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Selena Chen

1085

Bold Points

3x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Hello! My name is Selena and I am currently an undergraduate student at UMass Amherst studying Biology. My goal is to attend med school and become a doctor. While I love learning/school, outside of school I also enjoy gardening, cooking, going to the gym and reading. I love to volunteer as well and help people in need! I would describe myself as compassionate and caring towards everyone.

Education

Quincy College

Technical bootcamp
2024 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Practical Nursing, Vocational Nursing and Nursing Assistants

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2027
  • Majors:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other

Braintree High School

High School
2019 - 2023

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Medicine

    • Dream career goals:

    • Basic Life Support Certified (BLS)

      American Heart Association
      2024 – Present6 months
    • Certified Nursing Assistant (Clinical Experience)

      South Cove Manor at Quincy Point Rehabilitation Center
      2024 – 2024
    • Hostess

      New China Pacific Restaurant
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Volunteer

      Braintree Food Pantry
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Merchandise Associate

      Marshalls
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Barista

      Starbucks
      2022 – 20231 year

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Grace Church — Packing bags with essentials/goods for families in need
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Key Club — Member
      2019 – 2022

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Dr. Alexanderia K. Lane Memorial Scholarship
    We co-exist in a world filled with over 7 billion people of diverse backgrounds. But the world is actually smaller than it actually is. One good deed stands out in a person's day and it can motivate them to replicate the positivity. Helping others can be meaningful to both the person who initiated this encounter and those receiving it. Everyone is somehow connected and by expressing a more positive atmosphere in our little communities we are actively helping the entire world. It is important to help others because it can improve our lives mentally, socially and spiritually. I believe that everything that is meant to happen happens for a reason, a small encounter with someone can actually be the difference in a good or bad day for them. My mother always taught me that you never know what someone is going through and I always found that to be true. Devoting a small part of your day to assist others in need gives our lives meaning. Society cannot function without the kindness of others. Our impact on others is more than just one person because they impact someone else and that person impacts many more and the pattern continues. One of those people could actively change the world. In the situation of famous activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for her campaign for female education; she was given funds for her medical care by Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari. Thanks to President Zardari’s aid and support, she is able to further fight for women’s education rights and currently has a fundraiser to help give women the opportunity for their education. The importance of helping others can be more than what it seems, we uplift each other, and thousands of lives can be impacted. In the case of Malala she has been given the ability to actively and successfully fight for equality and battle against terrorism. There is no cons to assisting those around us and it is able to be the change. If everybody in the world had the mindset that others would help so they did not need to participate then there would be no change. The world revolves around members of communities socializing and sharing their experiences, ideas, stories and ultimately their understandings. We as a society cannot functions without a good relationship with each other because we need to be able to communicate as humans. Ultimately, the importance of helping others rely’s on one another and without our interference there would not be a world to live in.
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    The melodies from violins, trumpets and flutes infiltrated my ears sending a chill down my spine. I looked into a crowd of parents, I was frozen like a mannequin. My classmates all chanted the lyrics of “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey as I stood there frozen in fear. Beads of sweat gathered in the folds on my palm and I clenched my fists in nervous anticipation. I always hated the idea of being watched like a doll trapped inside a display case. Teachers, friends, and family would say “It’s not that bad” or “You can do it” but it was that bad. Those elementary school concerts dissolved into speeches and presentations in highschool. For some this was a breeze and nothing more than a timely assignment. But for me, this was nerve wracking, the end of the world. My struggle with anxiety hasn’t always been recognized for what it was. Many adults and other kids would play it off as stage fright but it was more than that. The static tremble of my voice as I spoke out loud in a room full of people was like one of those old timey cartoons where an audience would laugh and point at the foolish clown before them, who tried to impress them to no avail. My first panic attack happened in 9th grade in Biology class, I remember the rapidly thumping increasing in my chest. I felt like I was going to explode, I couldn’t-not in front of all these people. The truth was that everyone hides behind a mask. What I didn’t know then was that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. My biggest accomplishment was the decision to conquer my battles against anxiety. The next day I was walking to class and I heard a delicate voice behind me say “Hey, do you want to walk to class with me?”