AMN/HCC Scholarships

About the Scholarship

As the only local organization of its kind representing the health care, biotech and medical device industries through advertising, marketing, graphic design and public relations, HCCSC is proud to recognize success in the field of communications by presenting one or more students with a scholarship for their passion for health care.

In conjunction with AMN Healthcare, the title sponsor of the annual Finest Awards, high school seniors and college students currently enrolled in a San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles or Riverside school district who plan to enter the field of health care upon graduation are invited to submit an application for the opportunity to win a minimum of $3,000 scholarship, courtesy of AMN Healthcare. The winner(s) are also recognized at the annual Finest Awards event, alongside the health care industry's leading communications professionals.

The scholarship window will open April 1 through June 30 annually.

Contest Guidelines

  • Every application must include the completed HCCSC Scholarship Cover Sheet. Please download and fill out accordingly prior to submitting your application.
  • Write and submit an essay on the topic: “Why I Plan to Enter the Field of Health Care After College Graduation.”
  • Entries must be no more than two typed, double-spaced, one-sided pages in length. Please include your name, address, phone number, email address and name of your school with your entry.
  • A letter of recommendation must accompany each entry. The letter may be written by a teacher, principal, counsellor or professional presently working in the healthcare field. Please limit the letter of recommendation to one page.
  • An unofficial copy of your transcripts, or other record of classes taken and grades received, must also accompany each entry.
  • College students, please make sure to include both your high school and college unofficial transcripts. 

  • Qualified applicants must be high school seniors or college students presently enrolled, and in good standing, in a San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles or Riverside County school, in person or virtual.
  • This scholarship is available to all US citizens.
  • All entries must be received for judging between April 1 - June 30 (no exceptions).

To qualify, please attach all required documents in one email and send to

About AMN Healthcare

AMN Healthcare is the leader in healthcare staffing services for healthcare facilities across the United States. AMN Healthcare provides innovative healthcare workforce solutions and staffing services that help clients, clinicians and physicians deliver excellent, cost effective patient care.

 2023 Scholarship Winners

We are pleased to announce that our generous scholarship sponsor AMN Healthcare has decided to select 5 scholarship winners. A special thank you to AMN Chief Executive Officer Cary Grace and team for their thoughtful donation.

Congratulations to the 20th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Mirela Guzman.

Mirela Guzman, a recipient of the 2023 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship, recently graduated from Downey High School and is presently pursuing a degree in biochemistry at Stanford University. Mirela's ambition is to become a pediatric emergency physician, and she has a strong dedication to providing medical care to underrepresented communities. During her time in high school, Mirela exhibited her fervor for assisting her community by actively participating in KIWIN'S and The Thirst Project. Additionally, she volunteered to provide tutoring to students who were facing difficulties in English and Chemistry. Mirela endeavors to use the skills and drive instilled in her by her family to create an ongoing cycle of consciousness and resilience in marginalized communities by advocating for the rights and well-being of families and children.

Congratulations to the 20th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Zoe Levin.

Zoe Levin, 2023 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is currently a freshman at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where she plans to major in Public Health Sciences. During high school, she volunteered in the labor and delivery and postpartum units at UCSD Jacobs Medical Center and engaged in public health research as part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Now, Zoe is researching the implications of risks during pregnancy associated with racism and the role they play in Black birthing people's communication with healthcare providers. While she is still exploring what her career will look like, her ultimate goal is to make the field of maternal healthcare more equitable.

Congratulations to the 20th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Cameron Patton.

Cameron Patton, 2023 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner, is a junior at San Diego State University, pursuing a major in Interior Architecture with a minor in Honors in Interdisciplinary Studies. Following the completion of undergraduate studies, Cameron intends to apply to medical school. Currently employed as an EMT in San Diego, Cameron gains valuable insights into the pervasive socioeconomic disparities affecting healthcare access.

Within the SDSU community, Cameron holds an executive position in the Doctors Without Borders organization, actively coordinating events aimed at addressing the humanitarian crisis in the San Diego region. Beyond local efforts, Cameron extends dedication to international volunteer work, contributing to healthcare initiatives in underserved areas surrounding Antigua, Guatemala. As part of an ongoing commitment, Cameron looks forward to participating in a volunteer medical campaign in Peru during the upcoming spring break.

These diverse experiences underscore Cameron's unwavering commitment to healthcare advocacy and highlight a multifaceted approach to addressing global healthcare challenges.

