By Daezon Arruda
Daezon Arruda is a recipient of the CNS Native Hawaiian Scholarship. This is her thank-you letter to donors.
I wanted to personally thank you for allowing me to have the opportunity to become a recipient of the CNS Native Hawaiian Scholarship. The pandemic has really affected me financially, and I’m so thankful for your support during these hard times. Not only has your scholarship allowed me to continue my educational goal of graduating with a B.S. in biology, it has also brought me other opportunities.
In fall 2020, I was able to enroll in the Native Hawaiian Student Pathway to Medicine program that guides Native Hawaiian students on their path to becoming future physicians and health professionals. Since then, I’ve learned strategies on how to study for the MCAT and received opportunities to apply for funding for MCAT resource materials too. In addition, I got the opportunity to speak with medical students from JABSOM on their journey in medical school and other Native Hawaiian physicians in Hawaiʻi. They have been so generous to offer virtual shadowing experiences as well, so I can learn about different specialties in the medical field.
While the pandemic has affected the timeline of my research on the antimicrobial activity of plants used in traditional Hawaiian medicine, your scholarship has allowed me to dorm on campus and complete my project. With my research, I hope to identify the bioactive compounds in commercial supplements in order to understand how they can address the concerns that chronic diseases present in our community.
Moreover, I became an executive board member for the Golden Key Honor Society. As the new director of involvement and development of Golden Key, I have been providing our members workshops that will help them further their own career goals and social events to help us have fun in our virtual environment. Through the Pre-Medical Association, I have made cards to express our thanks to frontline healthcare workers and origami to put a smile on patients at the Queens Medical Center.
Although this pandemic has had a huge impact on my learning environment, I had the opportunity to gain insight into medical school admissions and gain leadership and research experience that will help me to become a well-rounded student. These opportunities have also gotten me one step closer to becoming a physician so that I can serve my Big Island community in the future. Mahalo for your continuous donation to help Native Hawaiian students achieve their educational and career goals.