Citizens Bank Graduate Scholarship
We are Citizens helping Citizens Fund their Potential
We are very excited to announce the winners. The topic was, "If you had $100,000 to spend, how would you impact your community?" Check the winners and their entries:
West Chester University
Communities operate in a manner similar to that of a garden. They are empty blocks of soil that provide the starting grounds for all life. Each garden contains a set of seeds that will one day flourish and bloom into beautiful flowers. This growth however, can only be achieved if these seeds are provided with proper resources. If the flowers are not given adequate care, they face stunted growth, being consumed by weeds, or death. Children are our freshly planted flower seeds. Without love, guidance, and an adequate set of resources, they may fail to bloom. Knowing this, I find it imperative that we give back to the community. For my community, I would place a large emphasis on improving the school system, specifically by increasing funding and donating resources to the schools. This allows us to make an impact on some of the most vulnerable people in the community. When I was in grade school I remember using textbooks that were terribly outdated, and the only time I got new books was when I decided to take AP classes in high school. A school cannot facilitate the educational growth of its students if they are not supplied with learning materials that are both updated and abundant in nature. Money alone cannot solve every challenge that the school systems are presented with. But I firmly believe that increasing funding and providing schools with more resources is a crucial step in ensuring that these students receive a fair and proper education.
Case Western Reserve University School
As a future dental public health professional, I would use the $100,000 to implement an HIV screening program in local dental offices. The mouth is often the first part of the body to show signs of infection with HIV. For people who are unaware of their HIV status, certain HIV-associated oral malignancies, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma, can be signs of infection. By recognizing these symptoms, dentists can use oral HIV tests to diagnose infection within 20 minutes. Dentists could then to refer HIV-positive patients to medical care so that they may begin antiretroviral treatment as soon as possible. Patients that have already been diagnosed with HIV that are on antiretroviral therapy and have undetectable viral loads cannot spread the virus. On the other hand, people who are unaware of their HIV positive status are said to contribute to one-third of ongoing transmissions of the virus in the United States. Each oral HIV test would cost approximately $8 per patient, compared to approximately $20 thousand per patient in antiretroviral therapy that would be averted annually by preventing the spread of HIV through early diagnosis. Providing HIV testing in dental offices would play a critical role in HIV prevention efforts by reaching a broader population than current testing methods. In the state of Ohio, nearly 1,000 new HIV infections are recorded each year. I have worked closely with over 600 low-income people with HIV in my community, and have witnessed the socioeconomic and emotional impact of the virus firsthand.
August 1, 2018