Update from 2015 Brian LaViolette Scholarship Recipient, Donglin Zhang
I am so incredibly thankful for the Brian LaViolette scholarship and for all of the opportunities to which I have been exposed. Reflecting on my undergraduate life since receiving the scholarship, I am grateful to report three years of rich experiences at Williams College and beyond.
The first year was filled with building new friendships and learning to navigate my independence as a college student. I joined a dance group on campus that explores West African inspired dance and movement to expand my love for dance. After my first year, I earned an internship with a healthcare non-profit / thinktank in Boston. This internship helped me become aware of broader issues of the US healthcare system and opened my mind to thinking critically about the career I hope to pursue.
My second year was blissfully spent living with close friends I made during my first year. I decided to major in math and stay on the pre-med track. I joined a different dance group called Ritmo Latino to learn Latin dance forms such as Salsa and Bachata. In the summer following, I interned at San Francisco Free Clinic to provide care to uninsured patients in San Francisco. However, because of the fairly intense academic demands of Williams, I was feeling a little burnt out at the end of Sophomore year, prompting my decision to study abroad my Junior fall.
This past academic year, I spent fall semester in London and spring back at Williams College. London is a fabulous city that captured my heart. I loved having access to original works of art all around me with the myriad of museums (most of which were free to all visitors). The international nature of London and King's College, where I took classes, exposed me to peers and perspectives from around the world. Here I continued to explore my love for dance by joining the dance society and participating in various Latin dance socials.
Once I returned to Williams, I had renewed energy to focus on academics and my goals to pursue medicine. I completed spring semester with my first 4.0 semester at college, and earned a 98th percentile score on my MCAT (medical college admissions test). This summer, I am in New York city working as a clinical research associate and working on my med school applications.
All this to say, I am so grateful for the experiences I have had. Honestly, I wake up every morning excited for my day and the new possibilities for my future. My family and I am so thankful that the Brian LaViolette scholarship has helped to support my pursuits, and for your family's confidence in me.