Melissa Headrick, Scholarship Recipient photo

Melissa Headrick, Scholarship Recipient

I would like to first extend my sincere thanks to St. Matthew’s for the incredible honor of receiving the Academic Scholarship.

In 2011, I decided to enroll in my local university and pursue a Bachelors of Biological Sciences degree.

As both a first-generation college student and a non-traditional student, I was very excited and eager to foster my natural curiosity with science.

I knew that my path would look very different than my younger classmates; however, I also knew that my life experience gave me a unique perspective toward the amazing gift of knowledge.

During my junior year, both my mother and my father experienced a stroke, followed almost immediately by open heart surgery.

As I watched them undergo surgical procedures and the subsequent recoveries, I met two physicians that embodied the nature of not only a healer but also a nurturer and, more importantly, a teacher.
These two physicians were not only healers of my parents, they also took the time to teach both my parents and me about the disease state that afflicted them.

Although this small act of time and effort might have seemed mundane in the daily rounds of those physicians, it was enough to teach and guide me toward medicine. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I enrolled in a Master of Biomedical Sciences program at my local university.

As I now work to complete my basic sciences here at St. Matthew’s, I reflect back at my non-traditional journey, thus far, and see many bumps and detours along the way. However, I hope that my journey can inspire and show other non-traditional students that we should never cease to be life-long learners.

I am very grateful for the opportunity that St. Matthew’s has given me to pursue medicine. The overwhelming support and encouragement from administrators, professors, and my colleagues is truly appreciated. Thank you for believing in me.