A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) audiology student Jennifer Boakye, ’21, recently received a scholarship from Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions (ASAHP). Boakye was selected as the ATSU-ASHS nominee and was awarded one of only 12 scholarships nationwide from the association.
“This award recognizes outstanding students in health professional programs who are achieving excellence in their academic pursuits and have significant potential to assume leadership roles,” Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD, associate professor, dean of ATSU-ASHS, said. “Boakye was selected because she epitomizes qualities recognized by ASAHP, academic achievement, service to her school and community, leadership, and evidence of strong communication skills.”
Boakye has always dreamed of becoming a health professional but didn’t know what kind of direction she wanted to take until her early 20s. Boakye shadowed a variety of specialties, from pediatrics, dietetics, and nursing, but still wasn’t feeling her true calling until she shadowed a pediatric audiologist.
“My mind was blown,” Boakye said. “He spent about 45 mins with each patient, which I never knew a doctor could spend on one patient. The more I shadowed him, the more it felt right. Honestly, audiology felt right before I even knew what it entailed.”
Boakye was in disbelief when she realized she was the student scholarship nominee for ATSU-ASHS.
“It helped me to understand what people mean when they say, ‘Do what you love, and you never have to work a day in your life,’” Boakye said. “I love healthcare, advocacy, social justice, and giving back, but I never thought doing what I already love doing would get me nominated or even that other people have seen it.”
She is on the path to achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor of audiology, though Boakye knows there are still obstacles to overcome.
“I still have work to do and need to believe more in myself because I’m surrounded by amazing people that believe in me,” Boakye said. “I can’t let self-doubt or insecurities prevent me for doing more in the future.”
Receiving the scholarship from ASAHP has helped Boakye focus attention on her potential for the future.
“One of the purposes of this award is recognizing students that have the potential to assume future leadership roles in the allied health profession,” Boakye said. “I want to look back in 10-15 years and proudly say the purpose of this award came to fruition and for me being among the 12, to truly mean something for the community at large.”