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Udochi Okoro

2735

Bold Points

2x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

Hey! My name is Udochi Okoro. I am one of four children to two lovely Nigerian parents. I am 18 years old and will be graduating from highschool in May 2024. I live in Utah and am the founder of my school's first ever Anti-Slur Campaign. I am planning to pursue a career in medicine as an OB/GYN because I am passionate about women's reproductive healthcare. I also want to contribute to a solution that combat disparities in health care by diversifying practicing physicians. Less than 5% of U.S doctors are Black and I want to grow that statistic. I want to attend a competitive school and do pre-med to eventually reach my goal of being in the medical field and making an impact on the lives of many. In order to so I am applying to as many scholarships as I can so that I can fully fund my education.

Education

Westlake High

High School
2023 - 2024
  • GPA:
    3.8

Skyline High

High School
2020 - 2023

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
    • History and Language/Literature
    • Medicine
    • Chemistry
    • Biology, General
    -
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Test scores:

    • 30
      ACT
    • 1200
      PSAT

    Career

    • Dream career field:

      Medicine

    • Dream career goals:

      OB/GYN

    • Founder, Leader

      Anti-Slur Campaign
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Vice President

      Black Student Union
      2022 – 20231 year
    • Team Member

      Jamba
      2022 – 20231 year

    Sports

    Track & Field

    Varsity
    2021 - Present3 years

    Awards

    • 100 meter hurdle 5A State Champion
    • 300 meter hurdle 5A State Runner Up
    • 2023 Region 6 100 meter hurdle Champion
    • 2023 Region 6 300 meter hurdle Champion
    • 2022 Region 6 300 meter hurdle Champion
    • 300 meter hurdle School Record Holder

