LMSA National Scholarships

2023 applications are OPEN!

For LMSA National Scholarship awards, the following will be considered in the selection process: personal qualities, financial need, academic excellence, and extracurricular achievement.

The general eligibility requirements are as follows:


  • Eligible applicants must demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a health professional degree (MD or DO, unless otherwise indicated) and serving the Hispanic, Latina/o/x, and other underserved communities in the United States.
    • Applicants should demonstrate a desire to advance the state of healthcare and education for the aforementioned communities through leadership in extracurricular activities and/or membership in civic organizations.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, eligible applicants must satisfy one of the following:
    1. Be actively enrolled in a medical school accredited by the U.S. Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or American Osteopathic Association (AOA) at the time the award is given, or
    2. Have an active application to LCME- or AOA-accredited medical schools that has been verified by AMCAS or AACOMAS for the Fall term immediately following the date of award.
  • Each applicant must be an active dues-paying member of LMSA National.
    • To check your membership status, please sign into our member management profile here using the email address associated with your membership. Unfamiliar with this process? Visit this page for more information.
  • Note: applicants are eligible to receive the scholarship regardless of ethnic background or immigration status. DACA students are encouraged to apply.

Please refer to the specific application for each scholarship for additional details. LMSA National reserves the right to withdraw or withhold scholarship funds pending submission of necessary documents.

Important: It is the student’s responsibility to submit a complete application including all supporting documents by the deadline; extensions will NOT be granted. Incomplete or late application materials will result in ineligibility.

The LMSA National Scholarship for U.S. Medical Students was developed in 2009 to help alleviate the financial burden medical students face as a result of expenses related to undergraduate medical education. These include tuition, living expenses, standardized testing costs, and interviews, among others. While the number and amount of scholarship awards given out each year may vary, LMSA remains consistently committed to supporting its members by either providing awards directly or connecting students to other funding opportunities.

This $1,000 scholarship will be awarded for outstanding work in the field of LGBTQ+ Health, particularly with respect to serving Hispanic/Latino patients in the United States. Applicants must submit an essay documenting their work in the LGBTQ health field. This can include scholarly work or advocacy activities. 

LMSA National reserves the right to withdraw or withhold scholarship pending submission of necessary documents or falsification of any information. If you have any questions please feel free to contact LMSA National Scholarship Chair Katherine Brito at scholarship@lmsa.net.

Award Recipients

LMSA National Scholarship


Ana Moraga is a second-year medical student at Florida State University College of Medicine. Her parents are Guatemalan and Mexican immigrants. She was born in Miami, FL, and raised in Mexico and Guatemala. She is dedicated to serving underrepresented populations and looks forward to becoming an advocate for her patients to reduce health disparities.

Aldana Garcia is a second-year, first-generation medical student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Currently, she is the Chief Developmental Officer for the LMSA Midwest region. She is determined to uplift the Latino communities by providing culturally and linguistically competent healthcare.

Iovana Bonfante González is a current MD candidate at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. She is a proud immigrant from Cartagena, Colombia who was raised in The Bronx, NY. Iovana is passionate about personal narratives in medicine, social justice, health equity, and physician representation in communities of color.

Seiichi Villalona is a first-generation immigrant of Dominican-Japanese descent who grew up in NJ and is currently a fourth-year medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson SOM. Seiichi is pursuing residency training in Internal Medicine with plans of completing a Hematology & Oncology fellowship. His academic interests include addressing cancer disparities, particularly among Latino populations, within the continually evolving landscape of oncological care.

Born in Oklahoma and raised in Mexico City, Paul Delgado is a first-year medical student at OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. Throughout her career, she has been an advocate for addressing the existing health disparities in Latinx and other underserved communities. She is passionate about diversifying medicine and building support networks for students, “because the goal is not to be the one and only, the goal is to be one of many more to come”.

Vanessa is a second-year medical student at UCSF and is part of SJV PRIME c/o 2024. She is a first-generation student, born and raised in Fresno, CA, and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her upbringing and a non-traditional path to medicine inspired her to center her work and research around health equity and to mentor other underrepresented minority students interested in medicine.

Nancy Garibay is an incoming MS1. She is the daughter of Mexican Immigrants, the middle child of three, and was born in rural CA. Her life experiences guide her desire to serve under-resourced communities like her own. She realizes the need for Latino physicians and will seek support from her school’s LMSA chapter as she continues her medical journey!

Andres Maldonado is a queer, first-generation Mexican-American who was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Columbia University and is now a first-year medical student at the UC Davis SOM. Passionate about serving and advocating for urban underserved communities, Andrés is a Community Health Scholar with UC Davis’ TEACH-MS program, Co-Director of a student-run clinic, and Co-President of LMSA at UCD.

