This summer, Clutch Prep offered our first ever STEM Scholarship to one undergraduate student who shows passion and extraordinary commitment to the STEM field. We are proud to officially announce that Michelle, from Villanova University, is our first recipient of the $1,500 award.

After reading Michelle’s story about what motivates her to pursue a career in Emergency Medicine, the selection committee at Clutch Prep unanimously agreed to select her as the first recipient of our many scholarships. Let’s get to know her a little better!

“So, why does Michelle want to practice Emergency Medicine?”

Just a few months ago, Michelle lost a fellow Special Olympics coach named Tim. Tim suffered a heart attack in the middle of one of their basketball practices. Michelle was the only CPR-certified person capable of immediately reacting to the incident. Unfortunately, although Michelle did all that she could, Tim passed away that evening. “…from then on, I vowed to myself that I would be better; I familiarized myself with CPR protocols, and even went on to obtain additional first-aid training. Though now I understand that Tim’s death was not my fault, it sure felt that way, and I was, and still am, determined not to let Tim down a second, or even third time. Because of this experience, I am driven and drawn towards a career in emergency medicine,” Michelle wrote in her scholarship submission.

“How did Michelle initially become involved with Special Olympics?”

While a part of a swim team, Michelle’s swim coach invited her to help out at a Special Olympics event. This sparked a now-significant passion in her life towards helping those involved with Special Olympics. While all athletes have changed Michelle’s life, there is one athlete that has especially impacted her. Kimi, Michelle’s first athlete she worked with, is a 12-year-old swimmer who suffers from up to 40 mini seizures every day. Despite these conditions, Kimi is the most eager, resilient and colorful individual Michelle has ever met. Michelle wrote: “Before Special Olympics entered my life and I met Kimi, I struggled often with managing my Type 1 Diabetes, mostly because I had not fully accepted my own diagnosis, and therefore hid it from almost everyone. However, as Kimi and I’s relationship began to develop, I realized that while my struggles are valid, there is always a different angle to consider. Even on my worse day as a diabetic, I still have the ability to communicate effectively with those around me, something that Kimi may never be able to do. Kimi has made me more grateful of everything I have in life-the people around me, my health, opportunities, capabilities-and the lessons she has taught me have driven me towards my goal of becoming a doctor because if she cannot follow her dreams fully because of factors beyond her control, then I most definitely will pursue mine with enough vigor for the both of us.

“But wait, what other things does Michelle like to do for fun?”

While at Villanova, she is involved in the Blue Key Society as a tour guide and Chi Omega Fraternity, which is how she became aware of our scholarship opportunity! She regularly coaches with the Special Olympics in Delaware County, PA. During the Fall, she also volunteers her time helping the Villanova’s Special Olympics Committee as a volunteer coordinator with Fall Festival, the largest student-run Special Olympics event in the world. Pretty epic! When she’s not on the northeastern coast of the US, she’s enjoying hikes to waterfalls or hanging on the beaches of Honolulu where she calls home.

We are incredibly honored to call Michelle our first-ever scholarship recipient, especially our STEM Scholarship. Our team is looking forward to helping Michelle exceed this upcoming Fall semester as she CRUSHES Organic Chemistry!

For more information about our previous and current scholarship offerings, please visit our Scholarships page.

Categories: Scholarships