    Basketball

    Varsity
    2020 - 20233 years

    Awards

    • 2023 State Semi-finalists
    • JV 2022 MVP

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Mental Health Scholarship for Women
    I’ve found without the prioritization of mental health, all other aspects of your life can’t be nearly as fulfilling and successful as they could be. In order to be successful and feel satisfied and accomplished, your mental health has to be on point. My difficult journey with mental health struggles has really solidified this fact for me throughout my high school years. My academic performance was greatly been impacted by my mental health in a variety of ways throughout high school. I started my freshman year in the fall of 2020 when COVID-19 was still significantly altering the lives of everyone around the world. Masks were the norm, social distancing was expected, and working from home became normalized and encouraged. As for k-12 students, schools implemented distance learning, one-way hallways, and restrictions on extracurricular activities. The first half of ninth grade was a very low point in my life. I wouldn’t socialize with my teammates, I didn’t have any friends, and I was struggling with my academics. Most of my days were filled with feeling purposelessness, emptiness, and depression. Before that point, I had always struggled with my mental health, but the effects of the virus made everything notably worse. I struggled to find motivation to finish assignments, show up to practices, or even spend time with my family. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to care, it was the fact that I couldn’t find the ability to do so. I received the worst grades I had ever gotten up to that point. Thankfully, I had a life-altering experience with a coach halfway through my ninth-grade year who taught my first-ever weight training class. Initially, I joined the class in hopes that I could improve my strength and conditioning as an athlete with no regard to how the practice could potentially affect me psychologically. I had no idea to what extent lifting weights would positively change how I viewed myself, my body, and my abilities. I developed discipline in consistency, perfected my technique and built power and explosiveness in the weight room while simultaneously discovering a way to take a few steps forward in improving my mental health. Every time I stepped into the squat-rack, pushed past my limits, or hit a personal record, I would feel lighter and ready to attack the rest of the day. Over time, I experienced less of a depressed mood, I was more present in my everyday life, and I had found a hobby that I truly loved. Through discovering the positive effect of weight-training, I established a weekly routine that always incorporated lifting a few times throughout the week. Since my freshman year of high school, I have been consistently hitting the weight room to not only improve my physical health but my mental health as well. This has greatly changed my performance not only in the classroom but in my personal life as well. I can now enjoy spending time with my loved ones and I have formed meaningful relationships with teammates and classmates. I’ve learned that mental health should be a priority in every aspect of life, whether it's professional or personal. In many cases, you may not be able to eliminate the thing that is causing your mental health to deteriorate, but there are things you can implement to replenish yourself and prepare yourself to deal with challenges on a day-to-day basis. For me, that was finding an outlet in the gym to release stress and reclaim my peace and motivation. Without that, I would be nowhere near the progress I have made right now in bettering my psychological health.
    Derk Golden Memorial Scholarship
    I am currently a track athlete but a hooper at heart. I played basketball for 5 years and have been hurdling for almost four years. Both sports have contributed greatly to who I am today and what I want to become in the future. Sports and physical activity in general has always been my sanctuary since I was in elementary school. Whether I was racing my friends on the playground, winning an intense round of tether ball, or making epic moves during our P.E competitions, I was always eager to compete and compete hard. As I got a little older and started participating in organized clubs and teams, my love for sports grew and so did my competitiveness. Starting high school, I became determined to become the best athlete I could possibly be, and that is when I changed the most. My high school athletic career has been full of successes and wins, and I credit that all to my mental and physical development through my persistence and my development and incredible coaches. I played basketball in middle school all the way up to my junior year of high school. I competed as a varsity athlete my junior year and was able to experience an exhilarating playoff run in 2023. Our season started out very rough with a lot of losses, but the things I learned have stuck with me since then. Basketball developed me into a better teammate, leader, and person. I had to learn to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to see success on and off the court. It forced me to build my confidence in myself and in my teammates, something that has proven to be fundamental in other aspects of my life. I've learned to acknowledge failure, but to not let it define me or my future. Once I understood that my teammates depended on me just as much as I depended on them, I learned accountability. Showing up and doing your best is what counts the most when it's all said and done. Being a good and consistent track athlete requires discipline, sacrifice, and hard work. You can't afford to slack off on your workouts, recovery, or diet. You have to choose whether to push yourself to your absolute limit or miss an opportunity to challenge yourself. I developed discipline though my training and work ethic. The entire season is structured to get you to peak at the exact perfect time so you can run your best when it counts the most. You can't neglect your early season conditioning and strength work, but you also can't do too much too fast. Being a hurdler has taught me patience and learning to trust myself, my body and it's abilities, and my training. Track easily exposes those who don't put in the work. My former track coach always told us "success happens when hard work meets opportunity" and I have lived by that on and off the track. This motto has proven to me time and time again that I can truly be successful in whatever I choose to work hard at. All the sports that I have participated in have molded me into a well-rounded individual. I've gained priceless skills and habits that will benefit me in the practical world. I've made friendships and connections that I will always value. I've had success that I will always be proud of no matter what the future has in store for me. Most importantly, sports have shown me that I am capable of doing anything and everything I put my mind to.