Dania is a fourth-year medical student and part of PRIME-LC at UC Irvine SOM and currently pursuing her MPH at UC San Diego. She grew up in Whittier, California, and attended UC Berkeley, where she majored in Social Welfare and minored in Education. She is passionate about designing and delivering patient-centered health care services to address health disparities, alter health trajectories, and improve health outcomes in the Latinx community.

Alejandra Mendez is a medical student at Indiana University SOM. I am honored to receive this scholarship in recognition of my mentorship, leadership in LMSA, and community outreach in Latinx and marginalized communities. Thank you to my mentors, advisors, deans, and family and friends for supporting me and believing in me on my journey to becoming a physician. To the younger Latinx students, with the right guidance and mentorship, everything that you need to be successful is already within you.

Gladys Bello is a first-generation Latina from East Angeles, CA. She graduated from UCLA, where she studied Evolutionary Medicine and Anthropology. As a rising MS1, she aspires to become a physician leader and advocate for underserved communities.


Melanie Valentin is a first-year medical student at MSU College of Human Medicine. She grew up in Southern California with her Mexican-Puerto Rican family. Seeing her family struggle to receive quality health care because of language and cultural barriers has inspired her to become a physician who practices cultural humility and fights for social equity.

Jaquelin Solis is a first-generation college graduate and medical student, and a DACA recipient. Growing up uninsured and in underserved communities opened her eyes to the omnipresent healthcare disparities that minorities face daily. At the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, she strives to improve the well-being of our familias and provide them the individualized healthcare they deserve.

“Mis padres son mi motor and my community is my fountain of inspiration.”

Christina W. Agudelo is a Southern NH native and graduate of Boston College and CUNY Hunter College. Christina is a current MD/PhD candidate at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University and hopes to dedicate her career as a physician-scientist to the service of marginalized communities.

Daniel Alicea is a current student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Claudia Moraga is a student at the Florida State University College of Medicine.

“As future physicians, we have the power to change those situations around us which are unjust and be a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves. I hope to do so by providing medical care to underserved communities and through health advocacy.”

Natalia Correa is a second-year medical student at Florida State University College of Medicine. She is a daughter of Colombian immigrants, the youngest of three, and was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She is devoted to combatting health disparities and inequities by promoting diversity in the medical field.

Noah Ortiz is a student at the Texas Tech Health Science Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.

“As a first-generation Mexican-American student, never did I imagine I would be in the position I am today. I have learned about the importance of being a future Latino physician. I am dedicated to mentoring students, working with underserved communities, and creating opportunities for underrepresented minorities in medicine.”

Mery Yanez is a student at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“As an immigrant from Venezuela, I want to become a physician for those who did not have the same opportunity as me. I am passionate about eliminating barriers to health care and use cultural knowledge to improve patient quality of care.”

Bianca Aceves-Martin is a student at the University of California–Riverside School of Medicine.

“Growing up in Northern California, I witnessed the health disparities that affect communities of color and grew committed to advocating for social justice and health equity as a physician. I thank all the mentors I have had along the way and am committed to supporting future generations of health professionals.”

Lauro Avalos is a student at the University of California–San Francisco School of Medicine.

“Thank you to everyone that has helped me and that I will help. Pursuing a career in medicine to help Latinx people has been a dream come true.”

Marysol Encarnación 
Drexel University College of Medicine

Growing up underinsured, Marysol realized that our healthcare system needs vast improvement. As a Puerto Rican/Costa Rican American, she continues to stand in solidarity with other Latinxs and aims to improve their healthcare in order to ensure that this basic human right is met.
Raul Salazar
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science 
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
As I become more involved in healthcare, I’m constantly reminded of the importance of a diverse healthcare workforce and the responsibility I hold as a future Latino physician empowered by the narratives of my community. My efforts will continue as a physician who advocates for social justice and strives towards health equity for our most vulnerable communities.
Katherine Brito
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine 
Katherine Brito is a first-generation Mexican-American from Santa Ana, CA. She completed her undergraduate work at UC Berkeley and attends the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She believes that access to full spectrum reproductive healthcare is a fundamental human right and intends to dedicate her medical career to ensure that this right is upheld.
Julia Devito
UC Riverside School of Medicine

My objective is to bridge the gap between patients of my background and providers, and to also address the underrepresentation of Latinx physicians in medicine. I want to be more than just a physician, I want to be a social advocate for my patients and a strong mentor for my Latinx community.
Ciara Espinoza
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School Of Medicine

As a first-generation medical student from a Mexican-American family, medical school once seemed like a dream, but mentorship helped make it possible. I wish to be a role model and mentor for underrepresented students aspiring to pursue medicine. I aim to overcome the scarcity of minorities in medicine both by becoming a physician and by leading others to do the same.
Richard Ferro
Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine

