Aaron Bautista was announced as the winner of the Galorath Annual College Student Scholarship Essay Contest, which saw an increase of applications from almost 500 in the previous year to nearly 3,000. We wish him every success as he pursues his education to become a physician. Here is his winning essay entry:
When I was five, my grandparents would sneak me coffee instead of apple juice, telling my parents that I was “old enough.” We collected mail together, and I helped run their garage sales on Saturdays. But when my grandpa was diagnosed with brain cancer, everything changed. His frequent headaches meant he couldn’t come home, so we went to the hospital instead. My mom and I saw my grandpa in his coma and held hands as we cried. She didn’t speak, but I almost did. Until I realized that speaking wouldn’t change anything.
A few years later, at age 14, the feeling of helplessness still haunted me. I started volunteering at Kaiser Permanente because I knew that even if I couldn’t change things for myself, I could make a difference in other people’s lives. At Kaiser, I realized that every subtle choice can help mend someone’s pain, like how the simple act of handing a sticker to a sick child can reassure them. Like how talking to patients can make them smile and bring courage in a stressful time. Like how reading stories to toddlers can help them find comfort before heading to face their medical realities. I was the bridge in a network of doctors, nurses, and patients, doing my best to support them all. I wanted to empower people that felt the same way I did when my grandpa was in the hospital, and found that when I volunteer, I no longer feel helpless. I feel strong.
I’m 19 now, and my desire to help others has grown beyond the hospital. I now collaborate with 150 premed students as a social ambassador on “Morning Sign-Out,” a biomedical blog that works to bridge the gap between the medical community and the general public. Our blog covers the latest news in public health policy, healthcare, and medicine, while providing insight on the premed track. We especially strive to make new research understandable for our readers by explaining findings clearly, without the academic jargon usually found in medical journals. We’re revolutionizing the way people access this information because we understand that while speaking won’t change anything, spreading awareness will.
In 10 years from now, I hope to not only dedicate myself to raising awareness on medical research, but also to improving healthcare quality. It'll start with school organizations dedicated to improving healthcare, as well as humanitarian organizations full of patient rights activists. I’ll volunteer at the school’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center and walk the streets of Los Angeles to arrange public health conferences that’ll be accessible to all. While I can't change the social conditions that people are born into, I hope to change how healthcare systems respond. I want people to know a different kind of healthcare: one that bridges care at home and care at the hospital. Doctors don’t always realize the importance of social factors when treating a patient—after all, medicine cures disease, but not unsafe housing conditions and food shortages. I want to restructure healthcare systems so that people receive the medical and social support they need.
Despite my struggles—or perhaps because of them—I’ve gained an increased sense of self-worth that will help me in becoming a physician. The same powerlessness that began my wars has also ended them. After all, it is because of my speechless five-year-old self that I chose to volunteer and become a medical writer. What I’ve learned through my work will help me continue to honor lives, save generations, and fight diseases—one sticker and one article at a time.
If you are interested in becoming our next essay scholarship winner, please visit our scholarship page and see the details for submission.
Congratulations to to Aaron Bautista, our 2017-2018 Winner! Read his winning essay.
Hello Students and WELCOME to our Annual College Student Scholarship Essay Contest.
We are giving away a $600 Scholarship
If you’re enrolled in college or getting ready to attend in 2018, we want you to apply to win a $600 scholarship to help cover expenses. Continuing your education takes time and money and we want to help you with your future education costs.
How to Win the Scholarship
Write a 500-600 word essay and share your future goals you plan on accomplishing with your education. Dream big, aim high and tell us how you are going to change the world for the better. We want to help you achieve your goals with this scholarship.
Scholarship Eligibility & Submission
- Deadline to Apply: March 1st, 2018
- In a Word doc, you must fill out the below information and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Essay of 500 - 600 Words
- Attending School (High School or College)
- Year of Graduation
- Phone Number
- The file name should be your full name and date of birth. Example: John-Doe-1-15-1995.docx.
- You must be a graduating senior in high school or a freshmen, sophomore, or junior in college.
- You must be graduating high school or in college and between the ages of 16 and 22.
- We reserve the right to verify the date of your high school graduation and/or college enrollment.
Here’s How You Win:
- Send us your essay, following the guidelines above.
- We will pick a winner by March 30th, 2018 and notify you.
- We will email you to confirm mailing address, and send you a check in the mail for $600.
Deadline to Apply: March 1st, 2018
Your participation in our Scholarship constitutes your consent for the website Administrator to use your personal information only for the purpose of offering the Scholarship, awarding the scholarship to the winner and any reporting responsibility to taxing authorities. We may also provide information about the winner on our site, including your essay.
* We may not send you a notification that we received your email. We will review all applicants at the same time and contact the winner only. Please do not email us asking if we received your submission.
Our Past Galorath Scholarship Winners
2016-2017 Winner - Carmen Pettersen - Read her winning essay.
2017-2018 Winner - Aaron Bautista - Read his winning essay.