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August 6, 2008 > Supporting the Dreams of Future Health Care Professionals

Supporting the Dreams of Future Health Care Professionals

Hospital's Service League Announces Recipients of this Year's Scholarship Winners

Each year, the Washington Hospital Service League awards two health career scholarships to graduating high school seniors and/or college students pursuing studies in a health-related field.

For 2008, the Service League granted scholarships to Melissa Lewellyn, a graduate of American High School in Fremont, and Chelsi Vining, a graduate of Newark Memorial High School in Newark.

Melissa Lewellyn

Melissa Lewellyn just returned from early orientation for college and will be leaving next month to attend the University of Montana, Missoula, where she plans to major in children's psychology in hopes of a career helping children with mental disabilities.

Having spent time teaching confirmation classes for younger members of her church, Melissa says she originally wanted to become a teacher but discovered she had a passion for mental health.

"I thought it would be a great way to help kids with problems," Melissa says of her career goals. "I've always wanted to help people."

Also a member of her high school's swim team, Melissa has spent time teaching younger members of her team and says she never passed up the opportunity to volunteer with her friends' activities.

In addition to swimming, she also enjoys water polo. Both activities, she says, have helped her develop a sense of discipline and teamwork.

Of winning the scholarship, Melissa enthuses, "I was amazed because I personally never really win anything. I feel accomplished.

Calling herself "very family-oriented," Melissa says her family has always served as a strong support system.

"Our family always helps each other with problems," she says. "I always talk to my sister, my mom and my little brother."

Of course, her family was "very proud and ecstatic" when Melissa won her scholarship, she says, and her brother and sister plan to visit her in Montana very soon.

Chelsi Vining

Chelsi Vining, who has been busy attending summer courses at the University of California, Berkeley, will attend UC Berkeley in the fall as a Regents and Chancellors Scholar.

"I have been interested in the health care field for as long as I can remember," Chelsi reflects. "My family and I believe it started with a blue plastic doctors satchel and orange toy stethoscope that I got for Christmas at the age of 3 or 4."

Having been a student volunteer at Washington Hospital since last year, Chelsi found volunteering at the hospital a good way to get firsthand experience in a health care setting. While volunteering, she discovered the Service League's scholarship opportunity online.

"I wanted to volunteer (at the hospital) because I have always wanted a career in the medical field and had found out that I could volunteer at a hospital," Chelsi says.

When she begins her fall term at Berkeley, Chelsi says she plans to study bioengineering. As for her ideal career, she says she wants to spend time exploring the different types of opportunities the medical field offers before making any firm decisions.

"My dream job when I finish school has not been specified within my own mind yet because I would like to more fully explore the options offered by the medical field," Chelsi explains. "Other than the particular occupation, I know that I would like to be in a hospital setting and happy with the tasks I perform."

Chelsi calls her older sister one of her inspirations and says her family was very proud when they learned she received the scholarship from the Service League.

"My sister is my role model," she says. "She did not help me decide that I wanted to go into health care field; however, she has been a great inspiration to me with her schooling because of her determination to follow her own dreams. This resulted in her becoming a civil and environmental engineer."

In addition to her academic studies in high school, Chelsi also participated in a tutorial club helping other students.

"I felt very happy and honored to be awarded the Hospital's Service League Scholarship," she says.

Calling future health care professionals

For hard-working students in the Tri-City area about to attend a health-related program or already in college pursuing a health-related major, the Service League Scholarship is there to help.

Each Service League scholarship is for $1,000 per year and is renewable each year for three additional years as long as the recipient remains in a health-related program. The scholarship is limited to four years.

For more information about this scholarship program, call (510) 791-3465. Students wishing to be considered for the scholarship are asked to submit their application by April 1, including an official high school or college transcript and proof of citizenship.

Scholarship applications are available each year after Jan. 1 at the lobby desk of Washington Hospital, located at 2000 Mowry Ave. Fremont, CA 94538.

Recipients of the awards are notified each year in late May.

To see a full list of requirements for the scholarship application, visit:, click on "Giving to WHHS," select "Volunteer Opportunities," choose "Student Volunteer Programs," and click on the "Scholarships" link located beneath "Services available for high school student volunteers."

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