I do my best every day to uphold the values of kindness and humility, imbued in me from a Costa Rican and Cuban upbringing. For that reason, I always strive to better myself, so that I may one day better the lives of others within my community. ¡Pura vida!
Jessica Muñoz
The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Hispanic Americans are incredibly strong, but we are unstoppable when we work together. As a future Latina physician, I vow to continue my leadership in the Hispanic American community and will work diligently to make our community even stronger. I will continue to advocate for the Latinx communities and provide care for the underserved.
Christina Palomo
Northeast Ohio Medical University

Christina Palomo is a Los Angeles native and first-generation medical student at Northeast Ohio Medical University. She displays commitment and passion for advocacy, volunteerism, and community outreach. She plans to combat health disparities by increasing medical and surgical care to underserved populations.
Bryan Rangel 
Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine

The phrase “Pay it forward” is one that I hold dearly. I would not be where I am today without the countless mentors that have crossed my path and helped me along the way. That is why I am very passionate about mentoring and will do what I can to be or connect others to helpful resources. Thank you LMSA for this opportunity!
Yadira Bribiesca
Rising MS1
UC Davis School of Medicine

​As an undocumented Mexicana and first-generation college student, I aspire to become an integrated primary care physician that creates more awareness and resources to address mental health barriers in underserved communities.  I am looking forward to using my experience as a source of strength to empower and serve in immigrant undocumented communities.
Munir Buhaya 
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston – McGovern Medical School
As a son is a reflection of his parents, similarly, mentees are a reflection of their mentors. Throughout my career, I have been lucky to find excellent mentors, from whom I have learned many lessons, growing up professionally and personally. Learning from their generous mentorship, I have become a strong advocate for the advancement of Latinos in healthcare and biomedical sciences, promoting mentorship for the younger generations.
Jorge Luis De Avila
Rising MS1
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Jorge Luis De Avila, born and raised in Norwalk, CA, is a first-generation Mexican-American who will attend medical school at the University of Chicago. Jorge’s passion for advancing health equity and diversifying the healthcare workforce stems from his personal upbringing and has guided his prior work experience.
Cesar Montelongo
MD/PhD student 
Loyola Stritch School of Medicine

We cannot be silent in the face of injustice, nor wait for the perfect moment to take action. The catalyst for serving my community is not my title, but my humanity and the opportunity to serve every day.
Juan Claudio Oves Jr.
FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

As a former HIV/AIDS counselor and advocate in South Florida, I plan to share my knowledge and experiences of LGBTQ health and public health with colleagues to continue the mission of LMSA in promoting health equity for all and empower others to create impactful health changes in our Latino communities.
Nichole Ramirez
Virginia Commonwealth University

Nichole is the first person in her family to go to college, the first to go to medical school, the first of many. She attributes her successes to her overwhelmingly supportive family and is proud to serve them and the Hispanic community. She is honored to represent Latinos in the medical field and will continue to advocate for her community throughout her career with compassion and empathy.
Efrain Rodriguez
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston – McGovern Medical School

Efrain grew up on both sides of the Mexican-American border. He has participated in medical missions to the Rio Grande Valley and Central America. He is interested in global health and community outreach. His goal is to return to South Texas and serve his community as a family medicine doctor.
Victor Rodriguez
Texas A&M University College of Medicine 
Learning and experiencing the many health disparities in the Texas colonias along the U.S.-Mexico border inspired me to become a physician who works towards eliminating health barriers. I’m grateful to be a part of LMSA, where I can continue to learn about other issues facing the Latinx community and work alongside other brilliant individuals fighting for health equity.
Jorge Torres
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Jorge Torres is a first generation Mexican American who attends medical school at UCLA. He will be pursuing a neurology residency at Harvard where he will be focusing on neurological disparities and medical education.
Cara Muñoz Buchanan
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

“Se necesita un pueblo”. My village of support inspires my resilience to face each new challenge in service of my vision. I seek to integrate social justice & progressive health policy to the practice of medicine. The LMSA is an inspiring space to build this intersectionality. ¡Adelante! 
Nelly Gonzalez
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

A strong work ethic, resiliency, kindness, and grit are values my family has passed along to me. I plan to continue using my value system, and now my medical education, to care for patients and advocate for the Latino community.
Jose Miguel Juarez
University of Pittsburg School of Medicine

I am honored to stand with my LMSA colleagues advocating for the rights of all Latinos in health care and preparing myself to one day serve our Latino community, especially those who lack access to health care, as a doctor. 
Jessica M Ocampo
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Empowering Latinx communities through education and advocacy is the foundation of my interest in medicine. As a first generation medical student it is important for me to serve and create equal opportunities for Latinx. This year, I plan to continue advocating for Latinx communities as an OB/GYN resident. 
David Alejandro Sanchez
Howard University College of Medicine

