2016 Scholarship Winner

Essay

Abigail

Charleston County School of the Arts

<-Return to Winners Page

College is a defining experience designed to educate and prepare students for their career aspirations. High school seniors don their collegiate sweatshirts with pride and have graduation parties celebrating the unveiling of their future plans and dreams. Unfortunately, there are thousands of children in the United States each year that do not have the privilege of picking out dorm room curtains or going to football games. Cancer takes the lives of hundreds of promising youth every year, and I am determined to battle cancer viciously as a pediatric oncologist in an attempt to extend the lives of our society’s future heroes. As I invest my time, resources, and knowledge into extending the life expectancy of children battling cancer, I invest in the advancement of our future community.

A common icebreaker posed to children is: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Sadly, some children will never see these dreams realized. They will never have the opportunity to get a job, create an invention, solve a societal issue, teach future generations, or rescue someone from a fire. Their potential mark on the community is snuffed out by a universal and currently incurable disease. Our society ultimately suffers when we lose these future scholars, dancers, parents, and theologians, and I plan to use my education to end this loss. I am eager to study physics and biology through a pre-medical program to gain the foundation necessary for medical school. However, I do not have to wait for medical school to make a difference. As a proactive student intrigued by research, I anticipate working avidly as an undergraduate in laboratories and as an intern, trying to create or discover a new advancement in cancer treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation are harsh treatments that leave the patient on the brink of death.

I want to ease the pain of those being treated, while still searching for a way to avoid the pain completely. By applying the concepts I learn in class, I can create a medical advancement that will last for decades, but I can also make a personal difference in a patient’s life. Even without a medical license, I can start visiting children in hospitals. The emotional health of a patient is just as important as their physical health, as their willpower to fight is crucial to healing and recovery. Utilizing the resources and education I will receive as an undergraduate, I can make a drastic impact on the livelihood of a patient and thus the community. I am already looking forward to experiencing the great joy of seeing a patient grow old, get married, have children, and lead a fulfilling and meaningful life undefined by their defeated cancer. One patient’s saved life also secures the lives of their future offspring and progeny. Simply stated, by applying my education as a pediatric oncologist, I can save the community’s future world-changers, who will end up bettering our community for the next 80 years or more.