. What I didn’t know was that she would turn out to be one of my best friends to this day. I would soon find out that she also struggled with anxiety. This taught me an important lesson, it was that everyone around me also had their demons. This was an awakening because I realized that I wasn’t the only person scared. So was everyone else. From that day forward I decided I was going to fight back, but it was going to take time. I rode the bus home that day and compiled a list of steps. Raise your hand in class Speak to your peers Volunteer to speak in class These steps would help me feel in control of the situation because I was in control. Being in control of the situation aided me in developing a more trusting attitude towards myself and the people around me. Months flew by and covid hit but this didn’t stop me from spreading my wings. I participated in all my online classes and got better at communicating. Today, I regularly discuss with those around me and I confidently speak in front of a crowd. Being totally transparent, I am not 100% “cured” of anxiety, there’s still that little voice in my head telling myself that I’m not enough and I still have a long way to go. My hopes for the future are to continue working towards a healthier mindset and develop more trust in myself. I also wish to educate others about being in tune with their struggles. My career goal is to become a Doctor and provide care to those around me with my insight and experiences. While the decision to find trust in myself to alleviate the feelings of guilt, frustration and self-doubt was hard, it is one of my greatest accomplishments to this day.
    Barbara J. DeVaney Memorial Scholarship Fund
    Growing up I was always the shy quiet kid in the back of her class who did not raise her hand or talk. This made me seemingly invisible to others but I found that this made me a better listener and empathetic to people and their needs. I somehow knew everyone's favorite snacks and what they like to do during recess. But I was always too afraid to speak because kids were like rabid raccoons ready to nibble at all your flaws. English was not my first language, in fact it was my second language and I learned to speak it in school. My mother did not know how to speak it until she attended expensive English classes. From my own personal experience I understand that for many who do not speak English or are new to a foreign country such as the United States have trouble trusting someone who doesn’t really understand them. My Grandma immigrated to the United States after my Mother moved here to start a better life for her future kids. After she moved here she found it hard to comprehend what was happening regarding her care and oftentimes skipped necessary appointments because she would not be able to understand “anyways”. However, this can create barriers for people who need vital services such as accessing healthcare professionals. It can be hard to express concerns to those who seemingly are alienated from your world. My goal is to become a doctor one day and provide attentive care for everyone in need. I was inspired to be a doctor due to my sister having had cancer and my Aunt Lily who sadly passed away from breast cancer my junior year of highschool. I am also a first generation student and I can speak Cantonese and Taishanese which is a Chinese dialect found in the region of Taishan. I believe that my background will allow me to better connect with and gain the trust of patients who may be apprehensive to share important information regarding their health. Achieving a medical degree will allow me to facilitate a better relationship between physicians and their patients. It will pave a path to clearing the air involving the stigma associated with doctors and “medical gaslighting”, a term used to describe when a doctor brushes off a patient’s legitimate concerns. My hopes are to create a more inclusive, diverse, and caring community and environment for those around me.
    Barbie Dream House Scholarship
    Salt air and waves that run wild against the pearly white sand that shines bright against the sun. I imagine a dimmed white cozy ocean-front home on the east coast and a garden filled with lively periwinkle hydrangeas. My home would represent the wondrous summers of New England. The four car garage located on the rear side would sustain friend and family. My “Barbie” dream house would consist of a large house for my family and I to spend time together. A place where everyone could break free from their worries and relax. A raised infinity pool located in the yard would spill fresh water into the salty waters located underneath. Home is a place where family is, and I want my dream home to be welcoming to all. Inside I would have six bedrooms each with their own bathrooms. A passion of mine is to cook, so I would also have an expansive island table with a sink in the middle. Food brings people together and a large kitchen can bring them together. I also imagine many pictures on the wall, illustrating the pieces of memory’s together. Near the pool would be a great oak with a swing and hammock perfect for reading in the shade. An outdoor kitchen for cookouts and family meals in the warm breeze. Down the road many shops nestled together waiting in anticipation for guests. Lastly a lively restaurant the whole town gathered to celebrate every occasion.
