Healthy America Award 2018

posted in: Scholarship | 18

$2,000 cash prize

Write a 150-250 word short essay

Deadline for this round: August 1, 2018

Open to college students (current and future) studying in health and welfare fields, such as nursing, psychology, counselling and social work.

Your essay must follow this round's theme (details below).

2017 Winner

Essay Theme: "Future Patients"

Do you know who your future patients are? What do you imagine about them and how will you help them?

Healthcare is an area where the aim is to help people achieve better physical, mental or social health outcomes. By studying health, you are preparing for a career in service of others. But do you know who those people might be? What could be the characteristics of a typical patient or client? Why do they need your help and how will your education enable you to serve them?

Please tell us what you imagine for your future career when you are helping individuals towards a better life.

Competition terms and conditions

The Healthy America Award essay competition is open to current and future college students who are, or will be, doing a healthcare course such as nursing, psychology, counselling and social work (see healthcare degrees list for examples). You must be a U.S. or Canadian citizen enrolled, or planning to enroll, in an accredited college or university.

Fill in the form on this page to enter. It is recommended that you first draft your essay in a Word document or similar. If you have any submission problems, you may send your entry by email to

The competition closing date is August 1. A new round of the competition, with a different theme, will start as soon as the current round finishes.

The content of any entries may be used by Good Colleges for research or publishing purposes.

Judging and awarding

The winning essay will be selected by a panel and will be announced in the same month that the competition closes.

How well the essay follows the theme is a judging factor. A winning entry may be insightful, informative, entertaining or moving. There are no rules about what style of entry could win.

The $2,000 prize is paid via PayPal. An email address linked to a PayPal account is required for payment.

The winner is asked to send a photo of themselves with a winning certificate (to be supplied).

Enter the Healthy America Award (2018)

Join the discussion to enter

To enter the competition, copy your essay into the "Comment" section of the form below. Be sure to:

  1. Use the first line for the title of your essay.
  2. Write 150-250 words.
  3. Follow this round's theme: Future Patients.

From time to time, some of the best essays will be published.

Please get your entries in early. Extra marks will be given to original essays submitted early in the competition.

18 Responses

  1. Candice Rodriguez
    | Reply

    Nutrition is the Future in Patient Care

    Although my journey into a career in Nutrition and Dietetics has already begun, my education will be my foundation. It is one of my immediate goals to use my graduate education to conduct research and work that addresses the growing epidemic of both type 2 diabetes and obesity. I want to provide excellent patient care, guidance, and current scientific based evidence to enable prevention and reduction of symptoms before they become a significant health issue.

    My career goals are to be a Dietician /Nutritionist in a community or clinical setting. I expect that my patients will be from all walks of life. It will be those, like so many of us, who have received so much disinformation about what we should be eating. I have specifically found much joy and reward in working with low income communities and children. While I worked with Cal Fresh Nutrition Education in elementary schools I saw first hand that our children were not equipped with the knowledge of good and bad nutritional choices. I truly believe that it is here, in our early education, that we can take type 2 diabetes and obesity on with early prevention. I hope to continue the work of implementing more complete and continuous nutrition education to our youth and their parents. Now, more than ever do we need to really understand the processes and effects our nutrition plays in how we get sick and how we can obtain optimal health. With nutrition, I hope to help others.

  2. Miracle Etuakwu
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    Dear Future Patient

    In spite of the fact that I am nowhere near beginning my career in nursing, I am 16 and determined. I want you to be healthy and happy…with your lifestyle medically and emotionally. We do not know what the future will hold so we have to make sure we take care of our self so we live long enough to see it.

    That’s where Nurse Miracle comes in. I want to really know my patients and help guide them through their regular visit to the doctor. I will ask how you’re doing or what’s new. I will congratulate you because your daughter just graduated from college or your husband finally fixed the noise from your car that you’ve been telling me about, thank god.

    I cannot wait to start assisting my patients both young and old, to the next steps in their journey to become healthier people.

    Sincerely yours
    Inspiring nurse, Miracle

  3. Jordan O.
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    My role as a future Psychiatrist

    I believe it’s quite important to consider the possibilities of my future career and how I can help my future clients, I plan on doing this by: utilizing my medical and psychological knowledge, then taking the necessary steps for my patients benefit, as well as having an open mind within my profession.

    When I imagine my future career as a psychiatrist; I see myself utilizing techniques which I have learned within college, and medical school, to help people psychologically. Sometimes all someone needs is someone to understand them, and listen to them.

    My goal as a psychiatrist, is for me, to help people understand how mental health is connected to and from all aspects of health, including but not limited to emotional, physical and social. Utilizing my medical, psychological, and counseling knowledge, I will be able to take the necessary procedures for my patients betterment.

