Heather Wrigley - 2005 Winning Essay

I grew up in a rural northern town, where I witnessed many friends destroying their health through ignorance. Though my family was very poor and uneducated, I decided that I was going to become a doctor, so that I could help people make better choices.

Although I graduated at the top of my high school class, there was no money available for me to continue my education. I had to work full-time, but I didn't give up on my dream: I began taking university classes at night. To pay my tuition bills, I worked a lot of overtime and applied for scholarships.

Once course at a time, mostly by distance education, I completed my Bachelor of Science degree, finally graduating with distinction in June 2004. During those years, I also devoted a great deal of time to volunteer work in the health care field: for example, I spent four hours each week volunteering with infants at the Alberta Children's Hospital, and I hosted monthly health workshops for women at the Grace Women's Health Centre.

All of this work finally paid off this spring, when I received notice that I had been accepted to medical school at the University of Calgary. I will begin my studies in August of 2004 and I can hardly believe that, after all these years, my dream is finally coming true. I still have a great deal of hard work ahead of me, but I believe that my past has prepared me well for this challenge.