We are proud to announce the newest recipient of the GEM for STEM Graduate Scholarship Award, Grace Sinisalo.
Grace is 24 years old and was born and raised in Northern Minnesota. She spends most of her free time watching TV, hanging with friends and family, enjoying the fresh air & being outside, or playing fetch with her adorable one-year old puppy Winston.
Grace first became passionate about the STEM fields in middle school when a particular teacher showed her how fun science can be and how much it can influence our everyday lives. She has always had a math/science-based mind, so working with numbers and facts has always piqued her interest. Being passionate about learning about the STEM fields, even from a young age, made her grow and excel as a student throughout all her studies. It continued into high school and later into her undergraduate degree in biology. Grace attributes her success in school and her future in medicine, to finding a love to learn through the STEM fields and the support of her teachers. Congratulations Grace!
Please provide a brief description highlighting your work/area of focus.
Right now I am an AmeriCorps volunteer serving with Arizona Serve at Yavapai County Community Health Services. My current role is as the Opioid Harm Reduction Coordinator. In this position, I work with local organizations, community members, and county and state boards in order to promote harm reduction strategies that revolve around Opioid Use Disorder. I am focused specifically on Naloxone education and distribution, destigmatization and education about Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), and improved access to MAT for pregnant women throughout Yavapai County. While working full time in this position, I am also fine tuning applications for medical school and studying to take my MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) in order to pursue my dream of becoming a physician. From a young age, with the help of the STEM fields, I have had a passion for medicine and the healthcare field. I am honored to be working alongside health care workers in Public Health and I look forward to continuing my education in medicine.
If your scholarship funds HAVE NOT BEEN USED yet, how do you anticipate you will achieve success?
I have not had the opportunity to use my scholarship award yet as I am waiting to use it towards medical school application fees in the upcoming month. Without this money, I would be struggling to even apply for medical school because of how much it costs to apply per school. I am grateful to have this scholarship money to take the financial weight of applications off my shoulders and to focus on getting into the school I want. By becoming a physician, I will constantly be using my knowledge in the STEM fields to treat and care for patients, as well as contribute unique findings in medicine to the field of science.
Tell us what this scholarship means to you.
As mentioned above, I am so grateful for this scholarship and the relief of the financial burden associated with medical school application fees. To apply to medical school is expensive, but to apply as an AmeriCorps VISTA is even more detrimental on the bank account.... Without this G.E.M. scholarship, I would have difficulties even submitting an application to pursue my dream of becoming a physician.