Homestead High School alumna and current UC-Davis student Madeline Bright was awarded a $25,000 Palo Alto Medical Foundation scholarship.
The scholarship was awarded to four recent high school graduates. Bright will receive $5,000 during each of the next five school years. She was selected based on an essay, achievements and interviews.
“I was on a trip when they called my family and they told me that I got the scholarship. I was screaming so loud, people from 30 feet away turned to look at me,” Bright said in an interview.
Bright wants to become a pediatric oncologist and was inspired to go into the field after one of her high school teachers was diagnosed with cancer and went through chemotherapy. She said she was inspired by her teacher’s positive outlook throughout treatment.
“I want to help people through the hardest part in their life and see them through that transition and help them grow from the hardest part in their life to remission,” Bright said.
Bright was further inspired to go into pediatric oncology after shadowing her uncle, who works in the field, at Duke University.
Bright said having the scholarship money will allow her to take an unpaid internship rather than taking on a part-time job during school to try and keep down the costs of school.
She acknowledges the path to becoming a physician will require long hours and lots of study.
“I’ve had a lot of people say to me, ‘You won’t know what sleep is.’”
Palo Alto Medical Foundation has funded and awarded this scholarship since 1993. It has been given to 50 local high school students who plan to pursue careers in medicine.
In addition to Bright, Mira Lion of San Lorenzo Valley High School, Jebgy Vargas of Los Altos High School and Ruben Vargas of Watsonville High School received the scholarship.