MPOWER Financing is excited to announce the winners of our Global Citizen Scholarship! Our Fall 2020 cycle ended December 31st, and our scholarship committee reviewed over 1,700 eligible applications representing over 110 countries and 220 universities. We were extremely impressed by all of the applicants’ accomplishments and their commitment to global change.
After a difficult deliberation, our scholarship committee selected a grand prize winner to receive $5,000, and two honorable mentions of $1,000 each. These winners include international students from Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Ecuador. The talent and potential of these students are exceptional, and we are honored to name the following recipients as MPOWER Global Citizen Scholarship recipients.
Read on below for their impressive profiles!
Grand Prize Winner: Oreoluwa Arowojolu, Doctor Planning to Establish a Non-Profit
Nigeria, Yale University School of Public Health
Ore is a Master’s student at Yale University, pursuing a degree in Healthcare Management. He grew up in Nigeria, where he also earned a medical degree. During his medical studies, Ore researched a wide range of topics. In his essay, he discusses his work which spanned, “across several fields, including cancer, heart disease, mental health.” Ore is passionate about healthcare, specifically pediatric burn victims. This interest sparked due to a research paper, published in the Burns Journal, when he learned, “that childhood burn victims [in Nigeria] return to school much later than their peers in the U.S.A., with many of them dropping out altogether, mainly as a result of lack of access to quality, affordable burn care.”
After completing his Master’s, Ore hopes to begin a residency program in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He plans to establish a non-profit burn center in Nigeria to care for pediatric burn patients. In addition to his dedication to healthcare, Ore’s other passions include, “co-found[ing] a local agribusiness that provides poultry products to underserved areas at affordable prices while employing youth from the neighboring community.”
“I am extremely delighted to have been selected as the grand prize winner of the MPOWER Global Citizen Scholarship! It is both comforting and reassuring that the committee resonated with my story and elected to be involved in my journey.” Ore said. “This award will serve as requisite financial support, as well as motivation necessary in the pursuit of my MPH degree in Healthcare Management at Yale University. My degree will empower me to make a significant impact in the lives of those who need it the most. MPOWER Financing repeatedly shows its commitment to giving people from similar backgrounds as mine a fighting chance. Surely, I will continue to recommend MPOWER’s services to prospective international students.”
Honorable Mention: Hilarina Casie Chitty, Current and Aspiring Public Servant
Sri Lanka, New York University School of Public Service
Hilarina is a Master’s of Public Administration student at NYU. In her application essay, she wrote about growing up during the civil war in Sri Lanka. Through this and her experience as a first-generation college student, Hilarina witnessed great social inequality and found her passion for public service.
“I find that my education and experience continue to inform and expand my interest in this interdisciplinary field,” she explained. Hilarina has volunteered with HSBC’s Water program in a health camp, worked with Johnson & Johnson to create awareness of non-communicable diseases, and partnered on a pilot program using art to teach language and literacy to immigrants. She is confident that NYU can assist her next steps, writing that, “my long-term goal is to serve the field of public service in a leadership role, and ultimately contribute to the research and education of this fascinating and rewarding discipline in solving domestic and global challenges. I believe that working together across […] boundaries would be especially rewarding through the program’s coursework, and I’m convinced that the NYU Wagner experience would equip me with the quality of education and diversity that can best help me fulfill my goals.”
“I am so grateful to MPOWER Financing for truly empowering international students through the Global Citizen Scholarship. Apart from the many challenges, one faces as an international student, funding one’s education can be daunting, to say the least—especially if you are from a developing country.” Hilarina said. “This scholarship will help me fulfill my educational aspirations, as I strive towards serving the social impact space, and I feel incredibly blessed and honored for being selected as a recipient.”
Honorable Mention: Francisco Iturralde Martinez, Ph.D. Student and Stem Cell Researcher
Ecuador, Pennsylvania State University
After recently completing a Master’s degree in Plant Pathology, Francisco decided to pursue his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Biosciences at Penn State. His current research is focused on the stress and mobilization of stem cells. He is fascinated by regenerative medicine and bioprinting. The next step is Francisco’s Ph.D. project. “I will develop and evaluate a novel bioprinting method with this hydrogel that can be applied for suture-less skin repair in old and diabetic mice models with chronic wounds, which as an end goal is expected to be extrapolated to human trials,” he writes in his essay.
Francisco raves about the program at Penn State, explaining how it will prepare him for a future career, “it involves emergent technology, it is multi-disciplinary, and it seeks to solve real-world problems.” His experience in research will lead to a career in developing real biomedical solutions. In addition to this work, Francisco plans to, “create my own 3D bioprinting start-up”, inspired by the broad impact of this technology.
“Once I finish my education, I expect to leave graduate school ready to work in companies pursuing tissue and organ generation. I want my work products to have a profound impact on understanding and replicating the cellular microenvironment. I seek to achieve this by manipulating the cell populations and what they express as an advanced treatment for various diseases.” Francisco said. “I am honored to be a finalist of the MPOWER Global Citizen Scholarship. This award is very significant for my graduate career. It will allow me to pursue research at the intersection of Medical Physiology and Genomics, which will position me for a vital role in developing real biomedical solutions.”
We’d like to congratulate all of our winners, and we encourage all international and DACA students to apply to the next round of Global Citizen Scholarships, which is open through July 20!
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