The future is bright for three outstanding grade 12 students recognized by Research Services at IWK Health.
Applications for the IWK Future Health Research and Innovation Scholarship program were received from students who have demonstrated an early interest in health-related research and innovation. One $2500 scholarship was awarded to an applicant in each Maritime province who plans to continue their education in a related field at a Maritime post-secondary institution.
The 2023 winners are: Bridget Jacobsen of Harbour View High School in Saint John, New Brunswick; Eve Wedderburn of Citadel High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Matt MacFarlane of Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
Each applicant was required to submit an essay using scientific evidence to explain a specific area of health research and/or innovation they would like to pursue and how it could potentially contribute to the health and well-being of Maritime children, women, and families.
“As a young, Black Nova Scotian I am interested in all things that impact the health and well-being of my community,” writes Wedderburn in her scholarship application letter. “As a particular area of interest that connects to the profession of dentistry I wish to pursue, I would like to explore the disparities in dental healthcare that impact Black youth, women and families and how to bridge the gap.”
Jacobsen hopes to become an OB-GYN with a focus on fertility treatment research.
“I feel extremely passionate about this area of research as my parents spent ten years trying to conceive and went through almost every treatment imaginable, even spending some time at the IWK in Halifax for IVF treatments,” she writes of the personal connection in her application letter.
MacFarlane has known from a young age he wanted a career in medicine, particularly in the field of mental health.
“Part of what interests me about psychiatry is the ability to talk to patients and try to have a positive influence on their mental health as they go through adversities as I did,” he writes. “However, I know that with psychiatry being a constantly evolving field there is a great opportunity for research to be conducted and I hope to be able to make a difference through that as well.”
All three recipients will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in the Medical Sciences program at Dalhousie University.
“I am always so incredibly impressed with the caliber of applicants to this program,” says Kathleen Leadon, Director, Research and Innovation Advancement at IWK Health. “It’s a privilege to support them as they pursue their research goals to contribute to the health and well-being of children, women, and families in the Maritimes. Our future looks very bright indeed.”
We wish the best of luck to the winners in their school year and look forward to seeing what comes next for these promising and passionate students.