Sara, 19 – FUNDED

Sara plans to pursue a dual major in political science and nursing when she attends Clemson University. Why both? This 1,000 Dreams Fund Scholarship recipient wants to help provide medical services to indigent and developing nations — and understanding the politics and laws of other parts of the world is critical to that dream! Read on for more about this inspiring young woman — and how she turned pain into purpose.

What is your professional dream?

My dream is to establish medical facilities in remote areas of the world and help bring healing to a hurting world.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

I will use the scholarship to participate in medical and academic training in the areas of South Africa as well as parts of Serbia and Croatia.

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

This scholarship is helping me get closer to my dream of providing medical services to indigent and developing nations, by giving the opportunity to obtain the training and hands-on experience in these areas. The scholarship funds will give me finical ability to participate in these training abroad programs which is not covered by other aid or assistance.

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

I would encourage other young women to always be the very best version of themselves and never give up on their pursuits. It is easy in a world controlled by social media for us to allow ourselves to feel less than and not enough. We compare our behind-the-scenes moments in life to other people’s highlight reels and we become discouraged. I would advise young women to pursue their dreams with passion and confidence and to fight feelings of insecurity along the way to obtaining their goals.

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

When my father passed away before my senior year in high school, I did not want to go on. Nothing really seemed that important anymore — not grades, not college aspirations, not future goals. I was so fixated on the perspective that I had; one where my father had fought so hard and still lost his ultimate battle. But then it occurred to me that I may have the wrong perspective. The takeaway from his story should not be how I view the end, but instead how the battle was fought in the interim.

My father’s sacrifice to a medical clinical trial led to what the FDA believes will be a cure for leukemia. We may not know in our lifetimes the positive impact we could have on the world. I moved past my grief and depression by focusing on the fight. I have elected to use my pain for purpose — to help others. I can honor my father by living a life of giving and helping others, just as he gave his life to do the same.

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

I plan to obtain both a medical and legal degree so that I will be in the best position to help those in need.