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From Philosophy to Public Health

From Philosophy to Public Health

Posted: 11.14.19

Kashay grew up in a community in Baltimore City where affordability of healthcare, health literacy, and access to consistent care prevented people from flourishing at home, work, and school. She didn’t recognize the disparity in access to healthcare until she began socializing with her peers who lived in more affluent areas and realized the differences between communities.

In 2015, Kashay heard about Central Scholarship from her high school college counselor. She received her first award in 2015 which helped with her undergraduate costs at Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore, where she graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy and a minor in Biology. When she was accepted to graduate school, she decided to reapply for a Central Scholarship award to offset the cost of her degree. She is incredibly grateful for the support she has received from Central Scholarship and ecstatic to graduate from Johns Hopkins with a Master’s in Health Administration in 2021.

Kashay’s interest in pursuing a career in public health came from her background in philosophy. Aristotle introduced the notion of eudaimonia, or human flourishing. He argued that human actions are all based on our desire to flourish, which is the highest good attainable in life. She pondered the variety of circumstances people could find themselves in, which would prevent them from attaining eudaimonia. The health inequities she witnessed, growing up, was certainly a roadblock.

Her philosophy is that every individual has a right to flourish over their lifetime—a feat that cannot be accomplished without attaining and maintaining a certain threshold of health. Kashay has made it her mission to increase health care access and equitable delivery of health care services to encourage all human beings to flourish.

We continued to be inspired by the work she does and impressed by her diligence. Keep up the admirable work, Kashay!

Building the Next Generation of Leaders

Posted: 11.05.19

Devon was about 10 years old, growing up in Baltimore City, when he first decided he wanted to go to college. He had always been a gifted child, but when he learned about engineering through the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program it sparked an interest that would begin to shape the rest of his life.

Central Scholarship first crossed paths with Devon when he attended a College Cash® event to learn about navigating college affordability. He was hesitant to attend because he wasn’t sure how the session could possibly help him reduce his financial burden. Those concerns disappeared as soon as he walked in the door. He was able to learn how to understand financial aid letters, how to find scholarships, what makes a strong essay, and the importance of networking. He left College Cash® feeling energized.

“After reviewing what I had learned, I felt like I won the lottery. I had learned all of the keys to winning a scholarship. I was so excited and I felt like I would eventually burst if I did not share my newly obtained knowledge.”

Devon is currently finishing up his senior year at Morgan State University as an electrical engineering major where he has been an outstanding student, interned at Intel and Facebook, and became President of his fraternity, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Under his leadership his Iota Phi Theta was awarded Chapter of the Year by the Eastern Region and Organization of the Year by Morgan State University. He has become a remarkable leader, setting the bar high for his chapter, and has used his platform to develop programs that promote scholarship and leadership among students.

His involvement in Iota Phi Theta also showcases his strolling and stepping talents and just one of the many reasons we are so proud to call Devon a Central Scholarship scholar!

David Boutin

Internship Spotlight: David Boutin

Posted: 06.25.19

David Boutin

David Boutin is a Central Scholarship recipient who was selected as a BGE scholar in 2017. He is currently a rising senior at the University of Maryland College Park majoring in Electrical Engineering and double minoring in Technology Entrepreneurship and Computer Engineering. David is spending his summer in Houston, Texas at a summer internship at ExxonMobil’s Mount Belvieu Polyethylene Plant.

We were able to catch him amidst his busy schedule to ask a few questions about his summer internship.

Central Scholarship: How did you get connected to your internship?

David: I was able to get involved with ExxonMobil by going to the 2018 Society of Hispanic Professional Engineer (SHPE) National Convention in Cleveland, OH.  As the Vice President of UMD’s chapter, I was able to network with ExxonMobil employees and hiring managers at the career fair there who pushed me along further in the selection process. I was chosen for the internship because of my forward-thinking and interest in the biofuels and renewable energies that ExxonMobil is getting involved with.

CS: What will you be doing at ExxonMobil this summer? What does your work look like day-to-day?