    Catrina Celestine Aquilino Memorial Scholarship
    Growing up I was always the shy quiet kid in the back of her class who did not raise her hand or talk. This made me seemingly invisible to others but I found that this made me a better listener and empathetic to people and their needs. I somehow knew everyone's favorite snacks and what they like to do during recess. But I was always too afraid to speak because kids were like rabid raccoons ready to nibble at all your flaws. English was not my first language, in fact it was my second language and I learned to speak it in school. My mother did not know how to speak it until she attended expensive English classes. From my own personal experience I understand that for many who do not speak English or are new to a foreign country such as the United States have trouble trusting someone who doesn’t really understand them. My Grandma immigrated to the United States after my Mother moved here to start a better life for her future kids. After she moved here she found it hard to comprehend what was happening regarding her care and oftentimes skipped necessary appointments because she would not be able to understand “anyways”. However, this can create barriers for people who need vital services such as accessing healthcare professionals. It can be hard to express concerns to those who seemingly are alienated from your world. My goal is to become a doctor one day and provide attentive care for everyone in need. I was inspired to be a doctor due to my sister having had cancer and my Aunt Lily who sadly passed away from breast cancer my junior year of highschool. I am also a first generation student and I can speak Cantonese and Taishanese which is a Chinese dialect found in the region of Taishan. I believe that my background will allow me to better connect with and gain the trust of patients who may be apprehensive to share important information regarding their health. Achieving a medical degree will allow me to facilitate a better relationship between physicians and their patients. It will pave a path to clearing the air involving the stigma associated with doctors and “medical gaslighting”, a term used to describe when a doctor brushes off a patient’s legitimate concerns. My hopes are to create a more inclusive, diverse, and caring community and environment for those around me.
    Maxwell Tuan Nguyen Memorial Scholarship
    Around 5.5 percent of the world population has or have had cancer, that number seems puny compared to the 94.5 percent that does not have cancer. However, 100 percent of the 5.5 percent that is diagnosed has their world shattered after the discovery. I am well aware of this due to my personal experience with both my sister and my aunt having cancer. Growing up I was told that my sister had an “egg” in her belly, which in reality would be a neuroblastoma tumor. I was too little to understand the gravity of cancer and this was my parents' way of protecting me from the reality that my sister was sick. Before I knew it she was all better and now that I am older I understand that this was thanks to technological advancement in treatments for cancer such as radiation and surgery. But, not all treatments can be successful. Such as the course of treatment involving my Aunt Lily whom I adored and spent countless Christmas’ with her and my cousins. She was diagnosed with Stage 5 breast cancer after being rushed to the ER one evening. This was a shock to my entire family because she was such a joyful person. We had not been aware of the signs and symptoms and it was too late. A couple months later she passed away my junior year of high school. This was around the time that “we”, millions of other high school students and I were urged to begin thinking about future careers. Reflecting back on my experiences with healthcare professionals I remember the feeling of gratitude. I always knew I wanted to do work that had impactful outcomes and could change lives for the better and my experiences with cancer inspired me to become a doctor. I aspire to be able to help patients the way that countless health professionals helped my family, and I want to aid in furthering developments in treating cancer. Losing my Aunt was one of the hardest things that happened to me, but it also helped me recognize the lasting impact I could make on other people’s lives so they would not have to face the same pain that I felt. Being a doctor to me means more than just healing people, it’s about creating a positive environment for people. Often times individuals will not go see a doctor because they are afraid of being written off as dramatic or too paranoid. As a future healthcare provider I feel it is essential to listen to everyone and what they have to say because even the slightest details can be the most important. I hope to create a better healthcare system and experience for our future generations.
