For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Simisola Shabi

1575

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Being a first-generation immigrant student has taught me to be self-motivated, resilient, and unwavering in my pursuit of making a positive difference in my family, community, and other underrepresented communities. I aim to break the cycle of limited education in my family and make an enormous impact on others through medicine. I am working hard not to let finances become an impediment in achieving my educational and career goals.

Education

SUNY College at Old Westbury

Bachelor's degree program
2019 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
  • Minors:
    • Psychology, General

Babcock University High School

High School
2011 - 2017

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biological and Physical Sciences
    • Public Health
    • Medicine
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Medicine

    • Dream career goals:

      Dermatology Physician Assistant, Public Health Educator, Non- profit Organization founder, Mentor

    • SUNY College at Old Westbury
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Store Associate

      TJ Maxx
      2020 – Present4 years
    • Team Member

      Chick Fil A
      2019 – Present5 years

    Finances

    Loans

    • Great Lakes

      Borrowed: August 26, 2019
      • 5,500

        Principal borrowed
      • 45,000

        Principal remaining

      Sports

      Swimming

      2017 – 20203 years

      Dancing

      Club
      2019 – 20201 year

      Research

      • Biological and Physical Sciences

        SUNY OLD WESTBURY
        2022 – 2023

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Island Harvest Healthy Harvest Farm and Garden — Planted seeds, weed, and harvested produce for distribution to the community.
        2022 – 2022
      • Volunteering

        Omicron Delta Kappa — Designed and decorated cards for older adults in nursing homes
        2023 – Present