    I believe in having an open mind regarding whether whom or how my patients may possibly be, rather than having a precise judgement, on such possibilities. With that former thought in mind, I seek to individually understand each of my clients, accessing their needs, proper to my chosen profession. Such a perspective, is exceptionally important, within psychology.

    Within the healthcare system there are many varying patients, and professions, though the principals still remain the same, as a whole, in the medical profession, and that is too truly help people.


    Jordan O.

  4. Summer Lackey
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    Wanted: Patients

    I am a future physician’s assistant that needs patients. My patients can be any shape, age, size, and from any background. I do not discriminate because we are all humans that experience health problems. Whether you are feeling sick, have an aching back, or have any ailments I am here to help. Even if you just want to discuss any concerns or ways for you to live a healthier life I am here for you with a listening ear. I am here for you and I want to provide you with the best healthcare that I can. I will sit down with you and discuss the best treatments available to treat your health problem. As I obtain the proper education to become a physician’s assistant, I will study a multitude of health problems and their treatments. I will ensure that I study and research each treatment because I am dedicated to helping my patients. Whether the treatment is a prescription, a lifestyle change, or a natural remedy, I will ensure it is tailored to meet the needs of that specific patient. I know that a certain treatment may work well for a younger patient, but may not be feasible for my older patients. As a physician’s assistant I will help you to the best of my ability if you are willing to become my patient.

  5. Kaitlin Brady
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    Beyond the Patients in Front of You

    Small or large, furry, scaly, or feathery. Can you guess what kind of patients I want to have? If you guessed animals, you are correct. My dream is to become a world redound Veterinarian. Although this may not be the typical profession you think of when you think of a health care professional with patients because, well, your patients aren’t human! But, not only are you helping animals, you are helping their beloved human counterparts as well.

    Have you ever had a pet that you have loved so dearly but it had gotten sick? Or you needed your pet spayed/neutered or given a routine checkup to minimize the chance of illness? Well this is where I would come in. While shadowing my local Veterinarian I have seen as many tears shed as some dog’s fur. These people and animals both need my help. I do believe being a veterinarian is significantly harder than a doctor. Why? Because you can only read body language. My vast and long education career will be able to help me achieve this long term goal. I will learn more about diseases as well as ways to treat them, with the best education I want to prevent people from crying by helping their furry or scaly friends see another day.

    Sincerely, Future DVM Kaitlin

  6. Rachel Goldman
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    Welcome to the Future

    At the ripe age of 21, I still am far away from becoming a Physcian’s Assistant. The gap between my future career and current student status allows me to imagine the future I want for myself and for my patients.

    While it is great that many individuals are traveling overseas to third world countries, helping those that are in desperate need of food, water and basic health care, it is also important to recognize that those same patients exist here, in the United States. They’re on the streets, at a work office, in classrooms. One does not have to look or be “homeless” to be in need of assistance.

    While my life in Michigan prevents me from seeing a lot of this poverty, my recent trips to Nevada and New York opened my eyes to the many complications that exist in our country. Most of this poverty can be found in minority populations and poor regions of the U.S. For this reason, I intend to attend a PA Program, such as ATSU, that focuses on helping minority populations. From there, I hope to open my own clinic or work with other Physicians/Physician Assistants to improve this increasing issue. The process will be difficult but incredibly rewarding. In the meantime, I will continue to brainstorm the endless possibilities of care that I can provide my future patients with.

  7. Jayna Hampton
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    Future Nurse Here

    I have already been working in the medical field as a medical assistant, and doing so made me realize I want to further my education to become a nurse. As a nurse, I know that all of my future patients will need my help. Not only physically but emotionally as well.

    I know that I will have to speak for my patients when they cannot speak for themselves. I will also have to perform some tasks that they might not be able to do for themselves. That is a nurses job and I am more than excited to do that.

    After a few short years I will be in that nurses position, helping my future patients and making them feel better. In doing so, I will feel good about myself, so it’s really a win-win situation. I’m ready to start this career!

    Jayna Hampton, Future BSN

  8. Arlinda Marke
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    It’s the Way Communicate It’s How We Speak

    To the innocents still not born, children growing before our eyes, and everyday human beings who face the world one day at a time with the difficulty to communicate; there is a speech pathologist determine to find a solution. The future patients of learners whom will become speech pathologists as myself strive for the ability to understand, evaluate, and help improve diagnostic of speech impediments and going in-depth of those who are bilingual and multilingual.

    Every single day the amount of children who are facing the hardship of being able to read, speak, and even write is growing. The special attention and the guidance they need are strictly provided by speech pathologists who demonstrate a new way of communication through practice of vocal tracks and language. It’s more than just the repetition of a new choice of words, it engages the vocals and mind to expand in a new way of communication and understanding.

    The health care for the future lies within these children. As a speech pathologist in progression the health care targeting not only young children as well as immigrants and even tourists the support to communicate will help improve social and mental actions. My research and devotion to learn every impact of one with speech difficulty will never end as more are discovered everyday.

