Meet Clutch Prep’s 2018 High School Scholarship recipient, Olivia Gong! 18-year-old Olivia is from New Jersey’s Ridge High School and is headed to New York City’s Barnard College. She applied for the scholarship after hearing about it from her high school’s scholarship opportunities and we want to share her story with you!
Olivia is going to Barnard seeking a Biomedical Engineering major, but that wasn’t always the case with her. At a young age, she decided she wanted to grow up to be an architect. That dream was short lived when she realized she didn’t quite have the artistic abilities to make that possible. Around the same time, she moved schools and had to retake biology in 7th grade. What once was a gross subject quickly sparked her interest. This second time around, she was able to have a more hands-on approach to science with new experiments and opportunities.
“My interest in medicine budded from a middle school biology course when a shipment of frogs arrived for the seventh-grade class to mutilate. At the time, the class had just completed the anatomy unit and I was probably the most excited kid in the room to touch the chemical-soaked carcass. My curiosity to see what intestines looked like in real life overcame the stench and slimy skin that deterred so many others. At the time I didn’t know how a dead frog could relate to medicine, a field that I now know combines my passion for biology and chemistry with my affinity for social interaction and aiding others.”
Outside of her curricular, Olivia was involved with her school’s stage crew. “[Stage Crew] was my way to learn to be more hands-on and learn how to make things in preparation for becoming an engineer.” Olivia would also volunteer with the many hospitals around her and help them conduct research.
“I spent my summer shadowing doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners—an experience that exposed me to the variety of medical equipment used in the hospital and its clinics. I was intrigued by the tools and instruments and realized the necessity of having a technical background as a physician in a world dominated by technology. Moreover, by having the ability to aid in innovating new technologies, I would be able to easily explain equipment usage in procedures, making the experience more personal, and help in expanding the clinical procedures available to patients.”
As she’s switching gears to move to the big city and start her collegiate career, Olivia is most excited about the chance to finally choose her own classes. “In high school, everything was very structured…and now I have the opportunity to take that molecular biology class I want to take or that an engineering STEM class. She’s also looking forward to meeting new people who share the same interests as her. Olivia dreams of one day attending the prestigious NYU for medical school where she will then start her journey in pediatric medicine.
Good luck, Olivia and congrats on winning our scholarship!
For more information about our previous and current scholarship offerings, please visit our Scholarships page.