Yesterday we announced the 3rd Honorable Mention: Dylan Martinsen. Today we announce our winner of the $500 Annual College Book Scholarship. There is a point when going through applications where you wish you could give just about every entry a scholarship, this why we changed things up this year and selected 3 Honorable Mentions and 1 winner. In the end we chose a winner who drew us into her journey that inspired her to become what it seems she was always meant to be.
The $500 Scholarship Winner is Chloe Summerland!
Chloe Summerland is enrolled at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Her desire to pursue medicine came from her experiences serving amid health disparities overseas as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. Presently, she works as a Bilingual Family Support Specialist with Volunteers of America's Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, a comprehensive preschool that provides underserved families with resources and support throughout the school year. In her free time, she loves to write, hike and practice yoga.
Here is an excerpt from her essay:
"It was the rainy season. We took the morning bus to Quito, watching the sun break like an egg yolk over the hills of Pichincha through mudcrusted windows. We walked the remaining seven blocks to the hospital, an overcrowded labyrinth of peeling paint and cracked concrete, with wiring snaking out of light fixtures, holes in the plaster and gurneys with rusted wheels. My friend was proud to go to this place. "This is the good hospital," she said.
We were there because Yesi was ill, with chronic pains for which the doctors gave her pills but no prognosis, but I remember most the woman with the stonecolored skin. Limbs like ashen splinters, her eyelids drooped and she was moaning as her family guided her down the hallway. Outside, the rain began to pour. The woman who cradled her was weeping, saying, “Every two weeks we come here; They send us away. Come back later for more tests, they say. We come back; They do nothing." And the people huddled on the waiting room floor all nodded, as if to say, Yes, we know. We have been there, too.
The woman staggered by me. Her yellow eyes rolled toward mine, her mouth open, her breathing thick, labored. A Peace Corps agriculture volunteer, I had never studied illness or disease, but I knew that the woman was dying. As she moved past, I felt an urge to get up from the cold concrete floor and go to her, help her but what would I do when I got there? My skills were farming, teaching; I knew about cattle, sugar cane, soil. About medicine, I knew nothing.
I may have known nothing, but I had seen the hospital where our own volunteers were treated, an immaculate place with glass walls, orchids in the offices and a fountain in the lobby. On the bus home that night, a Peace Corps magazine ad proclaimed, “It’s Never Too Late to Be a Doctor.” I cut out that ad; I taped it to my wall. Falling asleep in the warm air, I thought of the two hospitals and listened to the rhythm of the rain, heartbeats on the roof."
We wish Chloe all the luck as she continues her quest to become a doctor and we can't wait to see all the good she does!
We want to thank and encourage all of the applicants for the scholarship to apply again next year. Good luck to everyone during their 2016 Fall semester!