    My education is providing me with the knowledge to know why we are all built to perceive and receive every word our mouths or body language is demonstrating remarkably. Language is what helps create the bond between one human with another whether it’s a form such as sign language, braille, or using our mouths and creating sounds. Becoming a speech pathologist will encourage me to go in-depth of one’s mental health and work with the impediments from the root to distinguish its peculiar way of forming a unique sound.

  9. Harlie Gardner
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    The Stars of the Future

    My ultimate goal for becoming a psychologist is to give people hope. My purpose for studying psychology is that when I become a social worker I will be able to use my psychological knowledge to help kids and make sure they are in safe environments both physically and mentally. I have seen the damage broken and abusive homes can do to a child and I would like to contribute my time and heart to preventing and fixing said damage. Children who come from all branches of society can experience this pain. A pain no child should ever have to endure especially feeling alone, with no foreseeable end. All children deserve happy and healthy homes and my hope is to make sure they have that.

    Every person and child is a star. Some shine so bright they light up everyone around them and others have experienced so much pain that they’ve turned into a black hole, stealing away the light from everyone around them until nothing shines anymore. I want to help the lights shine brighter and not be consumed by the dark.

  10. andrea
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    My future clients: Hurt, broken, and lost addicts

    To the kid that had a bad past, I will be there to help you love yourself. To the teenager that got with the wrong crowd, I will help you to lead a happy, fulfilling life. To the adult that took a wrong turn, I will help you find your purpose. I have a passion for a career in addiction counseling. My future patient can come from any demographic, any environment, and any culture. There is no “typical” patient in addiction careers. They will be someone whose hurt, broken, and lost. It will be someone whose holding more shame and guilt than you can imagine. It’s someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, child, aunt, uncle, husband, or wife. It can be someone on the streets, or someone with a Ph.D. and a full-fledged career. I went through a ten-year addiction in my adolescent years. I lead two sperate lives, my professional life at school and work and my life on the streets dealing and using drugs. I have first-hand experience with this epidemic and I am going to help save people’s lives as others have done for me. Going through the whole process myself, I already have the tools that I will pass on to other addicts to lead lives they never dreamt of. My schooling will teach me how to assess each client and what approach to use with them. I will learn clinical ways to help them to truly live life. My ability to empathize, sympathize, and relate to my clients will help in ways I may never know. I will lead by example, and that example is the biggest sign of hope for an addict.

  11. Alexis Schmidt
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    An Open Letter To the Invisible

    For so long you’ve been ignored, neglected and tossed to the side by our healthcare system. You’ve been deemed “the underserved”. Many labels come with who you are; immigrants, the uninsured, in poverty, disabled. Imagine a world where there is no such thing as “the underserved”, that is my goal for our future.

    I am the future of healthcare, I can implement change for you. The current healthcare system is one that is broken, one that does not cover all of its citizens. I plan on being at the forefront of creating change for you. Do not lose hope yet.

    As a third year public health undergraduate student, there is not much I can do now, but please be patient. A new plan is just on the horizon. I cannot wait to help treat you all without you worrying about the costs. I can help you all create healthcare plans in order for you to build a healthier future not only for yourself but also for your families.

    As a person whose grandparents were immigrants, I have a personal connection to you. I have the passion and drive to ensure this equity happens.

    Just know that you’re not invisible to me.

  12. Macy Hulin
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    Be the Light

    When you enter the medical field of nursing, you are entering a lifetime of service. When you finally graduate and get your first job at a hospital, you are saying that you want to serve those around you. You are saying that you don’t care what race or background they come from. You are saying that they are worth being cared for.

    Every day I want to step through those hospital doors and be a light to those around me. I want to step into the patients’ rooms with a smile on my face and treat them like they’re royalty. I want to show people that I genuinely care about them and that they are important. People are always hurting, and I want to take up the challenge of making them forget their pain for a minute. I want them to see me not just as their nurse, but as a close friend, someone they can talk to.

    I will take all of my knowledge of nursing and use it to heal. I want to not only heal but to take down that invisible curtain between nurses and patients and show them I am human too. I want to be a nurse that they will forever remember as being kind and treating them like they are friends. I want to be the light.

  13. Jennifer Block
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    You are Understood

    You are understood. That is what I want each and every of one of my patients to know. Although I do not know your name, where you live, your situation, I know that if you are my patient you need help and most of all love. In the realm of counselling the patient needs to know their counsellor is truly listening to them and is not going to spew out advice without first taking time to listen and consider all the things the patient has said, and the things they haven’t. Life is complicated, messy, and hard. That is why I believe it is my job to comfort and help every person that comes to me without bias to any part of them. Truly understanding takes so much work on my part, however I believe it is crucial to my job. These are people in need and I need to be the best I can be for them. They need to understand they are treasured and loved. They need to know I care deeply about not only their health, but their hearts. To my future patients, it is not just my job but my honour to serve you in a way that you feel understood, supported, and loved.

