Charlestown residents Mackaila Garcia, Nathaly Guerrero, Caroline Ward, and Kailey Zhu are the recipients of the 2015 Partners HealthCare Charlestown Merit Scholarship.
Presented for the sixth year by Partners HealthCare System affiliates MGH Institute of Health Professions, MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, each student will receive a $1,500 scholarship as they enter their first year of college this fall.
Mackaila Garcia graduated from Charlestown High School and plans to attend Curry College to pursue a degree in nursing. She has worked for Mission Safe, a program targeting at-risk youth to be positive change agents in their community, and she has also assisted with bankruptcy cases for the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association. “While visiting hospitals, I would always see nurses and doctors come in smiling and always trying to make one of my family members feel comfortable,” Garcia said. “I want to do the same in my nursing career.”
Nathaly Guerrero also graduated from Charlestown High, where she served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the school’s BUILD entrepreneurship program. She plans to attend the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where she will major in biology in preparation for a degree in medicine. “Since I was younger, my main goal has been to become a pediatrician and to help children stay healthy,” she said. “I want a challenging career where I know I will make a difference.”
Caroline Ward, who graduated from Boston Latin School, plans to pursue a nursing degree at the University of Vermont. Her personal experience with Massachusetts General Hospital helped guide her along this path: “Every summer I work at Courageous Sailing Center in the Navy Yard, and two summers ago I got a concussion,” she said. “I visited two difference Mass General branches that day. All the nurses and doctors I met that day were super patient and attentive with me, increasing my respect and love for the health professions.”
Kailey Zhu graduated from Brighton High School, where she was in the top three of her class, participated in the robotics team, debate team, student leadership team, and was captain of the volleyball team. Zhu has volunteered at Cradles to Crayons, Chinatown Senior Housing, Little Brother Friends of the Elderly, Countdown to Kindergarten, and Benjamin Health Care Center. She also has worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Business School. “I want to give back to the community, because of all the advantages I get here in Boston,” said Zhu, who grew up in China before moving to Charlestown. She plans to take major in premedical studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.