“I dream of becoming a trauma surgeon, and seeing what doctors in my community can do inspires me every day to be my best to work toward that position,” writes this year’s STEM NEWS scholarship recipient. The Connecticut senior takes up the mantle of previous winners in Cognitive Consulting’s commitment to promote and support young women in STEM. Her academic drive and community engagement inspire us and remind us of the wide-reaching impact of the medical field.
She identifies the start of her “passion for medicine” in high school when she “began volunteering for a non-profit organization called ‘Tails,’ dedicated to helping needy animals, especially abandoned cats, on the streets.” When the adoption center faced the possibility of “shutting down due to insufficient volunteers,” she “took the initiative to start a club at school to help the organization gain more volunteers and prevent the possibility of a shutdown.” Through her efforts, she “gained over 71 participants and 42 active volunteers in less than a day.” However, her engagement did not stop there. She successfully motivated the adoption of 16 animals and “learned that emotional support animals make the lives of those struggling with mental health much better.”
Seeing the connection between animals and mental health sparked the interest in medicine that AP Biology only furthered. She recalls a movie where “a young girl…spent months in the hospital fighting several infections that were antibiotic resistant,” and says, “after spending months in the classroom learning about infectious diseases, genetics, and many of biology’s diverse fields, I knew that it was something I wanted to study long-term and pursue in the future.”
An opportunity to shadow a local doctor gave her a window into her future career. She explains the eye-opening experience: “All I could think about was working hard to earn my own white coat someday.” We at Cognitive are wowed by her and can’t wait to watch her, in her own words, “continue my drive to change the lives of those around me for the rest of my life.”