    Kim Moon Bae Underrepresented Students Scholarship
    As a result of being a first generation Asian American and the first in my family to go to college; I am familiar with the struggles involved with a language barrier all too well. Most of my teachers would say that if you did not understand anything you should ask your parents, for me that was not the case. Sitting lonesome in my room with a lack of understanding of what I was learning has motivated me to provide my future kids with something I never got. Although I have a 3.8 GPA and maintain an honor roll, I excel outside of school as well. In Chinese culture we have been taught to eat the last bite of rice because somebody else out there in the world does not have that opportunity. This has inspired me to give back to those who are less fortunate by taking part in extracurriculars such as Key Club, Interact Club, and volunteer work at my local food pantry. Oftentimes the little things that we take for granted do not even occur to use. Packing bags of basic necessities for the food pantry has allowed me to recognize that I take so much for granted. Others out there had to rely on the goodness of other people to get things such as toilet paper. While I was fuming about my classmates who received the new furby for christmas and I didn’t, some kids out there were grateful for 3 meals a day. Growing up despite the little money my parents made it was all funneled towards my sister and I. We wore shiny new clothes while my dad kept his old sullen shirt with a hole in the bottom. They never once asked for anything from my sister and I other than working hard in school. I want to make my parents proud and put a smile on their faces by giving back what they gave me and more. I will be the first person in my family to graduate college at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and hopefully earn a medical degree. In the future, I will continue to give back through volunteer work and I would like to develop an organization that would allow low income individuals to seek healthcare without insurance and questions asked. Many people refuse to ask for help out of embarrassment or because they are too proud. But it leads to more people getting sicker and I want to prevent that as a future healthcare provider. Doctors can be expensive and for some it is unaffordable. I want to lead the way for a new approach to tackling poverty or low-income households that involves equity in healthcare.
    Dr. Rajesh Aggarwal Scholarship for Scientific Studies
    Winner
    Currently more than 582,000 individuals are homeless and 37.9 million live in poverty in the United States. This leaves a variety of issues such as overcrowding, lack of housing, and higher rates of crime. However, the state of California has innovated a new approach towards reducing numbers of people who are living on the street. As per Governor Gavin Newsom who plans on funding $30 million dollars for 1,200 homes across California. Tiny homes have the ability to provide a sense of security and shelter for those who are so used to vulnerability. It reduces the rate of crime while also being better for the environment. On average there is a 45% decrease in carbon emissions from a tiny home. While homeless shelters currently exist, they do not provide a secluded environment that is necessary for mental health. Mental health and homelessness connect hand in hand with 45% of homeless people having or had mental illness. While they are tiny, these homes tackle big issues such as homelessness, crime, mental health and environmental problems all in one go. They save space due to their proximity and can also save lives. The average family of 4 lives in a 2,273 square foot house but with tiny houses 6-7 people can live in that space. Homeless shelters are a temporary solution to what is a very imminent problem for millions out there. Expanding the amount of tiny homes can facilitate a transition to a new permanent approach. Most governments push those who are homeless off the streets to other locations and “solve the problem”. But tiny homes are not just a solution, they are a transition to success. Weather is another factor that most people are not aware of. When it is scalding hot and 90 degrees outside, most people casually stroll into their air conditioned homes and relax. Not even pets such as cats and dogs can undergo such extremities. Those who are homeless do not have this luxury and many even die from heat exhaustion or hypothermia among other illnesses. People are hurt or worse lives are lost when it can all be prevented. Construction of these houses can actually save the government money from emergency room visits, legal costs from crimes, and using underutilized land. All of these issues can be prevented with the simple, effective and efficient solution of creating tiny houses. It provides a space for disadvantaged individuals to rehabilitate and build a better future for themselves and society as a whole.
    Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