Congratulations to the 20th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Emily Rodriguez.

Emily Rodriguez, 2023 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is attending San Diego State

University studying Biology with a minor in Spanish. She was a part of nonprofit organization,

NexGeneGirls, which places underrepresented highschool girls into research labs. She was

able to conduct both dry and wet lab research which confirmed her passion for biological

sciences. She is a volunteer with flying samaritans where they provide medical and dental

services monthly, at a free clinic in La Morita, Mexico. She plans to conduct research in a cancer biology lab at state and continue volunteering in underserved communities.

Congratulations to the 20th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Darcey Tran.

Darcey Tran, 2023 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner, is a recent graduate of El Camino High School in Oceanside. She is now a freshman at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is majoring in Biochemistry. During high school, she interned at the UCSD Kawasaki Disease Research Center, where she assisted with lab operations, created a presentation about patient recovery rates, and shadowed multiple pediatric cardiologists. She is currently a member of the Asian Pacific Health Corps at UCLA and volunteers in health fairs that provide BMI, vision, and blood pressure screenings to the underserved Asian and Pacific Islander community. She also plans to earn her Basic Life Support certification this year, along with a scribe or EMT certification to gain clinical experience. Darcey aspires to become a pediatrician to serve her community and to expand access to affordable healthcare.

Past Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to the 19th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Harshil Shah.

Harshil Shah, 2022 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is a recent graduate of Valencia High School and is now studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of South Florida. He is deeply passionate about serving the community and in the future aims to aid communities that are medically underserved. During high school, he served as a volunteer at a local hospital and medical nonprofit organizations like Operation Smile. He also helped serve his community by volunteering as a basketball coach and Science Olympiad mentor at his local middle school. Harshil hopes to continue his efforts of serving others by becoming a physician so that he can positively impact and inspire people to live healthier and happier lives.

Congratulations to the 19th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Nneoma Meremikwu.

Nneoma Meremikwu, 2022 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is currently a freshman at the University of California, San Diego where she majors in Human Biology. She plans to complete medical school and pursue a career as a physician after receiving her bachelor's degree. However, her career goal is to contribute to closing the racial gap the medical field has been facing, notably among black physicians.  She also has aspirations to provide affordable healthcare to marginalized communities and form a nonprofit STEM organization that black and brown students have access to. 

Congratulations to the 19th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Matthew Campos.

Matthew Campos, 2022 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is a current senior at Azusa Pacific University studying Psychology with minors in Sociology and Spanish. In high school, Matthew began volunteering at Noah Homes, a residential community for adults with developmental disabilities and became passionate about sitting with the stories of those living with any form of disability or chronic condition. As he transitioned into college, he sought ways to meet the social and emotional needs of families navigating chronic disease in his local community. This led him to intern with Alzheimer’s San Diego throughout the pandemic, serving as a virtual companion to families navigating Alzheimer’s disease. Through Zoom, traveling abroad to participate in a medical service trip in Guatemala, or conducting public health research at Brown University, Matthew’s pursuit of healthcare never loses sight of the individual and their story. As he embarks on a career in public health, he is motivated by the fact that behind every statistic is a story, a family member, and a fighter. After graduating in the spring, Matthew plans to matriculate into a Master’s of Public Health (MPH) program. He's committed to ensuring access to healthy aging is equitable across diverse communities and desires to serve families living with chronic conditions through research and practice.

Congratulations to the 18th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Bryan Cheng.

Bryan Cheng, 2021 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner, is a recent graduate of Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego and is attending the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a major in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. He is passionate about the field of global health and aims to aid communities where access to medical resources is limited or nonexistent. Throughout high school, he has volunteered on medical missions trips in the local area and beyond, including a pop-up clinic in Tijuana, Mexico and at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya, which have solidified his desire to enter the fields of medicine and global health. He hopes to become a physician and help people around the world gain access to medical care through both direct clinical work and investing in health care professionals who already practice in the regions with the most need. Read more about Bryan in his hometown paper Del Mar Times and the Times of San Diego or check out his on campus video here.

Congratulations to the 17th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Argentina Fretwell.