David: This summer I am working as a Control Systems Intern at ExxonMobil’s Mount Belvieu Polyethylene Plant in Houston, Texas. My first project attacks their Road to 2020 initiative, which aims to upgrade all server and workstation equipment with new software and new hardware. By the end of the summer, I am projected to bring the site from 0% to 95% completion on this initiative. Another aspect of the ExxonMobil Houston Internship Program is the many social, professional, and service events in the Houston area that we are highly encouraged to attend throughout the summer. This maximizes the potential of what the interns can get out of the summer by allowing us to meet and network with as many of the full-time employees and 400 other interns in the Houston area as possible.

CS: What are some tips you could give students on how to land an internship?

David: My biggest tip for college students trying to find an internship is to attend events and workshops that the company you are interested in is hosting on your campus. You are incredibly more likely to make it to a further step in the hiring process if you make a real, personal connection to a recruiter or hiring manager and can follow-up with him or her.

CS: Anything you’d like to add?

David: Central Scholarship has changed my life in so many ways and I hope to one day be able to give back and fund a scholarship of my own with the organization while being an inspiration to those who also grew up in an underprivileged household. Becoming a recipient of the BGE Scholarship has enabled me to continue my education without the significant financial burden which plagued my freshman year of college. I hope to stay closely connected to Kayla, Nancy, and everyone involved with the BGE Scholars as I continue in my academic and professional career.

We appreciate your time and feedback, David! Good luck this summer. We know you’ll do an amazing job!

What Aaron’s words of advice can teach us about the value of failure

Posted: 11.01.18

Aaron grew up in Baltimore where he attended Baltimore School for the Arts and developed a love for the oboe. He was exposed to accomplished musicians who played some of the great classical pieces and it fed his goal of becoming a professional musician. Through constant practice, Aaron worked hard to perfect his art and performed in concerts playing pieces like Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto.

Aaron soon found his commitment to becoming a professional musician being tested. He had been waiting for his audition day at his dream college, the Eastman School of Music. When the audition finally came, it went poorly and he immediately knew he would not be accepted. It was a devastating blow. This was supposed to be a joyous moment, but instead he began to question his abilities and all that he had been working towards. Aaron learned what it meant to be resilient. He reached a point where he accepted Eastman School of Music would not be a part of his journey, but he resolved to improve for his future auditions.

Aaron’s persistence paid off. He kept practicing and did much better at his remaining four auditions which lead him to believe in his dreams once again. Today, Aaron is attending the Manhattan School of Music and his words inspire us to continue our mission:

“I learned first-hand that it is not failure that defines you, but how you respond to failure. That can be applied to all aspects of life. You can rise from defeat to succeed another day.”–Aaron

Aaron’s resilient attitude helped him become a Central Scholarship scholar where we were able to connect him with the Richard Louis Caplan Memorial Scholarship Music Performance. We are watching Aaron succeed and set big goals, like pursuing his masters in performance and becoming a part of a professional symphony. We are grateful he has shared his passion with us and it gives us great pride to celebrate his talent!

How Sandra found her calling through the love of education

Posted: 10.15.18

Sandra exemplifies what it means to be a Central Scholarship scholar.

Sandra was born in El Salvador in the midst of a civil war with little access to food and other living essentials. At a young age, she was taken in by her grandmother who filled the void of not having parents and became her protector, provider, and advocate. Sandra’s grandmother made sure she and her sisters enrolled in school and taught them to understand the power of help and love.

When Sandra was 10, she and her sisters moved to the United States to be reunited with their mother. It was a very difficult time. It had been 10 years since she had last seen her mother who had remarried and had three more kids. The new family and the different language and culture made Sandra feel lost. Fortunately, Sandra lived near a youth center that provided academic, life skills, and other social services. The staff at the center gave her a love of education and a desire to give back. She also learned that many who worked there had social work or psychology degrees.

Sandra’s outlook on life was shaped by her grandmother and those who helped her along the way. That led her to become an AmeriCorps volunteer where she helped at-risk students with academics and then pursue her bachelor’s degree in social work. Today, Sandra is working towards her masters in social work and is a Central Scholarship award recipient.

Because Central Scholarship’s path intersected with Sandra, we were able to connect her with a Stulman Foundation Scholars grant. The ability to support students who give back so much to the community inspire us and it is Sandra’s words that keep us focused on our mission:

“I am confident that this desire to work in the field of social work is my calling. As part of my legacy, I hope to touch more young people’s lives and that is the reason I continue to be motivated to work towards my goals.” –Sandra