Catching up with Joshua Allyn Engineering Scholarship Recipients: Sidney Perkins and Anna Kim
Thriving in their schooling, both Sidney Perkins and Anna Kim are just a few of the Joshua Allyn Engineering Scholarship recipients setting out to make a difference in their respective fields.
The scholarship fund was established by Joshua Allyn to award a 4-year scholarship of $10,000 per year to a student majoring in any aspect of engineering. The scholarship, previously only open to Welch Allyn employees, will soon be open to students in several local high schools. Since it was established in 2010, eight scholarships have been awarded to students with dreams of entering the engineering field – from biological to civil to mechanical, the sky is the limit for these awardees.
Both Perkins and Kim have reaped the benefits of this generous support. Check out their impressive profiles below to see what they are up to!
After graduating from Columbia University in 2017, Perkins began his international journey as a Fullbright Fellow in Paris, France and is currently working towards a research-based master’s degree in biology.
Perkins now calls Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris home. When he isn’t exploring the hidden corners of Paris, he’s busy in a lab studying a condition called atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by the hardening of the arteries and the development of clots, frequently leading to heart attacks and strokes. Before that, he worked with a start-up called Sensome, devoting time with the sensor technology to distinguish benign, malignant and healthy tissue for a project relating to cancer diagnoses.
Perkins will never forget where he was when he received the letter from the Community Foundation, congratulating him on receiving the Joshua Allyn Engineering Scholarship to help him pursue his education at Columbia University.
“I was in disbelief when I opened the original letter,” Perkins said. “I was at the top of our driveway and was just shocked. To read the “congratulations” part – I was just so excited that I read it to my mom as we drove down the driveway. The scholarship definitely made college more accessible.”
During his clinical volunteer work at Terence Cardinal Cooke in Manhattan, Perkins was struck by the human aspect of his job and how good it felt to sit across the bed from a patient and help them by bringing water, hearing their stories or listening to music with them.
“There is such a raw aspect to the empathy and healing you can bring someone by just sitting across the table from them,” Perkins said. “It was this deeply human part of my volunteer experience that drew out an appreciation for what I believe doctors are called to do.”
Perkins will return to the United States in the summer and is excited to start the next chapter of his life studying medicine at the University of Michigan in the fall. Eventually, he plans to become an attending physician in an academic institution, where he can pursue both patient care and biomedical research.
Kim always envisioned herself attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Like many students grappling with high tuition costs, she considered whether it could be a reality when she was on campus for Accepted Students Day.
While taking in the sights and sounds of the campus, Kim’s thoughts often circled back to the dollar signs that kept creeping back into the picture.
“[While my future roommate and I] drove back to Syracuse,” Kim said, “I was thinking to myself in the car that I could see myself studying at RPI, but the cost made it seem unattainable.”
When Kim arrived home, her father alerted her to a letter that had arrived from the Community Foundation. She remembered her father’s comment about how the company announced the scholarship winners last year in person and sent letters to those who didn’t get it.
Feeling she already knew the outcome, Kim opened the letter and to her surprise, the first word was “Congratulations.”
“I told my dad that I was selected as a recipient and he thought I was pulling his leg until I showed him the letter and he read it himself,” Kim said. “It was like all signs pointed to me attending RPI that day.”
With three years all but solidified in the books, Kim is looking ahead to her senior year at RPI. She is looking forward to applying what she has learned while working for an industrial corporation.
Wherever Kim lands, she knows she wants to make an immediate impact. RPI equipped her with the skills and abilities that will help her to succeed no matter where she goes. Kim also believes she wouldn’t be in the spot she is now if it wasn’t for the Joshua Allyn Engineering Scholarship and the Community Foundation.
“I wouldn’t have ended up at RPI if I didn’t receive this scholarship,” Kim said. “I wouldn’t have been able to meet the life-long friends I have, learn from amazing professors or develop into the person I am today. The Community Foundation provided me with an opportunity I had only dreamed of getting.”