    As a result of being a first generation Asian American and the first in my family to go to college; I am familiar with the struggles involved with a language barrier all too well. Most of my teachers would say that if you did not understand anything you should ask your parents, for me that was not the case. Sitting lonesome in my room with a lack of understanding of what I was learning has motivated me to provide my future kids with something I never got. Although I have a 3.8 GPA and maintain an honor roll, I excel outside of school as well. In Chinese culture we have been taught to eat the last bite of rice because somebody else out there in the world does not have that opportunity. This has inspired me to give back to those who are less fortunate by taking part in extracurriculars such as Key Club, Interact Club, and volunteer work at my local food pantry. Oftentimes the little things that we take for granted do not even occur to use. Packing bags of basic necessities for the food pantry has allowed me to recognize that I take so much for granted. Others out there had to rely on the goodness of other people to get things such as toilet paper. While I was fuming about my classmates who received the new furby for christmas and I didn’t, some kids out there were grateful for 3 meals a day. Growing up despite the little money my parents made it was all funneled towards my sister and I. We wore shiny new clothes while my dad kept his old sullen shirt with a hole in the bottom. They never once asked for anything from my sister and I other than working hard in school. I want to make my parents proud and put a smile on their faces by giving back what they gave me and more. I will be the first person in my family to graduate college at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and hopefully earn a medical degree. In the future, I will continue to give back through volunteer work and I would like to develop an organization that would allow low income individuals to seek healthcare without insurance and questions asked. Many people refuse to ask for help out of embarrassment or because they are too proud. But it leads to more people getting sicker and I want to prevent that as a future healthcare provider. Doctors can be expensive and for some it is unaffordable. I want to lead the way for a new approach to tackling poverty or low-income households that involves equity in healthcare.
    Corrick Family First-Gen Scholarship
    As a result of being a first generation Asian American and the first in my family to go to college; I am familiar with the struggles involved with a language barrier all too well. Most of my teachers would say that if you did not understand anything you should ask your parents, for me that was not the case. Sitting lonesome in my room with a lack of understanding of what I was learning has motivated me to provide my future kids with something I never got. Although I have a 3.8 GPA and maintain an honor roll, I excel outside of school as well. In Chinese culture we have been taught to eat the last bite of rice because somebody else out there in the world does not have that opportunity. This has inspired me to give back to those who are less fortunate by taking part in extracurriculars such as Key Club, Interact Club, and volunteer work at my local food pantry. Oftentimes the little things that we take for granted do not even occur to use. Packing bags of basic necessities for the food pantry has allowed me to recognize that I take so much for granted. Others out there had to rely on the goodness of other people to get things such as toilet paper. While I was fuming about my classmates who received the new furby for christmas and I didn’t, some kids out there were grateful for 3 meals a day. Growing up despite the little money my parents made it was all funneled towards my sister and I. We wore shiny new clothes while my dad kept his old sullen shirt with a hole in the bottom. They never once asked for anything from my sister and I other than working hard in school. I want to make my parents proud and put a smile on their faces by giving back what they gave me and more. I will be the first person in my family to graduate college at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and hopefully earn a medical degree. In the future, I will continue to give back through volunteer work and I would like to develop an organization that would allow low income individuals to seek healthcare without insurance and questions asked. Many people refuse to ask for help out of embarrassment or because they are too proud. But it leads to more people getting sicker and I want to prevent that as a future healthcare provider. Doctors can be expensive and for some it is unaffordable. I want to lead the way for a new approach to tackling poverty or low-income households that involves equity in healthcare.
    John F. Puffer, Sr. Smile Scholarship
