Brooklyn Bowers is a senior from McLeansboro, Illinois, studying biological sciences and pre-medicine.
Why did you choose SIU?
SIU was close to my hometown and I received the Dean Scholarship when I applied. I am very family oriented and wanted to stay as close to home as possible for the time being.
What inspired you to choose your area of study?
In grade school, I was always attracted to science. In high school, I got the chance to job shadow an ER doctor and I was hooked ever since.
What are your hobbies, interests, and/or activity groups that you are currently involved in?
I am currently involved in cheerleading and gymnastics at Ultimate Gymnastics. I am also trying to collect food, water and clothing with a group for the people effected by hurricane Harvey and hurricane Irma.
What was your reaction when you learned that you received the Bertrand scholarship?
I was shocked when I got the e-mail. I was certain that they had me mixed up with another individual!
What does receiving the Bertrand scholarship mean to you? What difference did it make in your life?
The Bertrand scholarship lifted a financial burden off my shoulders. I work approximately 45 hours per week to make ends meet and go to school full time. Receiving this scholarship will allow me to work less and focus on my education.
How has the donor’s generosity impacted your view on your education and goals for the future?
Their generosity makes me believe that my goals for the future are actually reachable.
How will the Bertrand scholarship help you make a difference in society?
The Bertrand scholarship will potentially save lives one day. I have full intentions of becoming an emergency room physician and am currently applying to medical school, which is also very expensive. When I first started at SIU three years ago, I was not sure if I would ever be able to make my dreams of becoming a doctor happen because I had no financial support.
Why should donors consider establishing a scholarship fund for students?
Scholarships truly make a difference and you could be supporting the person who finds a cure for cancer or becomes the next president. This provides opportunities for people who may not receive a degree due to financial burden. Life happens and while you’re in college it’s nice to know that you have support in achieving your dreams. If it wasn’t for my supportive family and receiving scholarships there is no way that I could have pursued this career path. If a student is willing to put the effort into earning an honest degree they should get the opportunity.
How would you like to support SIU students in the future?
In the future, I plan to establish my own scholarship fund to support SIU students.