  14. Tori
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    Til Death Do Us Part

    As a current nursing student, I can only imagine what my future patients will be like. I have quite a lot of experience with the elderly population, and I love working with them. I imagine that my future patients will be the older generation. They will be people with amazing stories and wisdom to pass on to me. I imagine that I will be able to help them maintain as much of their independence and dignity as possible, while they share their life stories with me. I have always loved hearing these stories. Many people just see an elderly person when they look at this population. I see the child that they were, the adult they grew into, and the wise person they are today.
    My patients may be struggling, whether it be physically or emotionally. They may need help with everyday tasks, or they may simply need a smiling face. No matter what they need, I will be the person that provides that help and support for them. When they are feeling down, I will talk to them; if they don’t want to talk, I will sit with them. I imagine that some of my patients will be lonely and have no one to rely on. I will ensure that they won’t feel abandoned. No one will feel alone. I will be there for them; their nurse, their caretaker, their friend.

  15. Kayla Watkins
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    The Future for Destitute Women and Their Babies

    My goal in my future career is to become a missionary midwife. After witnessing poverty and lack of healthcare systems in developing countries, my heart breaks for the women who have to give birth alone, scared, and in unsanitary places. I want to be an encouragement to these women and their families. Many of them don’t know where their next meal is coming from, let alone how they’re going to pay for prenatal care. I want to assure them that someone cares, that they have a voice, and that there can be a better future for themselves and their babies. These women are hopeless. My goal is to help bring down the maternal and infant mortality rates in developing countries. I want to teach the local women proper midwifery skills, along with nutrition, sanitation, and family planning. Using my nursing/midwifery skills, I want to not only help these women physically deliver healthy babies, but also emotionally as they grieve the loss of their children and families.

  16. Zachary Scheett
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    I can fix that

    The future of patient care will be driven by technology. I aspire to be an orthopedic surgeon and plan on starting my premedical education at Michigan State University next fall. Our future patients will have grown up in an era surrounded by technological advancements no matter what age they are. Senior citizens in 20 years will remember the first laptops and cordless telephones and millennial will be reminiscing about iPods and iPhones. These advancements mean that our healthcare system will also make great advancements with the times. In the future, patients will be treated very carefully and stunningly with great technology, that will allow for the best possible care. Everything will be detectable and doctors will seldom miss any issues due to technological flaws. Our future patients will be blessed with a life of technology, only helping them much more when they need it most. As a surgeon, I will grasp this technology and use it to my own and my patients advantage and as an orthopedic surgeon, help to make lives easier. Less often saying, there is nothing we can do, and more often saying, I can fix that.

  17. Willa Cipolla
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    Personal Connections

    As a healthcare professional (either in pediatrics, orthopedics, psychiatry or surgery), I hope to better my patients’ lives not by just physically healing them, but connecting with them personally. It’s vital that a patient trusts their caregiver: their life is literally in their hands! By making connections with my patients, I’ll be giving them the opportunity for trust.

    When I’ve been in the role of patient (through a bone break and three other occasions), it was always comforting to know my doctors thought of me as a person to care for, not as just another patient to get in and out of the hospital as quickly as possible. I have always seen my future patients being similar in terms of wanting to feel personally “seen” by their caregivers, not just a mass of skin and bone.

    Yes, doctors have an inevitably busy schedule. That doesn’t mean that patients should feel obligated to rush through visits. I know there are many pressing restrictions, but I will make sure my patients know my time with them is only about them. I won’t rush through their questions. I’ll give them many opportunities to inquire about their treatments and healing — and give them my cell so I can be available 24/7.

    I hope to become the type of healthcare professional who genuinely cares about the people they treat. Getting emotionally connected with my patients will give me even more incentive to treat them in the most painless and humane way possible.

  18. Kendall Barnes
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    Serving the Underserved

    Growing up in a small town, with a single mom, good healthcare that didn’t result in a huge bill at the end of the month was hard to find. I remember going to a van for checkups that was a part of a state-funded program so families could receive care for a cheaper cost. I know that feeling of embarrassment and what it is like to avoid going to the doctor because of the financial burden. Now that I have been accepted into a Physician Assistant program I will be able to help people get good healthcare at a cheaper cost. My goal is to work in primary care in a rural, underprivileged area and since I can do most things a physician can do, patients can be seen by me instead of a more expensive physician or even specialists. I am excited to be able to obtain the knowledge and skills that will allow me to treat a person’s ailment from beginning to end and to take the time to educate them on their health in order to give them a better quality of life. I see my future patients as people in need of a little help and I hope to be able to ease their hardships in health and finance

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