Jester Galiza, a second-year medical student at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), has received a highly competitive National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship. The NHSC scholarship will cover 100 percent of the remainder of his tuition at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa medical school.
This year NHSC awarded 200 scholarships, out of 1,889 applicants that include students pursuing primary health careers such as primary care physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives and physician assistants.
Galiza is no stranger to overcoming limitations. He grew up in the historically underrepresented community of ʻEwa Beach and is a first-generation college student whose parents immigrated to Hawaiʻi from the Philippines. He earned his entry to JABSOM through successful completion of the ʻImi Hoʻōla Post-Baccalaureate Program.
“Representation matters because the lack of representation in medicine and among people in power is harmful, especially to our most marginalized populations,” said Galiza. “Ultimately, I hope that my presence in the community inspires those that share similar aspects of my story and identity to pursue the highest level of their potential.”
The James Campbell High School alumnus earned his BA in biology from Dartmouth College and taught for a few years at his high school alma mater through Teach for America. He later served as a mentor for new Teach for America corps members on Hawaiʻi Island and earned a master’s degree in education at UH Mānoa before entering medical school. He is leading his peers as the president of the JABSOM MD Class of 2022.
“As a future physician, I am looking forward to partnering with my patients, their families, their communities and the stakeholders involved in their holistic well-being,” said Galiza. “Leveraging my socioeconomic and historical background along with my passions for health policy, advocacy and activism, I hope to have a sustainable impact on my patients both within and beyond the four walls of the clinic.”