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2024 API Scholarship Awardees Make the World Brighter

API Scholarship Awardees Make the World Brighter

Worldly perspectives distinguish this year’s winners of the American Proficiency Institute (API) Scholarship. “Serving on a medical outreach team in Africa, overcoming language barriers as a solo teenager from Asia, or immigrating to the United States are among the extraordinary characteristics of these awardees,” noted Sue Harmer, API President. “The drive exhibited by these outstanding medical laboratory science students indicates a bright future for the clinical laboratory.”

API awarded $5,000 scholarships to: Dung Nguyen, a rising senior at Thomas Jefferson University; Tami Peters, a rising senior at the Montana Medical Laboratory Science Professional Program; Mariya Spiridonova, a rising senior at the University of California – Davis; and Luzi Yan, a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“When I came to America by myself, with no immediate family and friends, I encountered a language barrier and social isolation,” explained Nguyen, now a top student who found a passion for clinical laboratory science when researching test results for an ailing sibling. “My experiences shaped who I am today.”

“I’ve served with a medical outreach team in northern Ethiopia and the Maasi territory in western Kenya,” said Peters. “Being able to transport and utilize new technologies to disadvantaged areas of the world has the potential to save countless lives as patients will be more accurately diagnosed and appropriately treated.”

“As an immigrant, one skill that has been valuable to me is being bilingual,” noted Spiridonova. “Healthcare became significantly more personal to me as I translated and helped family access information. I read and learned more about how diagnoses are made on a scientific level.”

“Healthcare did not root in my mind until the outbreak of the COVID pandemic,” explained Yan. “Learning about bacteria, viruses, parasites, and blood cells became my primary source of dopamine. No longer do I feel like the powerless girl watching from afar during the pandemic four years ago.”

API has awarded more than 80 scholarships to medical laboratory students over the past 16 years. “API is proud to support the next generation of clinical laboratorians through these scholarships,” said Harmer.