Dr. Edward Jacobson Healthy Living Scholarship Winners

2021 Winner: Meghna Ray

Meghna Ray graduated from Dartmouth College in 2020 with a major in Quantitative Social Science and a concentration in Global Health. Meghna was born in India, moved to England when she was two years old, and immigrated to the United States in sixth grade. Her many moves and observing healthcare inequities inspired Meghna to pursue an MPH specializing in global health and infectious disease management. For the past several years, Meghna has been working in India and Nepal for the Healthy Heart Initiative, a non-profit she helped establish focused on cardiovascular health awareness and early detection of risk factors. She is currently a health care consultant for Optum (UnitedHealth Group) and has led several pro-bono projects focused on improving diabetes and maternal health care. Meghna will be starting her graduate studies this fall.

Reaction Statement: I was thrilled to learn I received the Dr. Jacobson Healthy Living Scholarship. I am so incredibly grateful for this generous award. My dream of pursuing a career in global health began when I received a map from Doctors Without Borders at the age of six. This scholarship will help make that dream a reality and allow me to pursue my passion for improving health equity worldwide. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

2020 Winner: Gerald Collins

Gerald is from the city of Richmond, Virginia. He received his undergraduate degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in Kinesiology and Health Science. He is currently studying occupational therapy at Towson University. In addition to his schooling at Towson, he is also enrolled at The Real University, which is life. It is true that life is the greatest teacher. At times “dual-enrollment” can be stressful but he believes increased stress promotes growth physically, mentally, and spiritually. Plus, by merging his life experience and literary education, he will indeed grow to be an effective practitioner and productive participant in my community. Like Dr. Edward Jacobson, he plans to help attenuate aging and help others engage in a more meaningful life. In the midst of growth, he also enjoys spending time with loved ones, learning new things, and watching movies.

Reaction Statement: I was both excited and in disbelief when I got the news. My initial thought was, “Wow!” followed by “Is this real?” In all honesty, I will probably be in disbelief until I receive my reward. Nevertheless, I am filled with gratitude and want to thank Dr. Edward Jacobson Healthy Living Scholarship committee for acknowledging my ideas and offering this gracious award. This is an investment that will be used toward my dream to become an occupational therapist and build a healthier community.

2019 Winner: Kelechi Ezealaji

Originally from Roselle, NJ, Kelechi Ezealaji moved down to Washington D.C. to attend American University. Majoring in Public Health, Kelechi plans to attend Brown University for his to continue his education through their graduate program. In his free time, Kelechi enjoys playing sports (especially football), travelling to new cities, and cooking.

Reaction Statement: Hearing that I was chosen to receive this scholarship is something I’m truly grateful for. This opportunity will help me reach greater heights in my studies, and empower my commitment to transform healthcare in our country for the better. I humbly accept this honor and hope that I can make those who believe in me proud through my efforts.

2018 Winner: Sandeep Kaur

sandeepSandeep is from Newark, California and the first generation in her family to attend college. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2017 with her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health and is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of her community. During her undergrad, she was involved in several campus organizations and served as the president of two nonprofits; her volunteer experiences demonstrate a dedication towards uplifting underserved populations. She worked as a Research Associate for the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, investigating racial health disparities and also interned with Stanford Prevention Research Center’s WELL For Life initiative to further study the social determinants of wellbeing. Sandeep currently works as a behavior therapist with children with autism and will begin graduate school to train as a Physician Assistant this fall. She enjoys working with kids, spending time with her family, playing volleyball, and dancing.

Reaction Statement: “I am overwhelmed with gratitude and cannot thank the Dr. Edward Jacobson Healthy Living Scholarship committee enough for this generous award. This opportunity will help me fulfill my purpose of becoming a Physician Assistant and serving populations in most need. I look forward to the day I am able to offer someone else the amount of joy, appreciation, and inspiration that this scholarship has given me. Thank you so much!”

2017 Winner: Carl Meyer

Carl is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Health and Exercise Science from Colorado State University in 2016. At CSU, Carl was involved as a University Ambassador, Resident Assistant, as editor for the Journal of Undergraduate Research, and his senior year he wrote his Honors thesis on wellness initiatives for under-served children in Colorado. He is now attending Marquette University’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, and works at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission as the Sports and Recreation Coordinator for their inner city youth program. He loves sports, movies, and volunteering to play with kids at his church.

Upon hearing the news of receiving the scholarship, Carl said, “Receiving the Dr. Edward Jacobson Healthy Living Scholarship fills me with overwhelming gratitude for the opportunity provided to further my education in the health field. I am honored, blessed, and eager to pay this kindness forward! By investing in my dream of physical therapy, the Healthy Living Scholarship has helped me to stand taller than I could have on my own. I am truly grateful for this generosity and this opportunity!”