Annual Scholarships Help Healthcare Students Achieve Dreams
The Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship Fund has provided more than just financial assistance for area students pursuing careers in the medical field; it has helped more than 30 students pursue their passions and dreams since its inception in 2006. The Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship has helped these students afford higher education, and subsequently pursue a career in the medical field.
Dr. Sanford Siegel, President and CEO, CUA-OPCO (pictured right), is passionate about the work of the Central Scholarship organization which has been helping students in the healthcare field achieve their dreams for over 80 years. “We established the Chesapeake Urology Associates Scholarship Fund in conjunction with Central Scholarship 11 years ago as a way to give back to our young people who are the future of healthcare in Maryland and in this country.” said Dr. Siegel, who was himself a Central Scholarship recipient more than 40 years ago.
Dr. Siegel recalls when he was a young medical student and found himself in financial need after his father suffered a heart attack and his parents were not working. “I remember being interviewed by a three person panel and feeling relieved when I was chosen to receive a multi-year, interest free loan of $1,500. This meant I could attend medical school without having to work two jobs to pay for it.”
He adds, “Central Scholarship is a fabulous organization then and now. It provides opportunities for people who otherwise cannot fulfill their dreams because of financial constraints. We are so lucky here at Chesapeake Urology. Our doctors have been fortunate to work in a great environment and to earn a great living. It’s important that we give back to a field we are passionate about – healthcare.”
The inspirational stories of the 2016 – 2017 Chesapeake Urology Central Scholarship recipients:
Lemuria Holmes-Bey has not allowed life challenges to deter her from her dream of a career in healthcare. In addition to being a single mother to her son, she has cared for her nephew since he was 5 years old and abandoned by his mother, a drug addict and incarcerated father. Her nephew has a learning disability and medical complications and emotional unrest. Lemuria took her first step to earning an Associate’s degree in Medical Billing and Coding, but after working for two years she felt unfulfilled. She took a leap of faith to start nursing school despite her concern that she was older than most of the students. She had another setback when she had to obtain a second job and take a semester off of school in order to address her family’s needs. Now back in school, Lemuria is on track to graduate in 2017 with her bachelor’s degree in Nursing.
Caitlin McCauley is a pre-medicine/biology/animation major at UMBC. She plans to be a surgeon and hopes to merge the two fields by bringing the precise skills of an artist into the hands of a surgeon. She strongly believes that growing as an artist enables her to think more creatively. As surgeons are using medical animation to perform and teach procedures, Caitlyn feels that she will be able to bridge the gap between animators and the doctors. She writes, “As I am paying for college out of my own pocket, every bit of support helps. With your generosity, I feel that I can get through my college years without having to go too far into debt.”
Golda Ntali – After completing the first two years of her studies at community college, Golda Ntali is a junior in the nursing program at Towson University. As a teenager Golda lived through her parents’ tumultuous divorce which resulted in an unstable living situation for the family. The family still struggles financially. Once of Golda’s goals is to sponsor the education of her two much younger siblings. Golda tells us, “I have learned that even the worst situations get better with time, and all we need to do is to focus on contributing our share of making the world a more peaceful and better place.” In her thank you letter she writes, “This generous scholarship means more to me than my words can convey. My education in nursing is one of the most important things in my life right now.”
Prabuddi Weerasinghe is set to graduate with a degree in Neuroscience from American University in 2017. Her own health experiences gave her the strength and motivation to become a doctor, specifically a neurologist. As a teenager, she was diagnosed with both Guillian-Barre Syndrome and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). After a year immobilized in a wheelchair, she learned to walk again. By working closely with her doctors, Prabuddi was able to graduate high school, complete an Associate’s degree in Life Sciences and continue to work towards her Bachelor’s degree. As part of her commitment to giving back, she is a blood donor and organized blood drives on campus.
Students interested in learning more about the application process should visit the Central Scholarship website - http://www.central-scholarship.org/.