TWINSBURG -- Tiger senior Raman Bhambra, winner of this year's Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce's scholarship, will focus on medical studies in the fall at Kent State University as she strives to become "the first doctor in her family."

"My family has always supported me, and I thank them in my journey to become the first doctor in my family," Bhambra told about 80 people to applause May 4 at the Hilton Garden Inn of Cleveland/Twinsburg. Bhambra accepted the scholarship during the State of the Schools Address, also sponsored by the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce.

She said she'd known about the $1,000 scholarship for some time and was ecstatic when she got the news.

"I screamed, actually, because I was so excited," Bhambra said. "I was thrilled to get it because I did not expect it."

The Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce awards the one-time scholarship to a graduating senior who lives in the Twinsburg City School District and is enrolled at either Twinsburg High School or the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. The student must plan to attend an accredited institute or program after graduation.

Bhambra said she will attend a six-year medical program at Kent State University, followed by a four-year program at NEOMED, and is aiming for her doctorate. She's leaning toward pediatrics, she said, but her specific career field is still to be determined. She said she also has interests in neuroscience and biomedical engineering.

Eventually, Bhambra said she would like to work in Cleveland, perhaps at the Cleveland Clinic.

"I like working with kids," she said.

In addition to the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce scholarship, Bhambra has been awarded a $4,500, one-year scholarship from the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Bhambra is a member of the National Honor Society at Twinsburg High School, plays varsity tennis and enjoys volunteering, including at hospitals and for Relay For Life. She has accrued more than 900 hours of volunteer and community service during her time at THS.

"I would like to thank the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce. I'm very grateful," she said. "This is a long educational path and I appreciate them helping me with the financial part of it."

The Chamber scholarship selection committee comprises Chamber members and directors, said Michelle Willmott, scholarship chair.

The Chamber bases its selection on student desires and goals; GPA; school activities; outside interests and community activities; as well as two recommendations -- one from a teacher and one from a civic, religious or volunteer adviser.

"The most important element of the application is the student letter of desire, in which students are asked to answer the following question: 'I would like to receive a scholarship from the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce because'" Willmott said. "This is an opportunity for applicants to explain why they may need or want the scholarship, and why they are deserving. It is also where students can tell something about themselves and their family, their attitude toward school and higher education, their goals and desires and anything else they feel would be beneficial for the committee to know when evaluating applications."

This is the second year the Chamber has awarded its scholarship, Willmott said.

"We began raising money through 50/50 raffles during member lunches, with a goal of awarding our first scholarship at the 2016 State of the Schools luncheon," Willmott said.

Rocco Bennardo IV, the first Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce scholarship recipient last year, is concluding his freshman year at Kent State University with a 4.0 in both semesters. He was an honored guest at this year's luncheon, introducing Bhambra.

"It's been an amazing experience for me," Bennardo said. "I'm grateful for the scholarship."


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