    MedLuxe Representation Matters Scholarship
    Between the countless amounts of trips to the doctor's office and the hospital, I have never been tended to by a Black medical professional, much less any Black female medical professional. I haven't gotten my blood pressure read by a Black nurse, nor have I interacted with any sort of Black healthcare worker. This, in part, is because I live in a very white state, but it's also because there just aren't that many of us in healthcare professions. According to the National Institute of Health, only about 5% of doctors in the U.S are African American. To make numbers more gloomy, only 2.8% of physicians in the U.S are Black women. The systemic oppression that Black people face doesn't end at police encounters, courtrooms, or even the workforce. It leaks into other aspects of life, one crucial area being healthcare. Black women are three to five times more likely to pass away during childbirth or have life-threatening complications compared to our white counterparts. Black people are less likely to receive adequate treatment for any illness and less likely to be prescribed appropriate medication. Black people also have a significantly lower life expectancy than most other races of people in the United States. Why do these things matter? Well, these statistics show that African Americans experience notably worse healthcare and health outcomes than other demographics in the U.S. and that there is a correlation between lack of diversified healthcare and worse healthcare outcomes for Black people. How do we fix this? It's quite simple. We need to increase the number of Black physicians in the United States. Studies have shown that people are most comfortable receiving care from someone who looks like them. This is true for all races; people tend to like things that are familiar to them. With more diversity in healthcare, Black people and other minority groups won't always have to feel like they are out of place and that they won't be understood or cared for properly. According to the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), racial kinship significantly improves communication, connection, trust, and increased adherence to medical advice. Consequently, when Black people have doctors that look like them, there are more positive outcomes overall. I personally understand the importance of diversity in a healthcare setting because I have had past experiences where I felt as though a doctor was dismissing my concerns or not taking me seriously because of racial biases that they probably had. My story isn't unique, as countless Black women have experienced similar things and worse. When you feel like you can't trust your healthcare provider because of racial or other biases, how are you supposed to receive adequate care? When it comes to reproductive health, Black women are quite literally dying because of neglect, lack of diversity, lack of cultural understanding, and lack of empathy. Because of this horrendous fact and my disappointing experience, I am passionate about pursuing a career in healthcare in obstetrics and gynecology. I want to change how we fare in healthcare by becoming a part of the solutions and creating programs that will facilitate more African American youth pursuing careers in medicine. This issue will only grow worse if diversity efforts aren't implemented soon and fast. When there are more of us in healthcare, regardless of whether we're behind a desk, taking a heart rate reading, or performing life-saving surgeries, we can significantly impact the well-being of our community in healthcare spaces. Black people deserve better, and the only way we can fix this is to put ourselves in positions to make a difference.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    My mental health has been relatively unstable throughout my adolescent years, especially now as I approach graduation and have become increasingly aware of the reality of the world. Bad situations have turned into worse situations and negative emotions have turned into unbearable feelings that have left me feeling hopeless and sometimes even suicidal. Societal labels and social issues that are constantly in the forefront of our communities oftentimes make a small splinter feel like a giant metal spike. My outlook of the world varies quite a bit, however, it mainly remains dark and unpleasant. This is in part because depression causes me to look at the world through a narrow and shallow lens that is veiled by the ghosts of mental illness. But it is also attributed to my experiences and the blatant reality of our imperfect world. Mental health can be influenced by a large variety of factors, from environment, experience, and even genetics. However, for me, the boxes that I am forced into constantly have an unavoidable consequence on my mental health. My identity as a queer Black woman has significantly contributed to how I view myself, the world, and my ability to overcome. There is a lot of chaos and hate in the world, and consequentially, being queer, Black, and female all lead to their fair share of societal 'othering', discrimination, and hate. It's not enough that I struggle with my mental health on its own, these other factors that often alienate me and add more weight for me to carry. My identity is constantly being picked apart and criticized in the media and my personal life. Whether they are all in conjunction with each other, or separately, there is always something or someone that is putting my identity under question or vilifying it. From hearing gay slurs in the hallways of my school to watching the impacts of a systemic racism effect my community to witnessing the rampant misogyny in modern American society has undoubtedly had a negative impact on my psyche. A lot of the time, feeling confined to a box isolates me from others. I often times feel alone and avoid sharing my feelings and experiences with others who I feel won't be able to understand me. Over time, I have gotten better at expressing myself, but there will always be a fear that I won't be understood, or that my concerns won't be taken seriously. I carry the weight of my identity on my back, which comes with feeling like I have to be strong all the time and resilient to the challenges the world throws