With your help, SEAHEC awarded ten Karen Halverson Memorial Scholarships to seniors pursuing a career in healthcare in Arizona. SEAHEC enjoyed an exciting and successful spring this year as our high school and health professions students made inspiring discoveries in their exploration of rural health career opportunities in southeast Arizona. SEAHEC would like to express our thanks to those who supported our Arizona Gives Day campaign with your generous contributions. SEAHEC’s Future Healthcare Leaders (FHL) program creates opportunities for rural youth to explore health careers, achieve their professional potential, increase economic earnings, and ultimately contribute to improving health services in their own communities. SEAHEC has health career clubs in Bisbee, Willcox and Douglas high schools, in Cochise County, Nogales and Rio Rico high schools in Santa Cruz County, Pueblo Magnet High School in Tucson, and Baboquivari High School and Tohono O’odham High School on the Tohono O’odham Nation. This year, 100% of FHL seniors graduated high school, and 94 percent applied for financial aid and were accepted to college. SEAHEC awarded ten scholarships to students in five out of eight clubs. Career Choices included: Registered Nurse 37%, Medicine 27% Psychologist 9%, Undecided 9%, other 18%.

Miriam A. Lopez 2014 SEAHEC Karen Halverson Scholar
Sabrina R. Sanchez 2014 SEAHEC Karen Halverson Scholar
Miriam A. Lopez, Nogales High School
Sabrina R. Sanchez, Nogales High School

Miriam Lopez says the most inspiring thing about being a member of SEAHEC Future Healthcare Leaders Program was the opportunity to meet health professionals in the field.  “They have all had struggles in their lives but still have managed to get to where they are now.” Enrolled at the University of Arizona, Miriam is already planning to apply to medical school. She has been accepted to the University of Arizona Honors College as a pre-physiology(PRP) major in the College of Medicine.

“I feel very grateful for receiving a SEAHEC scholarship and also very proud of myself because all my hard  work finally paid off. I was very happy when I found out about the SEAHEC scholarship because it took me one step closer to achieving my educational goals, ” she said.

Sabrina Sanchez dreams of one day running her own clinic. Sabrina has always wanted to be a doctor like her uncle, and after a sports injury left her with a damaged shoulder, requiring surgery and weeks of physical therapy, Sabrina came to appreciate the knowledge becoming a healer requires, and became convinced that medicine is her calling. “I understood the importance of medicine and how it impacts people’s lives,” she said. Sabrina is bound for Northern Arizona University, to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and Wellness.

Rina Ornelas and Alma Irasema Garcia

“The health care field is an area of study where people like me can focus on what their true calling is…. I believe in myself and in the true passion I have for this profession. I want to help people and I will.” Alma Irasema Garcia.

Rina Ornelas and Alma Irasema Garcia from Nogales High School. 

Both from Nogales, Rina and Alma are bound for the University of Arizona. Rina has been accepted as a Pre-Pharmacy major and is planning to become an anesthesiologist. Alma plans to become a Registered Nurse, and to explore specialties in pediatric and neo-natal care.

2014 SEAHEC scholar Julia Echevarria Marquez and her family

Julia Echevarria and her Family at her Graduation Ceremony in Rio Rico.

Rio Rico High School graduate, Julia Echevarría Marquez was accompanied by her family as she accepted her scholarship from SEAHEC. “Treating sick children, and raising them into a happy and healthy stage in life is what I look forward to doing,” said Julia, who is enrolled in the University of Arizona College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. She is looking forward to becoming a pediatrician. “The fact that I can make people’s lives better fascinates me,”she said.  She has been characterized as compassionate and detail oriented, and has already envisioned how she would address her community’s growing problem with childhood obesity. “The way that I would address this problem is by targeting schools,” she said, explaining that since children spend a good deal of time in school, she would focus on health education, and revising school nutritional offerings to provide both healthy food, and information about nutrition to encourage kids to eat better.


 Gricel Mereida Muñoz Douglas High School

Described as fearless, determined, and extremely hard working, Gricel is enrolled at the University of Arizona, and plans to become a trauma surgeon.

Ashleigh Fraser Willcox High School

Ashleigh Fraser plans to become a pediatric neurosurgeon, because the "hands-on" nature of the work appeals to her, and because she has always been fascinated with the human brain and how it works." Ashleigh is enrolled at the University of Arizona.

Claudia Venegas

Meghan Maddux Douglas High School

Meghan, who is enrolled at Grand Canyon University, discovered her passion for physical therapy through job shadowing at her local hospital. She said, “It has been a truly touching experience working with stroke patients, injured athletes, and patients with muscular issues.”

Claudia Hernandez Venegas Willcox High School

Enrolled at the University of Arizona, Claudia plans to combine her interest in business and health, because she sees that as a way to help the most people possible. “Helping others is a priority in my life and this scholarship, will give me a great start,” she said.

Elmer Barrios Pueblo Magnet High School

Noted for his sense of compassion, Elmer plans to become a Registered Nurse, and eventually, a Family Nurse Practitioner. Enrolled at the University of Arizona, Elmer hopes to join the Peace Corps to “help in communities and be exposed to other cultures.”