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Mayah Greenfield, a 2022 graduate, plans to study medicine at a Californian college.

Lakeridge High School graduate Mayah Greenfield was recently awarded a hefty university scholarship. She will head to California this fall with ambitions to study medicine — which hit close to home for her.

The 18-year-old college-bound student was selected as a recipient for the 2022 Salix Gastrointestinal Health Scholars Program. The scholarship program was offered by the medical company Bausch Health Companies Inc and gave Greenfield $10,000 to use towards her higher education. Out of hundreds of applicants nationwide, Greenfield was one of the 10 recipients of the scholarship.

A gastrointestinal disease is a chronic illness that impacts a person's digestive system. Digestive diseases are disorders of the digestive tract, which is sometimes called the

gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Applicants were required to submit essays describing how their health condition has impacted their educational journey. Greenfield wrote about how her doctors positively influenced her as she dealt with her illness alongside her education.

"We feel honored to play a small role in these students' pursuit of higher education …we look forward to seeing the result of their hard work in the near future," Nicola Kayel, vice president of Salix, said in a press release.

At Lakeridge High School, Greenfield kept busy. She led the Jewish Student Union and the Key Club, among other roles. She also was the co-founder of a nonprofit that made Jewish desserts to raise money for various charities. This year, she donated her proceeds to Ukrainian refugees.

She will study human biology at Pitzer College in California with a desire to become a gastrointestinal health doctor. Greenfield chose the private liberal arts school because of its pre-medicine program and its mission for sustainable and inclusive practices.

"Having this GI disease has made me really interested in medicine … it's been hard living with the disease, but it has motivated me to discover interesting things that happen to people with a disease and the impact on a person's body," Greenfield said.

Greenfield said through positive interactions with medical staff she was inspired to pursue medicine.

"From my interactions with certain doctors to seeing medicine in action …it made me more interested in doing medicine and possibly becoming a GI physician one day," she said.

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