American Medical Women’s Association awards scholarship to Third Ward seniors

American Medical Women's Association awards scholarship to Third Ward seniors to promote women pursuing stem careers. | Juana Garcia/The Cougar

American Medical Women’s Association awards scholarship to Third Ward seniors to promote women pursuing stem careers. | Jiselle Santos/The Cougar

In an effort to lend a hand to the Houston community, the UH American Medical Women’s Association is awarding the Women In Science and Health Scholarship to local seniors around the Third Ward.  

 The WISH Scholarship fund began in the 2018-2019 school year and continued into the 2019-2020 school year where the AMWA was able to present the scholarship for the first time. 

“The incredible thing about the WISH Scholarship is that it recognizes passionate female students who have a genuine interest in pursuing a career in healthcare, and lets them know that they are seen and valued,” said AMWA Co-Women’s Advocacy Chair member, Villa Matovu. 

“The monetary aid helps the students further by ensuring that there are less obstacles on a path they have already forged for themselves,” Matovu said.

The scholarship is advertised to high schools around Third Ward, from there the schools will send the application to their eligible students. To qualify for the scholarship the applicants must be graduating seniors pursuing a career in STEM. 

After the application period, the AMWA board reviews all of the applications from their essay submission followed by interviews to choose the recipients in May according to AMWA Co-President Christina Dias. 

“The WISH Scholarship allows the students to feel as limitless as their goals and dreams,” Matovu said. “College is expensive, and with that, what a student chooses to pursue can be met with discouraging monetary challenges.”

The scholarships amount depends on the amount the AMWA are able to raise in their scholarship fund. Previously, the organization was able to present three scholarships at once of $500 each according to Dias. 

“While the scholarship is not huge, we know it is the best we can do to encourage young women to take the leap of pursuing higher education and entering a STEM field,” Dias said.

“Even the smallest amount can certainly take a little bit of the huge financial burden away that many people endure when pursuing higher education,” Dias added.

The recipients of the WISH Scholarship are then awarded it in May. According to Dias, AMWA works with the recipients to identify the best way to disperse the scholarship to them. Recipients are then featured on the AMWA social media pages and announced at annual banquet.  

“Our goal is to empower women to enter careers where they don’t always see themselves represented,” Dias said “We have a duty to give back to the community we call home and we see this as a great opportunity to do so.” 

Additionally, the AMWA also plans on continuing the WISH fundraiser for November. This is by using he WISH fundraising efforts such as IG Bingo, Penny Drive and Merch4WISH according to Matovu. 

“When the members participate, we celebrate every donation and express gratitude at their involvement with the reminder that this money is uplifting a young woman,” Matovu said.

“As an organization defined by advocacy efforts to create an equitable place for women in medicine, the WISH Scholarship roots us in our intention.”

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