Angela H., 18 – FUNDED

Angela H. is on track for studying biological sciences — most likely on the molecular and cellular track — at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That’s because the 1,000 Dreams Fund Scholarship recipient has big dreams of heading to medical school so she can help others. But you could also say that she has already learned an important lesson of learning to ask for help herself — thanks to a teacher. Read on for more of her story.

What is your professional dream?

I want to become a physician and help improve the lives of my community members by researching and developing solutions for health and societal inequities.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

The award will help fund college-related expenses.

How is this scholarship helping you get closer to your dream?

It will help me achieve my American dream, which is to become a physician and provide a comfortable life for my mother. It will lower my expenses, and therefore lessen the amount of time I need to work outside of class. Without the constant pressure of paying off mountains of debt, I can freely engage in different activities that will help me prepare for medical school.

What advice do you have for other young women who are wanting to pursue their dreams?

Don’t take no for an answer!

​Have you had any setbacks? How did you move past them?

One of the biggest mistakes that I’ve made in my high-school career was not asking for help. Transitioning from a regular elementary school to a competitive high school was very difficult for me. The change in the environment combined with my timid nature took a negative toll on my grades. Because I struggled so much with my classes, I didn’t have time to engage in extracurricular activities.

But it was my math teacher who helped me realize that being vulnerable is okay; he not only taught me that confusion is a natural part of learning, but also the importance of taking initiative. From then on, I started asking questions in class, and my grades gradually improved over the years. I will carry this lesson with me throughout my entire life.

What’s next for you? What is your next goal?

My current goal is to enjoy my undergraduate years and explore my academic and personal interests during college.