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Philanthropy

      Entrepreneurship

      Snap Finance “Funding the Future” Scholarship
      My name is Simisola Shabi. I am a 21-year-old first-generation immigrant college student from Nigeria. I’m majoring in Biology with minors in Psychology, Media, and Design at SUNY Old Westbury. I moved to the United States in 2018 and have since strived to explore all the opportunities and resources I did not have access to while growing up in Nigeria. I chose Biology as my major because it is my goal to become an emergency medicine and dermatology physician assistant. Being raised in a low-income household by a single mother with three younger siblings was a struggle that seemed endless. As a child with asthma, whenever I had an asthma attack, my mother relied on herbal medicines or a kiosk pharmacist to get medications she could afford. In addition, I had terrible acne during my adolescent years, which led to low self-esteem and a lack of self-love, which negatively affected my mental health. Visiting a dermatologist was beyond my mother’s financial reach. I didn't feel comfortable complaining about my acne when my mother was worried about how she would afford the next meal of the day. Additionally, I have witnessed and continue to hear news about how the healthcare system has let down another member of my family due to our financial status. I believe everyone deserves an equal chance to receive good medical care regardless of socioeconomic status. Owing to these reasons and experiences, I plan to improve the accessibility of medical care to low-income families in my community by becoming a physician assistant. I love the versatility of this profession—being able to practice in different specialties simultaneously. Furthermore, I hope to provide representation in this profession and ensure that patients from minority groups receive the best medical care and attention they deserve. According to the AAPA (American Academy of Physician Assistants), 2.7% of PAs are black or African American, and the minority groups are significantly underrepresented in this profession. Research also suggests that racial and gender concordance can have numerous advantages for the patient-provider. A black female patient receiving care from a black female doctor has more trust, communication, and shared medical decision-making. I chose my minor in psychology because I believe mental health plays a vital role in our daily lives. I would love to use my educational background in psychology to educate people on the importance of their mental health. I am also interested in the psychological topics that dominate the news, such as gender identity, social justice, the current pandemic, and racism. During my junior year of college, I enrolled in a graphic design course to fulfill one of my general education requirements, but this course had other plans for me. Graphic design piqued my interest in creativity, and I persuaded myself to step outside my science comfort zone. For most of my life, I had assumed I was not creative and should just focus on my science interests. Upon completing this graphic design course, I realized that I would not fully realize my potential unless I took risks and challenged myself. I hope to use my interest in media and design to spread awareness about mental health, healthcare discrimination, racism, and equal education. I also hope my story will challenge someone to take risks that will expose them to interests and strengths they did not know existed within them. My mother instilled in my siblings and me the importance of education as a critical tool for success in life. I intend to use my education to make a difference in my family and give back to my community by making medical care more accessible and affordable. I want to contribute as much as I can to my community. I hope to have a significant impact on the lives of others through medicine and my creative passion. These reasons continue to drive me to work hard, and I am confident that the sky is not the limit. I am limitless!
      Papi & Mamita Memorial Scholarship
      I grew up in Nigeria with three other siblings and was raised by a single parent. I watched my mother struggle tirelessly to provide for us all. My father was not present to assist my mother with raising four children, so I stepped up to relieve the burden starting from a young age. My younger siblings looked up to me as their second parent. Because I was a role model for them, I worked twice as hard not to disappoint them. I was involved in various extracurricular activities and held leadership positions in several clubs at school. I had a reputation to uphold in the eyes of my teachers, mother, siblings, and friends who believed in me. During my childhood, my mother instilled in my siblings and me that education is important for a successful life. So she encouraged us constantly to make an effort to complete our education, regardless of how challenging it may seem at any given moment. I learned what a hardworking, resilient, confident, intelligent, supportive, and kindhearted woman embodied from my mother. While my mother worked long hours at multiple jobs to support my siblings and me, I observed that example of effort and dedication. I vowed never to let her down and make everything she has worked hard for worthwhile by focusing on the most crucial tool to make our lives better; my education. I've always desired a career in which I could assist others and significantly impact their lives. In Nigeria, healthcare is a privilege reserved for the wealthy. There was a time when I had trouble breathing, and my mother couldn't afford to take me to the emergency room due to the expense. I stopped at a roadside pharmacy to obtain medications that my mother believed would alleviate my pain and aid my breathing. While those medications helped my breathing, they were not optimal for treating my condition. There could have been issues with the pills I took without a prescription from a physician, and my mother would have blamed herself. Additionally, I have witnessed close relatives and friends lose their lives and suffer in pain due to their inability to finance an emergency room visit. Having seen and experienced these issues firsthand, I looked forward to improving healthcare in my neighborhood for low-income families that, like mine, always look for less expensive or herbal methods to cure any sickness. I discovered the physician assistant profession and fell in love with it. I shadowed various physician assistants to obtain a better grasp of this field and observe what it's like to practice as a physician assistant. This profession is excellent because physician assistants collaborate with doctors to provide their patients with the best treatment plans. I love the versatility of this profession in the aspect that I can practice in different specialties simultaneously. For instance, while working as a dermatologist physician assistant, I could also work as an ER physician assistant, providing medical services to people with critical conditions other than skin problems. Being a first-generation student has taught me to be self-motivated and resilient in my pursuit of making a difference in my family, community, and other underrepresented communities like the one where I grew up. Through medicine, I hope to make a significant difference in the lives of others. Every day, I keep these reasons in the forefront of my mind to motivate me to work hard. I plan to use the Papi and Mamita Memorial scholarship to alleviate the financial strain associated with attaining my educational goals.
      Snap Finance “Funding the Future” Scholarship
