Fremont Student Receives Employees' Association Scholarship
Scholarship Recipient Says Parents Are His Inspiration for Doing Well
Class of 2011 valedictorian Mihir Jain, graduate of Mission San Jose High School, paired strong grades with a slew of extracurricular activities to gain acceptance into the University of Pennsylvania, his college of choice.
After applying for different scholarships, Mihir received some good news. He had been chosen to receive the 2011 Don Pickinpaugh Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to a Washington Hospital employee's dependent.
"I felt really honored when I found out I was given the award, and I was very thankful and grateful that they chose me," Mihir says. This fall, Mihir plans to major in business at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and also take classes in computer science.
"In the third grade I did a book report, and I chose Bill Gates as a hero to me," Mihir explains of his planned career path of entrepreneurship. "His journey with Microsoft changed how people work and play on a daily basis, and I've always been inspired by that and I hope to create something in those fields."
Mihir says he's also had a lot of other great role models closer to home.
"I can't choose one person," he says. "Both of my parents have always been an inspiration and are constantly a source of support and guidance. I have obviously been changed for the better by them, as well as some great teachers at Mission San Jose High School."
With a number of school and extracurricular activities to his name - including captain of the soccer team and class president, as well as honor society memberships - Mihir says one in particular stands out.
"I've been involved with Boy Scouts since first grade and it's been huge part of my life. Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout remains my proudest accomplishment," he says. "I've learned life lessons and leadership skills that will stick with me forever."
Finally, Mihir says he wants to thank the WHEA Board for aiding his academic future.
"I just wanted to thank WHEA for the scholarship that will assist me on my path to pursuing my educational goals."
Opportunities for young scholars
Apart from the WHEA Scholarship, Washington Hospital has several other scholarship opportunities that are available to the greater community, including:
- The Washington Hospital Service League Scholarship
- The Washington Hospital Foundation Scholarship
- Medical Staff Scholarships
To download a scholarship application and to learn more information about the scholarships that are offered through the organizations in the Washington Township Health Care District family, visit www.whhs.com/community/scholarship.
Doing good in the community
The Washington Hospital Employees' Association, the volunteer-based organization within Washington Hospital, offers its $2,000 scholarship annually in hopes of helping local students achieve their academic goals.
"WHEA sees the scholarship is an investment in the community," says Washington Community Health Resource Library Coordinator and WHEA President Lucy Castillo. "The high level of applicants we receive makes it so tough to pick one, but this is definitely a way for hospital employees to support our community and our young adults who are majoring in anything from the arts to science to history.
"Having that opportunity to invest in the community is phenomenal. If it weren't for our due paying members, this wouldn't be possible. For a dollar a pay period and people can see a good investment."
Through employee dues, WHEA organizes activities - like family fun days, wine tasting and trips to local sports games - and also dedicates time and funding to the community.
"We're able to donate to different charities like our local senior centers, ABODE Services, Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments (SAVE) - there's quite a bit of charities we can do each year," Castillo says.
For community members who want to get involved, WHEA also has several opportunities for them as well, she says.
"We have three drives per year," according to Castillo. "There's the sock and undy drive where all the items go to ABODE Services, which takes place in March through April. We have bins in our cafeteria and lobby of 2500 Mowry Avenue. If someone from the community wanted to donate toiletries, underwear or similar items, they can."
WHEA also recently launched its back-to-school supplies drive that runs through Aug. 19. There are bins available for donations on the ground floor of the hospital down the hall from the cafeteria, and also in the Community Health Resource Library located at 2500 Mowry Avenue.
"These back-to-school items help children at SAVE as well as some of the students of families that are seeking counseling through SAVE," Castillo says.
Then, coming up in September, Castillo says WHEA will also hold its warmth drive for winter clothing items to help families at SAVE or ABODE Services. Drop-off locations will be in lobby of Washington West, 2500 Mowry Avenue and in the cafeteria on the ground floor of the hospital.
"We also have a food drive in November and a toy drive in November and December. These are all great opportunities for the community to participate along with WHEA.
If you would like to become a volunteer at Washington Hospital, visit http://www.whhs.com/volunteer/ for more information or call (510) 791-3465.