Meet our 2017 Recipients
“This is a special year as we will be celebrating our 5th anniversary. We are thrilled with the number and excellence of our scholarship applicants...The decision process was difficult, but it highlights the immense achievements and potential of our Portuguese-American students. We are counting on the support of our communities to enable us to continue expanding the Dr. Edward Leitão Memorial Scholarship Fund. We also strongly encourage the applicants not awarded scholarships to reapply in the future, and to continue being in contact with us as we are available for mentoring and to help with networking.”
Dr. Helena Santos-Martins, Chair and Co-Founder
Tatiana Abrantes is a first-year medical student at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and she is the daughter of immigrants from the Aveiro region in continental Portugal who reside in the Cranston area of Rhode Island.
“As a first-year medical student, I am not yet sure what type of medical specialty I will want to pursue, however, I am confident that I will be heavily involved in empowering immigrants to ask questions and find consolation in their physicians,” said Abrantes.
Nathan Pacheco, a second-generation Portuguese-American raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, is a senior nursing honors student in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMass Dartmouth.
“I’ve committed myself to continue my education and pursuing medical school.
My aspirations to transition from nurse to physician stem from an experience I had shadowing a doctor in my area, Dr. Andrade, who is a Portuguese internist in Fall River. The community requires more Portuguese students to enter medicine and rectify their under-representation in the field,“ said Pacheco.
Tristan Correia is a freshman at Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he is majoring in Biology with a concentration in Health and Human Biology, and minoring in Health Sciences. He is a first-generation Portuguese-American from Azorean parents with residence in Dracut, Massachusetts and active within the Portuguese community of Lowell, MA.
“For as long as I can remember, my life-long dream is to become a doctor. An event that fortified my decision of becoming a doctor happened on January 22, 2016. My father passed away unexpectedly of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. I was only 14 years old. By becoming a doctor, I hope to prevent other families from suffering a tragic loss like I have experienced,” said Correia.
Raquel da Costa is a junior with the highest honors at Bishop Stang High School in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. She is a first-generation Portuguese-American with maternal family origins from the region of Aveiro in continental Portugal.
“ I plan to take the pre-med track in the college that I attend. I would love to specialize in Dermatology. Living on the south coast (of MA) has empowered me to be an asset to the Portuguese community through medicine,“ stated da Costa.
Julia Terra-Salomão is a distinguished senior with the highest honors at Hudson High School, and she will participate in the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad later this month. She is a first-generation Portuguese-American with family roots from both continental Portugal and the Azores.
“At the end of the year, I'm on track to receive my certification to medically interpret. In the immediate future, I see myself medically interpreting while continuing to study Portuguese in college. Providing accurate medical information is essential, and language barriers should not prevent Portuguese people from being able to get medical treatment,” mentioned Terra-Salomão.