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Tara Shirname


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Hello there! An introspective human, travel-lover, and Haagen Daz Coffee ice cream devotee who picked up 5 languages while growing up in Australia, India, and the United States. Enthusiastic about learning, trying new things, and saying yes to as many opportunities as I can! Passionate about being a psychology/neuroscience major on the pre-med track at UMass Amherst; I plan to use my education to eventually work in the medical field possibly as a PA or NP with a focus on mental health. My current goal is to be able to afford to complete an EMT course over the upcoming winter break. I'd like to use this training to become a regular volunteer in a hospital setting. It would greatly fulfill me to give back to my community while gaining experience in the medical field. The reason I'm here on is because I could use some financial help to make my ambitions come to life. Although I graduated high school in the United States, being an Australian citizen marks me as an international student in the US. Having this status has limited my opportunities in the U.S. Unfortunately, international students are unable to receive need-based financial aid. Yet we are expected to pay tens of thousands more than the students with a U.S citizenship to receive the same education. After everything, I am still determined to accomplish my goals as an assiduous first-generation student with a single parent. With gratitude, I hope you will consider supporting my journey. Sincerely, Tara Shirname


University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Neurobiology and Neurosciences
    • Psychology, General

Acton-Boxborough Regional High

High School
2018 - 2022


  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

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

    • Dream career field:

      Mental Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant

    • Waitress/Cashier

      Junior's Pizza
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Front Desk Receptionist

      Salon Tuan (Hair Design Studio)
      2021 – Present3 years



    2022 – Present2 years


    Junior Varsity
    2018 – 20202 years


    • Yes


    • Proscenium Circus

      A Midsummer Night's Dream
      2018 – 2019
    • Proscenium Circus

      The Babysitter's Worst Nightmare
      2020 – 2020
    • Proscenium Circus

      Chicago [the musical]
      2019 – 2020

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      Gender and Sexuality Alliance — President
      2020 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Virginia Thurston Healing Garden — Packing lunch/Fundraiser Organizer/Waitress
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Emerson Hospital — Waitress
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Acton and Maynard Food Pantry — Check-in manager and shelf stocker
      2018 – 2020
    • Advocacy

      Anti-Defamation League [ADL] — Community Educator
      2019 – 2021

    Future Interests






    New Year, New Opportunity Scholarship
    After moving around so much I didn't feel like I belonged anywhere because I don't seem to fit in any box. I realized that no matter who I end up being, there will always be doubters and critics. Instead of trying to hide behind a uniform of social conformity, I try to embrace that I am like a smoothie of various personalities and cultures. It took a while for me to be okay with the feeling of displacement, but I am proud to say have made it. In my career, I aspire to help others through their transitions in life.
    JoLynn Blanton Memorial Scholarship
    Last week, I was making a sandwich at the pizza shop when I overheard my manager say that he has never been out of the country in all of his 67 years because he had never wanted to or even cared enough to. As an Australian who has spent their childhood in 3 countries and much time reading about various visa requirements online, this was undeniably baffling. However, what followed was the revelation that he had never had a passport because it was “too much work”. While I am grateful to have an adventurous father who took me to many delightful parts of the world, I also can understand the fear of the unknown. That truly fuels me to want to change the way we conduct abroad travels. I would make worldwide travel more accessible and affordable because I believe that all residents of Earth should have the ease, ability, and access to explore wherever they want to go. Travel has become a privilege. Ever since civilizations have evolved, our destinations have moved farther than where our legs can take us to. With the complications of passports, visas, and titles, we have restricted ourselves from fully enjoying the experiences on Earth. This is not to say we should eliminate the borders, government systems, or the laws of the lands. Although, when the world has so much to offer, the real limits of our wanderings should not be the lines drawn on our maps. In a planet where diverse humans share the globe, education is more widespread, cultural integration is enhanced, and creativity blooms. Discovering the world through so-called vacations should not be a privilege kept solely for the wealthy. Accessible and affordable transportation opens up a world of possibilities. Through travel, we authentically experience other cultures, languages, cuisines, and understand each other. Through meeting diverse people, tasting new foods, speaking new languages, dancing to a different beat, and working in new fields, we can fight ignorance and expand knowledge, empathy, and love for our Earth. By making travel affordable, we would be offering people a chance to experience a world they would have never seen otherwise. Traveling can offer new perspectives and develop open minds, therefore creating a society of progressive, kind, considerate, and educated people. Additionally, if the Earth is an environment that we want to save, we must share it. Many don't understand the passions behind those who want to eliminate climate change because they don't truly know the rest of the environment. To start, I would push programs to educate the public on global matters, travel documentation, visas, and passports. Implementing this could instill more confidence in people to step out of their homeland and experience the world. I would find means to generate more public-funded inexpensive means of transportation overseas such as planes and ships. Furthermore, I would promote more travel agencies to open up, especially in areas where internet access is limited. Finally, I would encourage people to see for themselves what the world has to offer. Affordable travel and accessible transportation are key to a utopian civilization that can thrive in unity. The power of meaningful humanistic encounters sourcing from travel and global connectivity can propel all nations to be more progressive. Everyone deserves a chance to explore past their circumstances. We may now be citizens of our respective countries, but we all are, and will always be, citizens of the respected Earth.