in nursing so that I can become a nurse practitioner. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. This scholarship will help me to be the person who is there for my people so that they are receiving the best healthcare possible. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. It will also help me achieve my goals of making sure no one gets left behind and reminding others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.
      Onward and Upward Scholarship
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” This was a question that at least one person from school would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. Hearing things like “Why do you sound or act white?” made me feel like I wasn’t “black” enough. There was pressure to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black really means. Was it that I had to “act” ghetto and listen to rap music about gangbanging, money, and crime? Why did it seem like my culture was engulfed only by negative things? Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Feeling disconnected from my culture, I planned to join the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture. The activity piqued my interest, and I had prior knowledge of it beforehand. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to lead my team while also being myself. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and were very similar to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge me based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about a multitude of things. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences revealed that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Following this positive mindset about myself and my people, I plan to pursue an education in nursing so that I can become a nurse practitioner. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. This scholarship will help me to be the person who is there for my people so that they are receiving the best healthcare possible. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. It will also help me achieve my goals of making sure no one gets left behind and reminding others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.
      Concrete Rose Scholarship Award
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” This was a question that at least one person from school would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. Hearing things like “Why do you sound or act white?” made me feel like I wasn’t “black” enough. There was pressure to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black really means. Was it that I had to “act” ghetto and listen to rap music about gangbanging, money, and crime? Why did it seem like my culture was engulfed only by negative things? Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Feeling disconnected from my culture, I planned to join the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture. The activity piqued my interest, and I had prior knowledge of it beforehand. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to lead my team while also being myself. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and were very similar to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge me based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about a multitude of things. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences revealed that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Following this positive mindset about myself and my people, I plan to pursue an education in nursing so that I can become a nurse practitioner. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. This scholarship will help me to be the person who is there for my people so that they are receiving the best healthcare possible. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. It will also help me achieve my goals of making sure no one gets left behind and reminding others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.
      Norman C. Nelson IV Memorial Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      Etherine Tansimore Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture can continue to flourish.
      Simon Strong Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I would advise people to push for their communities to be heard and to not allow them to be overlooked. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      MedLuxe Representation Matters Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      HM Family Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      Ubuntu Scholarship
      Winner
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” This was a question that at least one person from school would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. Hearing things like “Why do you sound or act white?” made me feel like I wasn’t “black” enough. There was pressure to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black really means. Was it that I had to “act” ghetto and listen to rap music about gangbanging, money, and crime? Why did it seem like my culture was engulfed only by negative things? Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Feeling disconnected from my culture, I planned to join the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture. The activity piqued my interest, and I had prior knowledge of it beforehand. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to lead my team while also being myself. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and were very similar to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge me based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about a multitude of things. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences revealed that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for helping the unheard, I plan to earn my bachelor's degree in nursing. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. This scholarship will help me to be the person who is there for my people so that they are receiving the best healthcare possible. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. It will also help me achieve my goals of making sure no one gets left behind and reminding others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.
      Lindsey Vonn ‘GREAT Starts With GRIT’ Scholarship
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” This was a question that at least one person from school would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. Hearing things like “Why do you sound or act white?” made me feel like I wasn’t “black” enough. There was pressure to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black really means. Was it that I had to “act” ghetto and listen to rap music about gangbanging, money, and crime? Why did it seem like my culture was engulfed only by negative things? Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people and shaped my mindset going forward. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Still feeling disconnected from my culture, I planned to join the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture. The activity piqued my interest, and I had prior knowledge of it beforehand. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to lead my team while also being myself. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and were very similar to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge me based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about a multitude of things. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences revealed that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Following this positive mindset about myself and my people, I plan to pursue an education in nursing so that I can become a nurse practitioner. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. This scholarship will help me to be the person who is there for my people so that they are receiving the best healthcare possible. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. It will also help me achieve my goals of making sure no one gets left behind and reminding others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.