at me. But I've learned that connecting with others who had similar experiences can help make this personal journey a little bit easier. As a result I have started communities at my schools like the Black Student Union and an Anti-Slur campaign to bring people together who can relate to one another. When there is a constant beating over the head with labels like "bisexual", "Black", "female", anything and everything that is remotely related to those things can become a part of you. For me, this ranges from Black Lives Matter movements, to 'Don't Say Gay' bills, to even anti-choice legislature. These problems culminate and become overwhelming because each of these things can affect my everyday life. Oftentimes the additional mental baggage that "othered" groups carry is dismissed and unaccounted for when studying the affects and causes of mental illness. This dismissal makes it very difficult to come to a personal understanding that my experiences aren't unimportant. But I've come to realize There are thousands and millions of people like me out there who struggle with similar things. Being Black is constantly being reminded that you and your people are constantly behind. That even if you manage to rise above stereotypes and obstacles that your peers will still believe that you don't deserve to be successful. Being a woman is to be under constant attack for your body and your choices. Being queer is to watch while your local and state legislators make life a living hell for you and your community to feel safe in your schools and public spaces. The assaults on our lives and minds are seemingly unending. Women like me often carry the brunt of discrimination in the United States, and it is quite apparent. Black women make up less than 16% of the female population in America, yet account for the highest maternal mortality rate. Biases in medicine, economic disparities, and lack of adequate access to healthcare all contribute to this phenomenon. This daunting statistic is precisely the reason why I want to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology. Black women's bodies have been abused and misused for hundreds of years, and unfortunately it hasn't stopped. Black women in the United States die at three to five times higher rates than white women during childbirth, yet, nothing is being done to combat this blatant disparity. With more Black women working healthcare, we can change the experiences of Black women in hospitals, and we can change outcomes. Even though it certainly isn't ideal for me to constantly be in a state of despair and loathing, it has somewhat given me some motivation to create a better world for people who come after me. I don't want future Black people, queer people, and women to have to carry the same mental loads that others and I have had to. I want to contribute to a world where Black women can feel as safe and as heard in hospital rooms as everyone else. I want to contribute to an environment where queer children and adults don't have to worry about the government passing legislation that invalidates their way of life. I want to contribute to a world where women of all colors, shapes, and sizes have the ability to choose for themselves and be what they want to be.
    Onward and Upward Scholarship
    I have always known that I would need to go to college and receive a higher education, but I haven't always been so sure of exactly what I wanted to study or pursue as a career. However, over a year ago I decided I wanted to go into medicine and become an OB/GYN and serve women in underprivileged communities in the United States. I believe it is important to contribute something positive to society in any way one can, whether big or small. For me, this is giving my services to a community that is often neglected and under-serviced. I was assigned to complete a research paper on ethics in medicine in my junior year and I chose to research access to reproductive healthcare and maternal mortalities in the United States. I found that Black women are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth than their white counterparts. I also found that women of a lower economic status experience more complications in childbirth. These findings motivated me to want to make a difference for not only women in general but for Black women specifically. Earlier this year, a Black woman I greatly admired passed away during childbirth. Tori Bowie was only 32 when she sadly passed, along with her child. Her story isn't unique, as many Black women have had scary and deadly experiences when it comes to giving birth. Three out of four women on the Rio 2016 Olympic 4x100 meter relay squad have had complications during childbirth or have died. Being a track athlete myself, her death really shook me into the reality of being a Black woman in the United States, regardless of your social or economic class. As a young Black woman, I feel it is my responsibility to contribute to a future where people like me can feel safe and secure in a hospital setting and not have to worry about whether or not their healthcare provider will treat them differently based off their skin color. Unfortunately, many doctors still hold on to biases that greatly impact how they handle people of color. Myths about a higher pain tolerance, stereotypes about drug use, and a plethora of other factors influence the way (for lack of a better word) ignorant medical professionals treat us. I believe it's time to tackle these biases and create a world where it is possible for our healthcare providers to tackle their biases and preconceived ideas so Black women can receive the care they need. As a child from Nigerian immigrant parents, I have known that it would be my responsibility to earn scholarships to pay for my education. The expectations of self-funding my higher education have been instilled in me and I have risen up to the challenge. With this in mind I have been aggressively searching for ways to fund my education so I won’t be stuck with having to take loans or pay a lot of money out of pocket. With the Onward and Upward scholarship, I will be able to fund my undergraduate degree to eventually be able to take the MCAT and get into medical school. This scholarship will support my college education by buying textbooks and materials. Medical school is very expensive and knowing that my undergraduate degree is being funded will make pursuing a higher degree more realistic and attainable. Funding my degree would directly contribute to my future goal of becoming an OB/GYN and making a difference for Black women and their well-being in reproductive care.
    Monroe Justice and Equality Memorial Scholarship
