Major - Biochemistry
Hometown - Ferndale, WA
“Education is a privilege, a privilege that comes at a price, a privilege I am fortunate to have.”
From my lived experience, I have learned that each and every day of life is a challenge, a battle and a learning experience. Despite this fact, I can boldly say that my life is awesome! I have been raised in very diverse communities and places. Being born in Greece, spending five years in Australia, two years in India and another seven years in Greece before coming to the States, these experiences have shaped me into the being I am today.
I come from a typical East Indian family. My parents migrated to Greece before my birth in hopes for a better future for themselves, and specifically for their children. They have always striven to provide me and my sister with the best possible life and education, despite times of economic hardships.
My father, who is a taxi driver in Greece, is the primary provider for the funding of my education. Despite the recession in Greece, my parents encourage me to attain the best possible education and have sent me here, to the land of opportunities, the land where dreams come true, in hopes for me to have a better future. At times I feel like a burden unto my parents; this thought can be depressing and stressful. Therefore, in order to repay all the hard work and effort my parents are making for me to be here, I in return am giving my best shot at Western. I have looked up several scholarships and have applied to as many as I can. Similarly, I applied for the WWU Alumni Scholarship. Fortunately, I was selected as a recipient for this scholarship. I cannot express how thankful I am! Each dollar makes a huge difference and helps me get another step closer to fulfilling my dream of someday becoming a physician.
This scholarship is literally a stepping stone, taking me a step closer to fulfilling my goal of becoming a physician. It has helped reduce the financial burden off of my shoulders, specifically off of the shoulders of my parents. It has sparked hope and encourages me to continue to strive to do my best. It is an indicator that there are people out there, people who want to help you succeed and fulfill your goals. I am extremely thankful for this scholarship and will not let a single dollar go to waste. I too hope to someday be able to give back to my community, to be an ally as the community has been my ally.
In Greece, I went through racial prejudice almost on a daily basis. People would stare and make inappropriate comments about me, the police would randomly stop me as I was walked on the street and check me merely because of my skin color and turban, and the security in stores would follow me as if I were going to steal something. Despite the great anti-immigrant spirit that has spread all over Europe, I managed to persevere and learn from those experiences.
Additionally, money has always been a constraint. I love this quote: “Money should be a necessity, not a desire.” Indeed, when it becomes a desire is when problems begin to arise. At this very point, money is a necessity for me, a necessity to live, a necessity to pay for my education. Although I and my family are under financial duress, I am actually thankful for it because it is this experience that has led me to appreciate all that I have. Sometimes the only way to truly appreciate something is by first losing it.
This financial and prejudicial constraint has not brought me down but has actually uplifted me. These experiences have enabled and encouraged me to grow, learn, and become stronger; through various support systems, I have been able to use my past experiences as fuel to help me accomplish what many others fail to accomplish.
Today it is my goal to someday be a leader and physician and help bring about positive change. I have heard of and have witnessed injustices and discrimination that occur within the medical community. It is my dream and goal to help provide equal access to the basic necessity and right of humans, and to be able to provide proper, yet affordable healthcare for all!
During my free time, I enjoy playing the Harmonium, a popular musical instrument played in India. I have been playing it since I was 13 and really enjoy it to this very day. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family. It enables me to get out of my regular school routine and to relax. Additionally, I try to spend time at the Recreational Center when I am free! I enjoy working out and staying in shape. It also helps release the school stress. Most importantly, I like to visit the Sikh Temple and volunteer there. It brings peace to my mind and helps my spirituality.