Biology major wins breast cancer award
Summer Hammoudeh, a freshman biology major from Glenside, Pa., hopes to be a pediatrician one day.
Thanks to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, getting there will be a lot easier, at least financially.
This month, the foundation chose Hammoudeh as one of five recipients of its annual college scholarship, which provides $10,000 per year in assistance for up to four years.
Hammoudeh, who lost her mother to breast cancer at age 9, was encouraged to apply for the scholarship by her grandparents.
Despite the time-consuming application process, she applied this fall, and was one of 10 finalists invited to Dallas in March to tour the foundation’s headquarters and undergo a final interview.
Throughout the process, Hammoudeh remained skeptical that she would actually win, because of the small number of scholarships and the caliber of the other candidates.
“All of the [applicants] lost a parent to breast cancer, which is a huge struggle to overcome in itself,” she said. “Everybody was really qualified, and I wonder what makes me more qualified and deserving than the other kids.”
Hammoudeh, who participates in the foundation’s annual Race for the Cure and buys products that support breast cancer research, said she plans to stay involved in the organization, perhaps by leading a team from Temple at a future Race for the Cure or by helping to educate children about breast cancer.
In the meantime, Hammoudeh keeps busy on campus as an Honors student, a Temple Athletics employee, and a member of the American Medical Students Association and the Temple University Biology Society.
Winning the scholarship was a “big relief” for Hammoudeh, who is financing her education by herself.
“It takes a lot of pressure off,” she said. “I am extremely grateful to the foundation for everything they have done.”
- Patti Truant