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2013 Update from Zobia Chunara, our 2012 Scholarship Recipient


My first year at Yale passed by quickly, with many highs and lows, self-discoveries, new friends, and late nights spent studying. To say the least, my first year at Yale was difficult and challenging, yet rewarding.

In the beginning, the adjustment to college was a great one, since I had never been away from my family for such a long period of time. Class work quickly multiplied as I was getting settled into the college lifestyle. I found myself missing home and wondering why I had taken such a risk to come to Yale. After a grueling first semester, I was tired and worn out, ready to go home.

It wasn’t until I went home for winter break that I realized that I missed Yale. Yale had become my home, and I hadn’t even realized it. After spending time with my family and reevaluating what was most important to me, I went back to Yale with new goals and a different attitude altogether. My friend group solidified, and I had developed relationships with people I could count on. I knew what my professors expected in my classes, and was able to do better in my academics. Finally, I made time for extracurriculars such as the Yale Journal of Public Health and the Asian American Student Association at Yale. I ended the second semester with a proud sense of accomplishment, and with a greater feeling that Yale was my second home.

After my first year in college, I have decided that I will complete the pre-med requirements for medical school while double majoring in Spanish and Biology.

This summer 2013, I secured a fellowship that is allowing me to do research at Yale. I am currently doing research on pulmonary hypertension at the Yale School of Medicine in the Cardiovascular Department. In addition, every Saturday I volunteer with the Free New Haven Clinic (FNHC). FNHC is for patients who do not have medical insurance but need medical attention. These patients come to the clinic on Saturdays, but virtually all of them do not speak English, and there is a great need for interpreters. I help out at the clinic by using my Spanish and Hindi/Urdu speaking abilities to translate between doctors and patients. I hope to continue volunteering even next year!

I would like to thank the PBKACA for awarding me their scholarship last year. Because of their belief in me, and their generous contribution to my education, I was able to attend my freshman year at Yale without having to worry about the financial burdens it would create for my family. I hope that in the future, I too can help students attend college and give back what PBKACA gave me.

Zobia Chunara
Yale University, Class of ’16