The acceptance I felt in Germany extended beyond that living room. I came to the country on a three week exchange with ten other students from my school. We each stayed with host families and attended the Wildermuth Gymnasium, which was surprisingly accommodating to a gaggle of loud American teenagers. The teachers were friendly and welcoming, the students treated us like ordinary peers, and even the people I interacted with in public were understanding.
It was intimidating to be in a country with limited knowledge of the language and the customs, even though everyone was welcoming. They recognized that we were outsiders, that the place we came from had flaws, and they accepted us anyway. For example, I work at a canoe livery and we receive a lot of visitors with limited English. If people had done this to me in Germany, my time there would have been much less enjoyable; in fact, I would have been offended.
I take my time to make sure they understand, that they can have a good time, and that they feel accepted. In the summer of , with my first year of medical school completed, I embarked upon my last official summer vacation with two things in mind: a basketball tournament in Dallas and one in Atlanta.
My closest friends and I had been playing in tournaments for the past 10 summers, and it was a sacred bond forged together in the name of competition. However, two weeks before our first tournament, I became instantly and overwhelmingly short of breath. Having been born to Korean immigrant parents, I was raised to utilize the hospital in emergency cases only, and I knew this was such a case.
A few scans later, doctors discovered numerous pulmonary emboli PE , caused by a subclavian deep vein thrombosis DVT , and just like that, I was lying in a bed of a major hospital for a life threatening condition. Fast forward a few months, and I am lying in a similar bed to treat the underlying cause of the subclavian DVT: a first rib removal. There is little that can adequately prepare someone physically, emotionally or spiritually to undergo surgery; and my thoughts continued to race in the days following.
In addition to the expected physical pain, isolation, fear and frustration were a few of the emotions I experienced in the four day ordeal. Quite frankly, the past nine months have been difficult, literally full of blood, sweat and tears. But through it all, I have been able to maintain my positivity and gratitude knowing that I have gained the invaluable experience of being a patient and discovering the vulnerability and trust that patients give their doctors.
Patients indulge information to doctors that they may have never told anyone in their life and in doing so, place a great deal of trust and responsibility in the hands of a doctor. Many patients will not understand the mechanism of disease behind their condition and anticipate that the doctor will explain to them and their family why it is that they are feeling the way they are and ultimately heal them. And that is precisely what my surgeon understood: the privilege of being able to care for patients and the intimacy of the doctor-patient relationship.
There are few times where a patient and their loved ones are more vulnerable and in need of compassion than when dealing with a hospitalization. Such ideals are rooted in love and compassion for patients, not as clients in the health care system, but as fellow human beings striving to make something of themselves and the world around them I. Unfortunately, the ordeal of living with a chronic illness or undergoing a major operation extends beyond the confines of the hospital.
Such foresight in anticipating financial concerns and directing me on the next steps to be taken provided relief in the surmounting stress. This means we will make mistakes, some of which can result in life-threatening consequences. Even though the day of his funeral was undoubtedly the worst day of my life, I wish I could relive it just to be with him one more time. Since that moment, I have felt as if all of my grief and longing resides underneath my skin with nothing to relieve the pressure.
On September 8th, , I lost my voice of reason, my confidant, my cheerleader, and my best friend. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had lost so much more. Because he did not have any form of life insurance, the financial burden of his death was now the responsibility of my mother and me. Even though my mother works night shifts as a neonatal nurse and her commute is nearly two hours, she was forced to pick up extra shifts to support my family.
Though I already had a job and I worked about ten hours a week, I now work anywhere from twenty-five to thirty-five hours a week, and I am also a full-time high honor student. Even though the death of my father forced me to realize the importance of cherishing time with my family, I do not see them very often because of our busy schedules. I also sacrificed my social life and the joy that every senior in high school should experience.
If my father had a life insurance policy, we would not have to work ourselves to the bone and sacrifice our physical and emotional well-being to keep up with expenses. I would not have to worry so intensely about the future of my education on top of the crippling grief that I have felt over the last five months.
If this devastating experience has taught me anything, it is this: financial planning for these situations is absolutely invaluable. I will not soon forget the stress and despair that I have experienced, and I now realize that to have a life insurance policy is to throw your surviving family members a crucial lifeline. Though no one can ever prepare you for the trauma of losing a parent, life insurance allows you to grieve without the constant stress of financial burden, and for that reason, it is an absolutely essential precaution.
I love and miss you so much, Dad. Thank God I will see you again. Use one of those opportunities to tell us something else we cannot see just by looking at your grades, test scores, and transcripts. Growing up, I struggled to speak English while everyone else had little to no problems.
I needed extra help in school while my friends coasted by with ease. My friends would hop on planes and travel all around the world while I had to stay at home. I built up the courage and asked my mother why I did not have access to the simple liberties everyone else did.
At the time I had no clue that I was breaking any laws, and I did not realize the fact that my life was going to change forever. Growing up with a different citizenship situation than my peers was and still is the biggest challenge I have to face in my life.
Looking back there is not a single thing that I would change. Knowing that I had to work harder than everyone else lead me to be the person that I am today. I took that fire inside of me, pushed myself, graduated first in my class with a cumulative 4. In November of , everything began to look up for me. I received a work permit and a social security card all thanks to the DACA program.
