Be the Change You Wish to See in the World by Ashwin

Ashwin's entry into Varsity Tutor's June 2020 scholarship contest

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Be the Change You Wish to See in the World by Ashwin - June 2020 Scholarship Essay

For a significant portion of my early childhood, I wanted to be a superhero, such as Batman, in hopes of making the world a better place. The satisfaction of helping others, and seeing the difference I’m able to make, made me feel like my life had a purpose. While my dream of becoming an actual superhero has changed since my early imagination, I have still continued to pursue my ambitions of making the world a better place for others.

In mid-February 2017, an event happened that changed my life forever. I was heading to Seattle with my family, when suddenly my dad’s phone rang; it was from his doctor. Over the phone, I heard the shocking news: my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer. My initial thoughts of his health and future had run across my mind. How could this happen? Even though I was devastated, I felt motivated. Motivated to help my dad overcome this life-changing obstacle, but also felt invigorated to help individuals who struggle with this terrible disease.

Throughout school, I’ve always loved learning about science and how it provided answers to my curiosity. Learning more about science has opened my eyes to new discoveries and made me want to try new things. From conducting experiments in elementary school to completing labs in middle school, science has been something that excited me. Continuing my passion for science, I knew that I wanted to focus my attention more on the medical aspect in hopes of helping people like my family and creating change. I specifically want to become an oncologist and research cancer in my future so that I can hopefully find a cure for cancer and save millions of lives. With personal experience on how traumatic this disease is, I am very passionate about pursuing this interest in my future career.

In order to accomplish this seemingly impossible task, I have become motivated to challenge myself and grow as an individual. For this reason, I have taken advanced classes throughout high school. This has prepared me for college since it taught me important skills such as creating strong work habits and made me ready for my future academic pursuits. Inside the classroom, I specifically geared my classes towards learning about cancer. This includes taking rigorous classes such as AP Biology and AP Chemistry that taught me about how cancer affects the body. Furthermore, I also joined a Health Careers program in my school that helps students learn about healthcare in a hands-on approach. For the past two years, I did clinical rotations to learn more about oncology, and have gained valuable knowledge through experiences. I also wanted to supplement my learning with my life ambition to study cancer, which is why I started attending OHSU’s Knight School conferences regarding recent cancer research. I was able to meet with some of the world’s best researchers and gained new insights on studies being done today to find a cure. I feel more confident seeing how there is still room to grow in the field and gives me hope that I have the opportunity to help change the world.

As I’m heading into college, I’m excited to see how further education will allow me to learn more about this field. I hope to have opportunities to do research through working with cancer researchers who share the same passion and learn from them to create my own advancements. Additionally, I plan to take classes that gear me towards this medical path by preparing me for medical school. Although there are new advancements being made, I believe that there’s still a general mystery on its cause and effective treatment to cure it. Overall, I am very confident and eager to satisfy my desire to help the world and others like my father who still suffer from cancer through research and pursuing a medical career.