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2019 Surgical Hope Foundation Scholarship Winner (GCA) - Chizaram Gift Nnakwu

Congratulations to Chizaram Gift Nnakwu, one of three recipients of the 2019 Meadows Surgical Arts Surgical Hope Foundation Scholarship for Georgia-Cumberland Academy!

The Surgical Hope Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides outpatient surgical services at no cost to those in need. Founded by Dr. Lionel Meadows and his wife, Kathryn Meadows, RN, BSN, the Surgical Hope Foundation gives many patients the opportunity to fulfill their medical needs without the added burden of finances.

Each year, through the Surgical Hope Foundation, Dr. & Mrs. Meadows offer a scholarship to one graduating high school senior from each of four local high schools to help fund their college endeavors. Each student must complete an essay describing their aspirations and goals in pursuing a medical career. This year, scholarships were also awarded to students at Georgia-Cumberland Academy in Calhoun, GA.

Each student must complete an essay describing their aspirations and goals in pursuing a medical career. This is Ms. Nnakwu's essay:

"I was born in Nigeria and moved to the US in 2008. Both my mom and my grandmother were nurses in Nigeria, but my mom and dad are both CNAs. Because of this, I have always been around medical stuff, and being introduced to what my mom did as a nurse first sparked my interest in the medical field. The fact that she was always helping people get better also made me want to do the same. A couple of years before moving to America, I was walking back from the midweek service with my aunt and uncle when all of a sudden I fell into a ditch. My forehead was split open, and my mom ended up sewing it back together for me. This unfortunate event also sparked the ever growing flame for the medical field.

Shortly after coming to America, someone recommended me Ben Carson's movie, Gifted Hands, and so I watched it. When it got to the part of his separating the conjoined twins, I became intrigued and I watched with apt eagerness. His story inspired me to become a neurosurgeon, and at first, I was often asked why I wanted to go into such an intensive field. Some worried that I was only going into it because I wanted to be like him, but that was not the case. I wanted to go into the field, not only because I was highly interested in the brain and all its aspects, I also wanted to be able to help people overcome diseases that had tormented them. I knew that the medical field was not fit for everyone, especially because of all the blood they saw, but the fact that I could watch the whole process without squirming must have meant something. I also liked taking different things apart and putting them back together, sort of like performing my own form of surgery on things such as my brother and sister's toys, my parents' broken devices, and even taking apart our computer monitor. My parents put up with my antics, encouraging me further to embrace my curiosity and learn how things worked for myself.

Both my parents always encouraged me to help and I've 110% with everything I did. This encouraged me to never give up until all resources and all options were exhausted. I started small, helping with chores without being asked, struggling with homework until I fully understood it, and taking care of my siblings when my parents were at work. Oftentimes, when my brother got hurt (apologetically because of me), I would play doctor, and make magical creams and potions to "fix" him. I was never interested in playing house, but would always insist on playing doctor, which I believe was also a sign. Because I had been encouraged to help when help was needed, it slowly but surely became a major part of my life. I knew that this was exactly what the medical field would require from me, and I was now prepared to do it no matter what.

It is common knowledge that the medical field is hard work. Whoever goes into any career within this field must know exactly how to handle the strenuous and extremely stressful situations. On top of that, they have to be willing to do all they can for their patients. I think I would be able to handle this aspect because I have five and a half jobs currently (Girl's Dorm desk sub) and my GPA is good. I have been able to handle all of this, and if anything, my GPA has greatly improved. I would have never been able to do this had I not had my parents who encouraged me and pushed me to become a hard worker. This made me more determined to succeed, and it is a quality I believe everyone in the medical field possesses. There is no time for slackers, people who crack under pressure or people who whine and complain about every aspect, and my parents raised me to be the opposite of all of that. Through all of this, I also learned to serve using the gifts I was given by God.

Serving and helping behind the scenes are all things I like. I am not a front and center type of person, because that is just not how God made me to be. I know when to take charge in order to produce better results, but I also like to serve. I work extra hours because I like doing it, and it makes others happy that I am willing to do it. I was part of the Audio/Visual team at the GCA Church for three years before I had to quit. I was a part of helping the church services to run smoothly, and although I was never recognized, I am content with that. I know that not everything everyone does in the medical field is fully recognized, and sometimes patients seem to focus on only the bad aspects such as mistakes, but apart from that, it is fulfilling to know that being able to serve and help makes up for it.

I also periodically tutor certain students with different types of subjects, and I do it because I am able to help them succeed. I don't do it because I think I am better than them, but because helping them understand what is going on fills me with happiness. I am happy being able to help in any way I can, including sharing my knowledge. I also babysit for my sister and a couple of her friends every once in a while because I love working with kids, but I think I would be too scared to ever operate on a child because they are so precious.

As I look back, all of these experiences have led me to this realization: going into the medical field is God's calling for me. I know that there are certain benefits such as the pay, but there are also hardships. There's less time spent with family, more hours spent in a hospital, but with God, all things are possible. If God called me to this, then that means that, He knows I can make it, and I am unwilling to second-guess His plans for me. The medical field will serve to be a rich blessing for me as I continue with life, whether plans work out or not."

We would like to congratulate Ms. Nnakwu on her achievements, and wish her the very best in her future scholastic and career endeavors.


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