      Maureen C. Pace Memorial Nursing Scholarship
      “Hi, what's your name?” asked a person I met at my friend’s birthday party. I answered, “Paulima, it's nice to meet you!” They stated, “Oh that must be a Caribbean name.” I agreed with them and said that part of my family is from Antigua. As soon as I said this, I could see the confusion on their face as if I named some “out-of-this-world” planet or an imaginary place. “Antigua?” they asked, while I tried to devise the best way to explain an island many don't know about. “You know it's a small island located in the heart of the Caribbean.” Still clueless, they said “Oh.. never heard of it” and started to speak with someone else. There have been many other occurrences where I would either have to pull out my phone and show people where Antigua was. It still felt like my family’s culture was non-existent in the United States. Seeing how so many people had no idea about Antigua made me feel like I'm in this constant cycle of proving my ancestry exists. It shed light on how little my people are represented. Compared to other Caribbean countries that are easily recognizable, mine seems to disappear in the background. I decided to overcome this and show people the beauties of Antigua and its people. In sophomore year I joined the step team and at the end of that year, I became captain of the team. Now in charge of performances and choreography, I implemented Antiguan and other Caribbean cultures into our shows. One memorable performance we had was when I held up the Antiguan flag in front of the audience. The rich black color represents African ancestry; the calming blue defines hope; the bright yellow indicates the beautiful sunrise; and the vibrant red reflects Antiguans' high-spirited energy and lifestyle. I could see people's faces light up as they saw their country being shown. It was a small group but it meant a lot to me because they matter just as much as anyone else. I joined the Caribbean club, bringing an Antiguan perspective to discussions. My grandpa, an Antiguan immigrant, smiled proudly at how I represented his homeland. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for letting people know that they are heard and not forgotten, I want to pursue a nursing education. I’ll be able to help people at their worst who might feel lost or invisible. They will know they are not from another world or an unknown country. I want my patients to know that they don't have to prove their origins to anyone who doesn't know where they’re from. My patients will know that they are never alone, that I see them, and that they are receiving the best care possible. I can’t wait to get to know my patients and learn about their culture. I believe no one should live a life where they feel that themselves or their people are unrepresented. Following this mentality, I plan to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner. I want my people back home in Antigua to know they're not forgotten either. That's why I aim to open a practice in Antigua or continuously provide funds to improve their healthcare systems. Antigua is a small country that doesn’t have the best medical technology compared to America. My great aunt sadly passed away from cancer because the hospitals in Antigua couldn’t stop the internal bleeding coming from the disease. I strive to improve Antigua’s healthcare so that its unique, talented, and inspiring culture continues to flourish.
      Kayla Nicole Monk Memorial Scholarship
      “Why do you talk like a white person?” This was a question that at least one person from school would ask me. I never knew how to answer it because what did that even mean? Throughout school, I always prioritized my academics, which seems to affect the way I speak and act. Hearing things like “Why do you sound or act white?” made me feel like I wasn’t “black” enough. There was pressure to try to prove to people who I was. Other times, people couldn’t believe that I was “just black.” I had to be mixed with something else because of my skin tone and how long my hair was. I remember one time when I straightened my hair, almost everyone was shocked that my hair wasn’t short. These experiences made me question what being black really means. Was it that I had to “act” ghetto and listen to rap music about gangbanging, money, and crime? Why did it seem like my culture was engulfed only by negative things? Being the “non-stereotypical” black girl opened my eyes to how society views my people. Realizing this pushed me to further explore the meaning behind my race. Feeling disconnected from my culture, I planned to join the Step Team my sophomore year, a form of art originating from black culture. The activity piqued my interest, and I had prior knowledge of it beforehand. Being part of the Step Team, I was immediately accepted for just being the person I am. I didn’t have to change myself to fit a stereotypical label. I was able to lead my team while also being myself. I met many other black figures who accomplished many things in their lives and were very similar to me. People saw me for me and didn’t prejudge based on the color of my skin. They saw me as a funny, sweet, and caring person who enjoys talking about a multitude of things. The way I acted and spoke was praised by the people around me instead of being viewed as only a “white” characteristic. I felt more included and more connected with my black roots. These experiences revealed that being black is not a monolith and that many different black people surround me each day. There are positive aspects of black culture where our people are talented, smart, leaders, role models, specialists, innovators, and so much more. Gathering these moments alongside my passion for helping the unheard, I plan to pursue an education in nursing so that I can become a nurse practitioner. After seeing the diversity my people possess, I noticed that many of my people still face being overlooked in the health field. Black women especially face misguided treatment in the medical field because some healthcare workers don't value black women's health concerns compared to other races. This scholarship will help me to be the person who is there for my people so that they are receiving the best healthcare possible. They should not be overshadowed or suffering alone. It will also help me achieve my goals of making sure no one gets left behind and reminding others that they are special too. I want to be a role model for others and show younger generations, who might have felt isolated like me, that there are people who look like them pursuing this amazing career. My people and I shouldn't have to limit ourselves to society's perception of us.