    Law enforcement historically has had a rocky, if not completely negative, relationship with the Black community in the United States. Traumatizing and racially charged incidents like what happened to George Stinney Jr in 1944 to Tamir Rice in 2014 have created a sense of distrust, uncertainty, and sometimes pure fear and hatred of police and other law enforcement. For the police to establish a better and positive presence in Black/underprivileged communities, the entire justice system itself needs to be dismantled and redone. Though many feel this feat is impossible and far-fetched, it has been done before at a small scale and was successful. In 1857, the police force in New York City was dismantled and reformed due to high levels of political corruption and gang infiltration. The same thing must be done in today's society to combat the rising tension between police and African Americans. Firstly, Black communities need to be self-policed. This means that the local law enforcement agencies should be made up of the majority of officers who reside in these same communities. These officers will have personal and meaningful connections to the community they serve, and will therefore do a more sympathetic and efficient policing job. One is more inclined to do things for the better good when they have a personal stake in the well-being of the neighborhoods. We cannot keep expecting cops to act appropriately when they don't have any personal ties in the communities they police. Everyone wants to live in a safe and secure environment, and this reform will ensure that those who make up the police force have an intrinsic drive to better these neighborhoods. With this addition, Black Americans can slowly build trust with their local law enforcement. They can have confidence that they have advocates within the force, and be assured that they aren't being targeted or racially profiled. And if those things do occur, they will have the support they need to dispute. If a community member feels that they will be treated fairly in any given situation and that their rights won't be disregarded or violated, there will be less need to be wary of cops. Consequently, fewer situations will escalate, leaving more room for discourse and understanding. Additionally, local law enforcement agencies should also put more funding and effort into organizing community events. A large portion of crimes committed in Black neighborhoods in the United States are due to gangs and their rising influence over the youth. If young impressionable Black and brown boys can put their time into something positive such as leadership development clinics, sports programs, and other extracurricular activities, there will be much less time for them to become involved in less desirable activities. These agencies should be playing an active part in raising future adults to become positive additions to society rather than strictly playing a law enforcement role. Community outreach programs are a vital aspect in not only improving relations, but developing our communities to be stronger, safer, and more self-sufficient. Both the Black community and law enforcement will benefit from these proposed reforms. Self-policing creates a more empathetic and secure policing environment, and increased community involvement and outreach programs not only reduce youth involvement in crime, but will improve their standing in the communities they police. There is no doubt that these reforms will be difficult to implement and to maintain, but they are crucial in order for the Black community to heal and move towards a future where we can truly feel that law enforcement works for us and not just against us.
    PRIDE in Education Award
    I have lived my entire life in the conservative state of Utah where my sexuality isn't particularly accepted and is a factor that contributes to the increased likelihood of mental health struggles and suicide. LGBTQ+ youth in Utah have one of the highest suicide rates in the country. Growing up, I had a hard time coming to terms with my sexuality and how I fit in with my peers. I constantly heard demeaning comments from classmates, as well as family members regarding the sexualities of others who weren’t considered the norm. As a result, I hid my sexuality for a large portion of my life. Even now, I don’t feel particularly safe disclosing my sexuality for fear of being treated differently. However, through absorbing the experiences of other LGBTQ+ youth around the world and consuming media with inclusivity and representation, I have become more confident in myself and my identity. Books have played an enormous role in developing my self-esteem in that way. Authors who intentionally include characters with a variety of race identities, sexualities, sexual orientations, etc. have played a huge role in building my self-esteem and self-acceptance. This journey has helped my appreciation grow for those who paved the way for youth such as myself to live in a world where our sexuality is much more accepted than it was in the past. The LGBTQ+ community is one of the most accepting I've come across in my life. As a Black teen, it's often difficult to find spaces where you will be welcome and feel safe. Unfortunately, even within the Black community, it can be hard to find people who aren't judgmental of your identity. However, gay spaces that are inclusive of people of color have been my haven as I have embarked on this self-discovery journey, and I am forever grateful for that. I want to major in biochemistry with an emphasis in pre-med. I’ve always been fascinated by the way the world works, especially on such a small scale as biology and chemistry. This major will also prepare me to take the MCAT and eventually get into medical school to become an OB/GYN. Reproductive care for women is an extremely important thing for me because it isn't just something that affects me personally, it impacts my entire community. Black women are often the voices of the unheard in many aspects of social issues but are often forgotten about when they need it most. This is quite evident in the unusually high mortality rate for Black women in the United States as well as disparities in access to quality healthcare in general. As an OB/GYN it will be my duty to empower and amplify the voices of underrepresented women who aren't getting the proper care they need. By diversifying the field of medicine, we can better adjust our services to meet the needs of every individual patient. I'm a firm believer that the professional world needs to mirror the population that it serves, and it is no different in the world of medicine and healthcare.
    Mental Health Scholarship for Women
