We’re big fans of fiercely motivated women who chase their dreams and care for their communities. True&Co. was started by one such female, afterall. With the third edition of The Future is Female—a yearly scholarship program that awards education funding—we called on women who embody that same trailblazing spirit and desire to create positive change.
[Interested in applying for our next scholarship program? Follow us on Instagram to hear our announcement in the next few months!]
We received over 27,000 (!) applications from women working to improve their communities. Some applicants challenged us to think outside of the box; many moved us to tears, and we found ourselves so inspired we awarded two scholarships! Here are the winner’s stories:
Itzel Lopez-Hinojosa is a first-generation American who watched her family’s medical hardships as a child and today as a medical translator she seeks to bridge the communication gap between non-english speaking patients and their physicians. Itzel is attending the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine this fall.
“I want to give back and serve my community—a group of beautiful, hard-working individuals. It is important to me, a Latina, to represent my community, advocate for them . . . . [Using the] knowledge I gain in medical school, [I will] develop solutions to dismantle gaps in health care access, provide personalized continuous health care and be an inspiration for [other women in the field].”
Valerie Kryger learned the value of nutrition when she battled Hodgkins Lymphoma as a teenager. Later, while volunteering at California Hospital Medical Center, she noticed the unsettling trend that many discharged patients had little to no access to healthy, healing foods. Valerie will attend UCLA this fall to begin her Masters of Public Health.
“My goal is to give disadvantaged populations access to healthy foods by creating and sustaining community and school gardening programs . . . . I want my work to give people living in underserved areas a hand in their own health while cultivating deeply rooted, sustainable health practices in generations to come.”
We could only choose two official winners but it goes without saying that each applicant is a winner in her own right. Congratulations once again to Itzel and Valerie, and to all of you - it takes guts to go after your dreams head-first and you inspire us.