I was finally able to get my license, get a job, and most importantly attend college. I plan to continue my success in the classroom and do everything to the best of my ability as I know that under my current circumstances it can all be ripped away from me at any moment. Growing up with my situation has taught me to not take advantage of a single opportunity. There has been continued support around me past and current and I know there are people out there rooting for my success.
I will strive to be the first generation in my family to graduate from an American University and I will set a stepping stone for my future family so they will not have to struggle as I did. My citizenship is not a setback, it is a mere obstacle that I will always learn to work around if it means giving my future children a better life, just like my mother did for me.
Want access to more scholarships? Sign up for a weekly digest of new scholarship opportunities, sent to your inbox. Coloring books had lines, letters took on very specific shapes, and a system of rules governed everything from board games to the classroom. College was always factored into the percentage and the overall formula for life.
Candidates must be female undergraduate students at an accredited four-year institution, who are majoring in math, engineering, or biological or physical sciences. Candidates may be residents of any country. This program offers renewable scholarships to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who demonstrate financial need. Applicants have to be at least 17 years old; U. They also have a smaller scholarship just for high school students.
Offered by the makers of Cards Against Humanity, the scholarship covers a full ride at the winner's chosen college or university. Additional partial scholarships are also offered. This scholarship from the U. The SMART Scholarship is open to students who are citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or United Kingdom at time of application, at least 18 years of age, able to complete at least one summer internship if interested in a multi-year award , willing to accept post-graduation employment with the DoD, and pursuing a technical degree in one of the 21 STEM disciplines prioritized by the DOD.
See the site for details. Awards are available for undergraduate and graduate s tudents. For students in the sciences, there are plenty of options under the general sciences umbrella, but also for specific fields like physics, geology, biology, and others. Offered by a woman-owned business, the SSAI scholarship is intended to encourage the study of physics.
Applicants must be members of the Society of Physics Students. Funds may be used for any aspect of education, including tuition, books, housing, or travel. This award is for female students who are studying industrial engineering. Schools may be located in the U. Scroll down on the linked URL to view this specific scholarship, but feel free to skim over the many other opportunities on the page. Women looking to pursue a career in aeronautical, electrical, or mechanical engineering within the airline industry are welcome to apply for one of these four awards.
Applicants must be members of Women in Aviation to qualify. Must have a GPA of 3. Check out the rest of the site for more scholarship opportunities. Women in engineering should also consider applying for scholarships through the Society of Women Engineers or SWE and join your campus chapter, while you're at it! Graduate students may also apply.
Ten winners are selected for awards through the Palantir Women in Technology Scholarship. Applicants must be women pursuing degrees in computer science, engineering, or technical studies. The best time to apply for scholarships is while you're still in high school. While many scholarships are available to any student in higher education, some are only available for students in certain years or who are pursuing certain degrees.
These tend to be targeted specifically at incoming college freshmen. Yes, there are plenty of options in future school years. But if you're hoping for scholarships to help pay for school during freshman year, applying in high school will give you the greatest odds of success.
Girl Scouts take note: your scouting makes you eligible for a whole host of scout-specific scholarships, some of which are targeted at STEM students and many for students in any major. Web designers take note: This scholarship with two yearly applications awards scholarships to students in, or about to enter, college.
The no-essay application does require you to submit a web design you've created. Bonus: The winner also gets a critique on the design of your choice from the company's founder and chief creative officer. Don't let the number of scholarships for freshmen dissuade you; if you're pursuing your master's degree or PhD in a STEM field you also have lots of options available to help foot the tuition bill.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled not only for scholarships targeted specifically at graduate students, but also any student within higher education. That includes some of the scholarship opportunities mentioned above. Women pursuing an undergraduate or masters degree in STEM are encouraged to apply. Recipients will be invited to Palantir HQ for a workshop and internship opportunity.
Scholarships that are geared toward all STEM students may mean that more people competing for the same prize, but as a woman, your underrepresented status in the field makes you a more competitive and appealing candidate to scholarship committees. Begin your search in a robust scholarship database , but definitely check search engines as well — new scholarships come online all the time. Start with the most obvious search: women in STEM scholarships. Try different combinations of search terms, both broad and specific.
Using very focused terms, such as space physics or HVAC if they're relevant to what you're studying can turn up under-the-radar opportunities that most people miss. Be sure to add in terms that may correlate with your hobbies. You saw the drone-related scholarship above, right?
You never know what's out there. Remember: Most scholarships are offered annually. If you're interested in one but the deadline has already passed, make a note in your calendar to check it out next year. Anytime you're doing a scholarship search, it's important to do some soul-searching about what makes you unique and competitive as a scholarship applicant. STEM scholarships for women are everywhere, but so are the students applying.
To stand out in the crowd, go deeper and find a way to convey your individuality. Are you a good writer? If you feel confident about your ability to turn a phrase, keep an eye out for scholarship opportunities that require essays. Need some help getting started? Check out: How to Start a Scholarship Essay. What else makes you unique? Your heritage? Your church affiliation or lack thereof? Your culture? Your artistic talents?
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