    I’ve found that if you don’t prioritize your mental health, then all other aspects of your life can’t be as fulfilling as you want them to be. My experience in ninth grade further confirms this concept for me and I have since taken actions that will prevent me from relapsing to how I felt at that time. My academic performance has greatly been impacted by my mental health in a variety of ways throughout my high school experience. I started my freshman year in the fall of 2020 when COVID-19 was still significantly altering the lives of everyone around the world. Masks were the norm, social distancing was expected, and working from home became normalized and encouraged. As for k-12 students, schools implemented distance learning, one-way hallways, and restrictions on extracurricular activities. The first half of ninth grade was a very low point in my life. I wouldn’t socialize with my teammates, I didn’t have any friends, and I was struggling with my academics. Most of my days were filled with feeling purposeless, empty, and depressed. I had always struggled with my mental health before starting high school, but the effects of the virus made everything notably worse. I struggled to find motivation to finish assignments, show up to practices, or even spend time with my family. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to care, it was the fact that I couldn’t find the ability to do so. I received the worst grades I had ever gotten up to that point. I had a very impactful coach halfway through my ninth-grade year who taught my first-ever weight training class. Initially, I joined the class in hopes that I could improve my strength and conditioning as an athlete with no regard to how the practice could potentially affect me psychologically. I had no idea to what extent lifting weights would positively change how I viewed myself, my body, and my abilities. I developed discipline in consistency, perfected my technique and built power and explosiveness in the weight room while simultaneously discovering a way to take a few steps forward in improving my mental health. Every time I stepped into the squat rack, pushed past my limits or hit a personal record, I would feel lighter, endorphin-boosted, and ready to attack the rest of the day. Over time, I experienced less of a depressed mood, I was more present in my everyday life, and I found a hobby that I truly loved. Through discovering the positive effect lifting had on me, I established a weekly routine that always incorporated lifting a few times throughout the week. Since my freshman year of high school, I have been consistently hitting the weight room to not only improve my physical health but my mental health as well. This has greatly changed my performance not only in the classroom but in my personal life as well. I can now enjoy spending time with my loved ones and I have formed meaningful relationships with teammates and classmates. I’ve learned that mental health should be a priority in every aspect of life, whether it's professional or personal. In many cases, you may not be able to eliminate the thing that is causing your mental health to deteriorate, but there are things you can implement to replenish yourself and prepare yourself to deal with challenges on a day-to-day basis. For me, that was finding an outlet in the gym to release stress and reclaim my peace and motivation. Without weight lifting, I would be nowhere near the progress I have made right now in bettering my psychological health.
    Hakim Mendez Scholarship
    At a young age, I had always known that I would go to college and receive a higher education, but I haven't always been so sure exactly what I wanted to study or pursue as a career. However, over a year ago I decided I wanted to go into medicine and become an OB/GYN and serve women in underprivileged communities in the United States. I believe it is important to contribute something positive to society in any way one can, whether big or small. For me, this is giving my services to a community that is often neglected and under-serviced. I was assigned to complete a research paper on ethics in medicine in my junior year and I chose to research access to reproductive healthcare and maternal mortalities in the United States. I found that Black women are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth than their white counterparts. I also found that women of a lower economic status experience more complications in childbirth. These findings motivated me to want to make a difference for not only women in general but also for Black women. I have lived my entire life in the state of Utah where an overwhelming majority of the people I interact with frequently are white. I want to be in an environment where I can feel comfortable to express myself and to grow into my identity as a Black woman. I would love to get my undergraduate degree at an HBCU where I will be surrounded by people who look like me and have similar experiences to me. I want to cultivate more connections within my community so that in the future I can better serve them as an OB/GYN. As a child of Nigerian immigrant parents, I have known that it would be my responsibility to earn scholarships to pay for my education. The expectations of self-funding my higher education have been instilled in me and I have risen to the challenge. With this in mind, I have been aggressively searching for ways to fund my education so I won’t be stuck with having to take loans or pay a lot of money out of pocket. With the Hakim Mendez scholarship, I will be able to fund my undergraduate degree to eventually be able to take the MCAT and get into medical school. This scholarship will support my college education by buying textbooks and materials. Medical school is very expensive and knowing that my undergraduate degree is being funded will make pursuing a higher degree more realistic and attainable. Additionally, I need to focus on my academic performance rather than worry about cost. Funding my degree would directly contribute to my future goal of becoming an OB/GYN.
    Redefining Victory Scholarship
    Winner