Research and my community have led me to become interested in ameliorating the burden of HIV/AIDS in LGBTQ Latinxs. Through supportive organizations like LMSA, I feel empowered to become a physician-scientist focused on addressing diseases that afflict mi gente and other minorities. 
Carol Montes Castellon
UC DAVIS School of Medicine

Family Medicine Healthcare is a right every person deserves regardless of immigration status, social class, ethnicity, religion or sexuality. As one of the first undocumented medical students in California, it is my mission and responsibility to provide compassionate care to and for underserved communities.
Romina Kim
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Coming from a multicultural background, as an Argentinean born to Korean parents, I developed a passion for working with diverse and underserved populations. This fall I will be starting my pediatric residency training program in Los Angeles, CA.  I hope to be able to affect change with the pediatric patient population and become a champion of change, particularly for the vulnerable and underserved. In addition, I plan to mentor students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds pursuing a career in medicine.
Jessica Ocampo
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Bridging cultural/language barriers and social justice are my passions for pursuing medicine. My involvement with LMSA has transformed me to become a future physician leader that creates awareness of social issues to provide equal opportunities to vulnerable populations. Currently, we are developing a policy regarding the importance of allowing DACA students to participate in the medical field. My career plan is to continue working in Latino communities and underserved areas as I pursue a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 
Ruben Mora-Roman Jr.
Western University of the Health Sciences

As I reflect on my journey as Mexican-American, I am fortunate to find my passion in medicine and dedicate my life to the empowerment of the Latino community. I am fueled with the positive impact I have made through LMSA and I hope that through my hard work I can leave a legacy by inspiring future Latino leaders.  
Natacha Villegas
University of Texas Medical School at Houston

Growing up in a small island in the Caribbean, I never imagined I would be training to become a doctor in the largest medical center in the world. Now that I am past many obstacles, I want to help underrepresented minority students to overcome their perceived barriers to becoming health professionals, so that we can all work together to shorten the gap of access to care that disadvantaged communities suffer. 
Marcela Zhou Zhang
Incoming MS1
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Given my experiences and multicultural upbringing as a Mexican-American-Chinese, I am particularly interested in eliminating linguistic barriers and delivering culturally relevant health care to medically disadvantaged communities. I plan on becoming a physician with a strong presence as a leader in community health, working to empower and care for patients from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Denisse Rojas
Incoming MS1
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
At Pre-Health Dreamers, a national organization I co-founded that supports pre-health undocumented youth, I have counseled over 200 pre-health undocumented youth, co-authored 4 unique resource guides, presented customized information at over 35 pre-health events, created unique programming to serve an annual group of undocumented medical school applicants, and helped write and pass California legislation SB 1159 that opens eligibility for professional licensing to undocumented immigrants.
Miguel Rodriguez
Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Seeing my family’s leadership, work ethic, perseverance, and sacrifice gave me the fuel to work towards a better life and make a difference through leadership in the Latino community. My professional goal as a future physician is to serve my Latino community in the Rio Grande Valley (southernmost tip of Texas), which is an underserved area in desperate need of primary health care physicians. My plan as a future physician is to emphasize disease prevention.
Carlos Estrada Alamo
Harvard Medical School
Growing up I was keenly aware of being an undocumented student; however, I refused to succumb to the fate this would entail. My desire to pursue an MD/MBA with a focus in healthcare delivery stems from a profound interest in reducing health disparities and improving patient outcomes.
Raquel Rodriguez

University of California, Los Angeles
My clinical rotations in the Los Angeles county hospital system reminded me of the issues that inspired my foray into medicine and thus I decided to enroll in a dual degree program in order to learn more about health policy. I hope to serve as a mentor for other students who lack the support to pursue health-related careers. I expect that my commitment to work with underserved communities will continue to fuel my endeavors.
Alvaro Galvis
University of California, Irvine
My involvements in LMSA and NHMA greatly influenced my growth as a leader and an advocate. I aspire to impact society by addressing the complexity of issues confronting us such as inadequate educational system, shortage of health care resources, and lack of health advocacy. I will utilize my MD/PhD to bring clinical resources and basic science research into underserved communities and to advocate in local, regional and national health forums.
2014Carlos Montes, Georgina Amarol, Marisa Castillo
2013​Matthew Dominguez, Roman McInnerney, Maria Montes
2012Emma Olivera, Crystal Castañeda, Gricelda Gomez, Jasmine Swaniker

The JP Sánchez LBGTQ+ Health & Leadership Award


Joshua Soler is a second-year medical student at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. His interest includes LGBTQ+ Health, Internal Medicine, and Geriatrics. Specifically, he is committed to improving his medical Spanish, working from within the Latino communities, and doing LGBTQ+ research. He hopes to give back to the village of support that has gotten him so far and provide more equitably inclusive care to LGBTQ+ and Latino communities.