“Knowing what my stepdad does every day makes me very grateful for the freedom and safety that we have here in the United States... seeing him in uniform makes me proud of him, and proud to be an American.”
Amy Shoga received the Coast Guard Foundation's Arnold Sobel Scholarship in 2015. Amy is an example of the outstanding talent the Coast Guard Foundation has the great pleasure of supporting each year through our scholarship program.
During Amy’s high school career she maintained a 3.9444 GPA and graduated Magna Cum Laude - 18th in a class of more than 500 students - and in her first semester at the University of Texas, studying Neuroscience and Psychology, was ranked in the top 10 percent of her class with a 4.0 GPA.
Thanks to the Coast Guard Foundation, Amy is receiving a $15,000 scholarship for her remaining three years of college. Amy, who dreams of becoming a pediatric doctor, says when the news of being awarded this scholarship came through it brought both joy and relief to her family.
I am extremely grateful for this scholarship, and it means so much to know that the people at the Coast Guard Foundation believe in me.
Amy’s determination to become a pediatric doctor stems from a horrifying accident as a child. When she was seven years old a dog’s canine tooth shredded her right tear duct, leaving her and her family fearing it was beyond repair - but thankfully, Amy’s healthcare team led her to a full recovery.
“That week, I entered the hospital a desperate and fearful emergency room surgical patient, and left it a young girl inspired and awestruck by the power of medicine,” said Amy, in her scholarship application. “Ever since the day I left that hospital, I have taken every step possible to become a physician.” In her junior year of high school, she began gaining clinical experience in the Geriatric Department of the Veterans Affairs Hospital in the Houston Medical Center, where she learned a wealth of medical knowledge, and also spent many days conversing with elderly veterans.
“Every veteran had a profound and unifying dedication to the United States of America that moved me,” she recalls. “My experiences at the hospital motivated me even further to pursue a career in medicine.”
Her step-father, Timothy Haibach, is a Marine Science Technician, First Class based in Sector Corpus Christi. “Being part of a Coast Guard family has brought me closer to this country,” said Amy. “Knowing what my stepdad does every day makes me very grateful for the freedom and safety that we have here in the United States... seeing him in uniform makes me proud of him, and proud to be an American.”
“I come from a family who immigrated to the United States to give us a better future. Both my parents never completed any form of education, and it was their number one priority that my sister, brothers, and I did.”