Invest In Me

Master of all

Merit-based scholarships enable student to graduate with dual degrees and stay engaged in extracurriculars

As a high school student in Los Angeles, Sneha Krish (B.A.’19/H&S; B.S.’19/H&S) was a member of the Model U.N. and several service-oriented organizations, such as the Red Cross. Outside of school, she was a member of a dance company and a photography club. She participated actively in community service and completed pre-med curriculum. A principal cautioned her to narrow her focus.

“My high school principal told me that if I stuck to all these things and tried to fit everything together into my career, I would become a jack of all trades and master of none,” Krish says.

But Krish believed that, far from being a distraction, her extracurricular activities complemented her academic life. When she enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University, she finally felt understood.

“I’m really passionate about my studies, but I’m also passionate about dance, literature, staying active and having a healthy social life,” Krish says. “I think one thing that people might not know about college is that there is still time for you to pursue other interests. There’s so much you can do in addition to being a student.”

With a long-term goal to be a doctor and a strong interest in health care policy, specifically international health care and global health inequalities, Krish decided to pursue both a B.A. in political science and a B.S. in biology at VCU. She was able to undertake two degrees and stay involved with her extracurricular interests partly thanks to the Jay and Sondra Weinberg Undergraduate Honors Scholarship she received in 2018. She also received a four-year University Scholarship as a freshman in the Honors College.

“I was concerned about affording college,” she says. “The scholarship enabled me to stay in class and keep my work hours manageable. Without the Weinberg Scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to graduate with two degrees in three years and be so engaged in extracurriculars. It’s very nice to dream a dream, but to be able to achieve it, you need help. And the scholarship made that dream possible.”

Krish graduated in May 2019 and went on to earn her master’s in global health at the University of California, San Francisco. In fall 2020, she returned to VCU to enroll in the VCU School of Medicine. Krish advocates for physician education in health care policy, alongside medical training. She is not waiting for change to happen. She is doing what she has always done: forging her own path and embracing her constellation of interests.

“I want to be a physician who is focused on policy,” she says. “I can more effectively treat communities when I have a deeper understanding of their lives, from both a policy and medical perspective. I will have a more sustainable impact.”