    As a result of being a first generation Asian American and the first in my family to go to college; I am familiar with the struggles involved with a language barrier all too well. Most of my teachers would say that if you did not understand anything you should ask your parents, for me that was not the case. Sitting lonesome in my room with a lack of understanding of what I was learning has motivated me to provide my future kids with something I never got. Although I have a 3.8 GPA and maintain an honor roll, I excel outside of school as well. In Chinese culture we have been taught to eat the last bite of rice because somebody else out there in the world does not have that opportunity. This has inspired me to give back to those who are less fortunate by taking part in extracurriculars such as Key Club, Interact Club, and volunteer work at my local food pantry. Oftentimes the little things that we take for granted do not even occur to use. Packing bags of basic necessities for the food pantry has allowed me to recognize that I take so much for granted. Others out there had to rely on the goodness of other people to get things such as toilet paper. While I was fuming about my classmates who received the new furby for christmas and I didn’t, some kids out there were grateful for 3 meals a day. Growing up despite the little money my parents made it was all funneled towards my sister and I. We wore shiny new clothes while my dad kept his old sullen shirt with a hole in the bottom. They never once asked for anything from my sister and I other than working hard in school. I want to make my parents proud and put a smile on their faces by giving back what they gave me and more. I will be the first person in my family to graduate college at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and hopefully earn a medical degree. In the future, I will continue to give back through volunteer work and I would like to develop an organization that would allow low income individuals to seek healthcare without insurance and questions asked. Many people refuse to ask for help out of embarrassment or because they are too proud. But it leads to more people getting sicker and I want to prevent that as a future healthcare provider. Doctors can be expensive and for some it is unaffordable. I want to lead the way for a new approach to tackling poverty or low-income households that involves equity in healthcare.
    Taylor Swift ‘1989’ Fan Scholarship
    It was 11 p.m. at night just after a football game and I had 10 missed calls from my parents. The first time I heard the song ‘Wonderland’ was during a late night car ride with my friends. I remember feeling the energy and excitement come alive as we screamed our hearts out to it. Based on the name it would be safe to assume it could be correlated to the movie Alice in Wonderland. But it was so much more than just a movie. I have been a diehard Swiftie ever since I was nine, but if anyone asks it’s since day one. The lyrics reminded me of the complications of life and all the things could go wrong. The first lyric “Flashing lights” represented all of the things that could go wrong in life and we “fell down a rabbit hole”. I felt like this song resonated with the way I was feeling when I first got to high school. I had no friends and felt like I was in a “rabbit hole”, a dark hollow place with no exit but where you came. But this did not bring Taylor or me down, because “life was never worse but never better”. In the world of a teenage girl it is always survival mode, ever something as small as the sweater you wear can be the difference between life and death. Because when you are in high school the lights are on you. What you wear, what you eat, how you act…it ALL matters. However, ‘Wonderland’ taught me something different, that it was okay to fall into a rabbit hole. Life would go on and in the end it did not matter what I did in high school. Most people believe that high school defines the beginning of their life and it sort of does but it also does not. The drama in high school, frenemies and bullies don’t define you. Wonderland is supposed to be a magical place where there is no bad, but there’s always a Queen of Hearts who will throw a curveball at you. We have to be prepared to face whatever it is life throws at us because it could be ‘off with your heads’. A simple car ride past my curfew changed the way I saw everything, while my classmates were still focused on who was most popular “pretending it would last forever”; I had other plans.
    Harry D Thomson Memorial Scholarship
    My name is Selena and I am a high school senior looking to pursue medicine. From a young age I learned what financial hardship was like, my sister was born with cancer (neuroblastoma) which greatly impacted her and my family. This would be the beginning of the journey of my career goals. I was born to two immigrant parents that provided everything for me with what little money they had and I will utilize the money to help pay for my own college tuition and relieve them of that burden. Some skills I have developed in high school include teamwork, resilience, and determination. Collaborating with others and teamwork will help me develop closer connections with others around me and help me build a better future as an aspiring doctor and person. High school can be grueling and it is full of judgement but it is important to stand your ground, listening to anybody other than yourself can be the difference between right and wrong. Despite harsh criticism and judgment from others it is crucial to live your dreams. As I mentioned, I aspire to become a doctor and practice medicine. Altogether these various factors provide ground for more meaningful experiences with patients and their families. My understandings as a high school student is the beginning of a path to becoming a better healer. I still have a lot to learn about life and independence, but my skills also make me a better listener. I define independence as self-sacrifice and being reliant upon myself. All of these variables are the key to achieving what is my own career progression and not what others want. Thank you, and I hope to make a better change for the future!