    A victory can mean a myriad of different things to a variety of people. Factors that determine one's standards of success can be ethnic/racial background, economic class, goals, setbacks, and even previous successes. Your definition of success may be based on the amount of money you can earn in a lifetime, while someone else's may be how many meaningful relationships they cultivated throughout their own life. Regardless of one's definition of ultimate success, feeling victorious or having any sort of success is an important aspect of human life that keeps us striving to do and be better. For me, success is an outcome that leaves you feeling satisfied, proud, and motivated to keep pursuing more. I have always struggled with being content with my accomplishments for the better part of my life. I've won accolades, awards, and many sorts of recognitions, but despite how significant these may have been, I have quickly been left feeling empty, and sometimes even disappointed. I never felt as if my achievements were ever that impressive or remarkable. It was not until I defined for myself what real success looks and feels like that I realized that my definition of "success" did not align with the definitions others have placed on me. To feel like I have succeeded, I need to see what positive impact my success has had on others. Whether that means I have changed another’s life positively, solved a local problem, or amplified another underprivileged voice, I need to see the impacts of my work. Being able to see the difference I can make or have made is what gives me a feeling of satisfaction, pride, and motivation to keep going. This is a crucial reason why I have decided to pursue a career in medicine as an OB/GYN. The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates as a developed country in the world. These statistics grow more grim when you separate the demographics of American women who experience the highest mortality rates during childbirth. Black women are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth than their white counterparts. Brown and indigenous women are not too far behind as well. My ultimate success would be to find and implement a solution that not only addresses the disparities in maternal healthcare but also lowers the mortality rate in the United States as a whole. Even if this means starting small, and improving the rates in my hospital before branching out and implementing change elsewhere, I would still be able to see success in the small victories that lead up to my ultimate goal. Although a very big portion of my goals are to solve a national problem, I also would find success in the local and community differences I could make. I would like to know that my profession is helping individuals feel comfortable in every stage of the birthing process. Many women struggle not only during pregnancy but also after childbirth. I would be satisfied with creating a supportive environment within my workplace that would assist women through every part of their maternal experiences. Success to me is being able to observe the difference I make as an OB/GYN in the United States of America. The positive impacts I could make on individuals around me would ultimately fit my criteria for what constitutes a successful life for myself. This scholarship would greatly contribute to my goals by funding my education and bringing me closer to my end goal. As a student who comes from an immigrant background, I’ve always known that it would become my responsibility to fund my higher education. With the “Redefining Victory” scholarship I can worry less about how to fund my education and put most of my focus into my studies in pre-med, passing the MCAT, and getting into medical school. I am very passionate about addressing and implementing solutions in the United States healthcare system and this scholarship would be a key stepping stone to doing that. If I am selected as a winner, the money would go towards a good cause that will greatly benefit hundreds of women in the United States and maybe even eventually, the world.
    New Kids Can Scholarship
    Up until recently, I had never been "the new kid" until my family and I moved over 40 minutes away from where we previously lived right before the beginning of my Senior year. With less than a month's notice, we packed our stuff into the U-haul and settled in a new county. This move was difficult for my family as it was so sudden. We moved a couple of months before the end of the 2022-2023 school year, so I finished out my Junior year at my old school, knowing that my Senior year I would have to start all over again. I was moving away from my friends and teammates and leaving behind teachers and coaches that I loved. I knew it was going to be hard, but nothing could have prepared me for how challenging it would soon prove to be. Being an introvert and a generally shy person, I have consistently had a difficult time making friends and maintaining friendships. From a very young age, I became used to being alone for the majority of the time and it never really bothered me much. I've kept to myself and I've never been the type of kid to just go out and talk to strangers to form relationships of any kind. This school year has been no different. I started my Senior year with one thing in mind: apply to colleges, run track, and graduate. As someone who's had many negative experiences when it comes to friendships, I knew if I focused too much on making friends and it didn't happen, I would end up being very discouraged for my last year of high school. I don’t want that, so I haven’t let that be the deciding factor of whether or not my year is successful. Surprisingly, despite my closed-off manner, I have managed to form a few connections with my classmates this year and I am extremely grateful. Yes, I may not consider them my closest friends, but I do have people I can laugh with and talk to. I left my old high school as the school 300-meter hurdle record holder and 100-meter hurdle state champion. Now, I attend a school in a higher classification with even more talented athletes in our division. However, I have not taken this in a negative light. I know that as an athlete, you need to be put in uncomfortable situations to improve athletically and mentally. Being in a higher classification means that I have more competition that will ultimately push me to become faster and better than I could ever have been in my previous years. In addition to that, knowing that I have to perform better is a great motivator to help me reach my goals this school year of becoming a back-to-back state champion. Moving has allowed me to reassess my goals and change or improve upon them to make myself a better athlete and student. With my family’s move, I have learned that I am much more resilient than I give myself credit for. Despite leaving everything that I’ve known for my whole life behind, I am still an outstanding student and athlete. I’ve learned to identify the most important aspects of my life and give my all into those things while simultaneously allowing myself to grow in other aspects as well. I can now comfortably say that although moving was and has been difficult, I have become a stronger and better person because of it.