Argentina Fretwell, 2020 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner, is a current Palomar College nursing student. Before being admitted to the nursing program, Argentina volunteered at Sharp Memorial Hospital and worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant on a telemetry unit. She also has her basic life support and medical terminology certifications. Her next goal is to obtain her Spanish medical terminology certificate. Argentina’s previous volunteer and work experience has made it easier for her to transition to her new role as a student nurse. During COVID-19, she has also learned about how essential it is for nurses and healthcare workers to be flexible and adaptable to different situations. This semester has been a unique learning experience for Argentina and her nursing instructors, but she is enjoying every minute of her simulation lab experiences and Zoom lecture meetings.

Congratulations to the 16th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Oberlyn Gambito.

Oberlyn Gambito recently graduated from Sweetwater High School. She will be attending the University of California San Diego this coming fall and major in Molecular and Cell Biology. Migrating to the United States was a major turning point of her life because she had to adapt to a whole new culture that was substantially different from the culture she was accustomed to. For instance, the English language placed her in massive struggle. Initially, she struggled to do well in school due to her inability to understand and speak English fluently. But, she persevered to advance her ability to speak the English language by reading books and taking ELD class. Consequently, she was able to maintain her spot on the Principal’s Honor Roll and graduated high school with a GPA of 4.42. Overcoming this language barrier further encouraged Oberlyn to keep achieving highly in her academics and pursue her dream of becoming a Pediatrician. To gain experience in the medical setting, she joined the Health Academy Program at her high school. In addition to taking medical related classes, she was given the opportunity to participate in a mentorship program at Scripps Mercy Hospital where she worked closely with doctors in different departments. Determined to further her experience, Oberlyn is actively looking for more medical related volunteer opportunities in order to acquire more knowledge about the field she sees herself in the future.

Congratulations to the 15th Annual HCC & AMN Healthcare Scholarship Essay Contest winner, Tanner Curnow.

Tanner graduated from Fallbrook Union High School. He will be attending California Baptist University for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Tanner interned at Palomar Hospital, and said he knew he wanted to become a nurse after caring for a hospice patient who lived for six months and passed away in my home during my junior year of high school. Currently, Tanner is working night shifts as an Emergency Room Technician at Paradise Valley Hospital as well as a second year California State Beach Lifeguard.

Tung Nguyen, 2017 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is a recent graduate of Patrick Henry High School who is attending San Diego State University studying Biology. After immigrating to the United States just four years ago, Tung was determined to be the one who made a difference for his family. He overcame a variety of  hardships and continued to excel in school, graduating with a 4.21 cumulative GPA. In his scholarship essay submission, Tung shared, "Being an immigrant has taught me how to overcome struggles, how to stay determined and work hard towards my goal of becoming a first-generation college student for my family and achieve my dream career of being an epidemiologist."

Lauren Haneke-Hopps, 2016 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is a recent graduate from Patrick Henry High School who is now attending University of Alabama studying the field of Kinesiology and playing collegiate wheelchair tennis. As an adapted athlete, she has personally experienced what it feels like to receive much needed healthcare assistance. In her essay, Lauren shared, “Being in a wheelchair does not limit me; I hope to share with those that have been born with a disability or injured, that anything is possible to overcome and achieve any goal that is sent in their mind.” After four years of studying Kinesiology, she plans to become an occupational or physical therapist.

Nagham Adeeb, 2015 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is attending UC San Diego studying general biology. Nagham came to the United States from Iraq in 2008. She is a graduate of El Cajon Valley High School and says to believe in yourself because if a group of strangers believe in you and picked you for this scholarship to pick you can do it to." 

Shay Ricketts, 2014 AMN Healthcare/HCC Scholarship winner is attending University of San Diego and last we heard was majoring in either Biophysics or Biology. Shay is a San Diego native. She attended Valhalla High School and was a competitive runner. According to an article in Shay was once named Second Team All-CIF, High School Student Athlete of the Year. Steve When and the team at AMN Healthcare scrubbed through hundreds of scholarships and found Shay's to be the most original and inspirational in 2014. We were happy to receive a video from Shay providing us a beautiful tour of her campus at USD as well as some helpful tips for the new college student. Shay told us in this video interview,  "Thank you again for awarding me the scholarship last year. It has made all the difference and has made USD economical feasible for me and my family." You can hear more in this short video clip Shay shared with us last year, which was presented at our 2015 Finest Awards celebration.

About our Scholarship

Health Care Communicators of Southern California
5694 Mission Center Road, Ste 602-310, San Diego, CA 92108-4312

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