When you support medical school scholarships, you help people like Graciela (Gracie) Maldonado make a difference in the world.
In a few months, Maldonado, a first-generation college student, will graduate from the UCI School of Medicine—a major milestone in a journey that began 17 years ago in a local high school and was made possible, in part, by scholarships.
She will be the first to tell you she is grateful to the donors whose generous support for scholarships allowed her to pursue her dream. From a partial Dean’s scholarship to a MacKenzie Foundation scholarship and more, the financial support Maldonado received over the years gave her the freedom to enrich and expand her medical education.
“Many other students had to work to make ends meet, I was able to focus on my research and other extracurricular activities because donors in the community believed in students like me,” she said.
Maldonado will graduate from the mission-based Program in Medical Education for the Latino Community (PRIME-LC) with a combined MD/master's degree in biomedical and translational science trained and prepared to be a physician leader in the community. During medical school she has conducted research in bedside ultrasound and medical education, co-authored six peer-reviewed publications, and was a Mayo Clinic Cardiology Summer Research Fellow in Rochester, MN. In her spare time, she inspired and mentored local high school and undergraduate students to follow in her footsteps.
This summer, Maldonado heads back to Rochester to begin an emergency medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic. Ultimately, her goal is to return to Southern California where she plans to serve as an emergency department physician, working to meet the needs of the diverse, under-resourced populations that are a large part of our communities. She also plans to enter academic medicine to train the next generation of physicians while contributing to the body of clinical knowledge through her research.
If you would like to help medical students pursue their dreams, make a gift today.