      I grew up in Nigeria with three other siblings and was raised by a single parent. I watched my mother struggle day and night to provide for us all. As the firstborn, I automatically assumed the role of the second parent for my younger siblings. My father was not present to assist my mother with the responsibilities of raising four children, so starting from a young age, I stepped up to relieve the burden. As a child, my mother always told my siblings and me that education is required to have a successful life. So she encouraged us constantly to make an effort to succeed, regardless of how challenging it may seem at any given moment. I learned what a hardworking, resilient, confident, intelligent, supportive, and kindhearted woman embodied from my mother. While my mother worked long hours at multiple jobs to support my siblings and me, I observed that example of effort and dedication. I pledged never to let her down and make everything she has worked hard for worthwhile by focusing on the most crucial tool to make our lives better; my education. After completing high school in Nigeria, I was offered an opportunity to immigrate to the United States alone to further my education. I seized this opportunity to conduct research and learn about my interests to identify a future career path. I discovered the physician assistant profession and found myself entirely captivated by it. As a child, I always dreamed of a job where I could help people and make an enormous impact on their lives. Being inspirational and helping others has always been a part of my personality. In Nigeria, healthcare is a luxury only available to the rich. Since I was thirteen, I have been struggling with acne, and visiting a dermatologist was out of our financial reach. This condition affected my self-esteem, and I was envious of everyone around me with the "perfect skin". As a result of my experience with acne while growing up, I chose to practice dermatology. Like me, people struggle with different skin conditions and are not provided with the resources to deal with them or they cannot afford to visit a dermatologist. The physician assistant profession is very versatile. I can practice in more than one specialty at the same time. For instance, while working as a dermatologist physician assistant, I am interested in working as an ER physician assistant to provide medical services to people with critical conditions outside of skin problems. After my undergraduate studies, I intend to attend the SUNY Downstate physician assistant program to further my education. I am investing in my education to impact my community and the lives of people who are experiencing low self-esteem because of a skin condition. One of my long-term goals is to construct free clinics dedicated to improving and increasing the accessibility of quality medical services in my community and other underrepresented communities. Being a first-generation immigrant student has taught me to be self-motivated and resilient in my pursuit of making a difference in my family, community, and other underrepresented communities like the one where I grew up. I aim to break the cycle of limited education in my family. As a physician assistant, I can provide free medical services to those in need but lack the financial resources. While also providing medical services in other underserved communities. I must invest more time and effort in my education to gain the required knowledge and skills to bring these goals to fruition. This scholarship will help reduce my parents’ financial strain while lowering my debt after my undergraduate studies. Ultimately the Snap Finance scholarship can allow me to focus on my education and work towards the goal of the construction of free clinics and providing accessible medical care in various underserved communities.
      You Glow Differently When You're Happy Scholarship
      My happy memory was when I traveled back to Nigeria to visit my mom and sister for the first time after four years in the United States during the Christmas holiday. She was completely unaware of my trip to Nigeria because I wanted to surprise both of them. They enveloped me into their warm arms for a hug that I was hoping could last forever. That moment was filled with love, happiness, and peace. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment I spent with both of them until I had to leave.
      Deborah's Grace Scholarship
      I was born in Nigeria, where healthcare is considered a luxury; only wealthy people have access to quality healthcare. I come from a lower-class family, so seeing a doctor whenever we were sick was beyond our financial reach. I have witnessed close relations and friends who have lost their lives and suffered in pain because they could not afford the visit to the emergency room. Having seen and gone through these problems, I looked forward to making the healthcare in my community better for low-income families who, like my mine, always find cheaper or herbal alternatives to any illness. I decided to one day construct free clinics dedicated to improving and increasing the accessibility of quality medical services in my community and other underrepresented communities. There was a time I had difficulty breathing, and my mom could not afford to take me to the emergency room because of the cost. I visited a roadside pharmacy to get medications my mom thought would ease my pain and help me breathe well. Although those medications worked to ease my breathing, this was not an ideal way to deal with my condition. There might have been some complications with those medications I took without a prescription from a health care provider, and my mom would have blamed herself for it. I was supposed to be seen by a healthcare provider. My parents always told my siblings and me that education was required to succeed in life. They grew up in Nigeria and had limited education, so they constantly instilled in us the value of education. They constantly worked to support my siblings and me financially and provide for us. As a result, they encouraged us to always make an effort to succeed, regardless of how challenging it may seem at any given moment. I moved to the United States to continue my education after high school, and this sudden change in my life introduced numerous changes. The way of life was completely different from what I had known my whole life. Despite the fact that I already spoke English, there was still a barrier in my communication with others because of my accent. It was challenging to communicate and build a relationship with those around me. Being alone in a foreign country presented me with a lack of social support. Instead of allowing this sense of not belonging to be a hindrance, I used it as a way of networking and building long-lasting relationships. When I began college in 2019, I decided to join the African Student Association and Pre-health club. Being a first-generation student has taught me to be self-motivated and resilient in my pursuit of making a difference in my family, community, and other underrepresented communities like the one where I grew up. I aim to break the cycle of limited education in my family. As a physician assistant, I can provide free medical services to those in need but lack the financial resources. I aim to make an enormous impact on the lives of others through medicine. I keep these reasons at the forefront of my mind every day to motivate me to work hard.
      Jillian Ellis Pathway Scholarship
      I was born in Nigeria, where healthcare is considered a luxury; only wealthy people have access to quality healthcare. I come from a lower-class family, so seeing a doctor whenever we were sick was beyond our financial reach. I have witnessed close relations and friends who have lost their lives and suffered in pain because they could not afford the visit to the emergency room. Having seen and gone through these problems, I looked forward to making the healthcare in my community better for low-income families who, like my mine, always find cheaper or herbal alternatives to any illness. I decided to one day construct free clinics dedicated to improving and increasing the accessibility of quality medical services in my community and other underrepresented communities. There was a time I had difficulty breathing, and my mom could not afford to take me to the emergency room because of the cost. I visited a roadside pharmacy to get medications my mom thought would ease my pain and help me breathe well. Although those medications worked to ease my breathing, this was not an ideal way to deal with my condition. There might have been some complications with those medications I took without a prescription from a health care provider, and my mom would have blamed herself for it. I was supposed to be seen by a healthcare provider. My parents always told my siblings and me that education was required to succeed in life. They grew up in Nigeria and had limited education, so they constantly instilled in us the value of education. They constantly worked to support my siblings and me financially and provide for us. As a result, they encouraged us to always make an effort to succeed, regardless of how challenging it may seem at any given moment. I moved to the United States to continue my education after high school, and this sudden change in my life introduced numerous changes. The way of life was completely different from what I had known my whole life. Although I already spoke English, there was still a barrier in my communication with others because of my accent. It was challenging to communicate and build a relationship with people around me. Being a first-generation student has taught me to be self-motivated and resilient in my pursuit of making a difference in my family, community, and other underrepresented communities like the one where I grew up. I aim to break the cycle of limited education in my family. As a physician assistant, I can provide free medical services to those in need but lack the financial resources. I aim to make an enormous impact on the lives of others through medicine. I keep these reasons at the forefront of my mind every day to motivate me to work hard.