Bassel A., Pharmacy Student

“I’m dedicating my professional career goals to making sure people across the globe have access to their medications.”

Get to know the FIVE incredibly awesome New Icons Grant Winners who are receiving $50,000 to put toward their school loans and tuition expenses so they can focus on what matters most – changing the future of healthcare. 


Born in Aleppo, Syria, Bassel left Syria when the war broke out and is now a fourth-year Pharmacy student living in Tennessee. Bassel witnessed the devastating effects of lack of access to vaccines and medication and this inspired his career in Pharmacy. When he’s not studying, listening to classical music or being ridiculously positive, he’s working one of his three jobs to help pay for school. Bassel hopes to earn his Doctorate one day and work for the United Nations – oh yeah, and climb Mount Everest. Way to go Bassel!



Austin W., Future Veterinarian

“I felt the best way to give back to my community was getting my doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and teaching people about the beauty of animals.”

From Eagle Scout to track star at Texas A&M, Austin knows that it takes hard work and determination to make your dreams a reality. Pursuing a Masters in Biomedical Sciences, Austin has sights set on getting his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and working with exotic animals, animals he’s felt called to work with since childhood. Austin believes in the power of education and wants to teach children as well as indegenous populations about protecting the sacred wildlife around us. Go, Austin go!

Christine B., DO

“I work with kids everyday that have experienced some sort of maltreatment. At the end of the day I feel really lucky to be able to give a voice to vulnerable children.”

From childhood, Christine knew she wanted to work in pediatric medicine, but it was her life experience as a foster mom that led her to specialize in child abuse and neglect cases. Christine, now a mom of four, works to advocate for foster children and provide the unique care neglected children need. She is in her second year of pediatric fellowship training, is working on a research project, as well as taking a course in Public Health and moonlights in NICU. What doesn’t Christine do? Congratulations! 

Michelle R., PA-C

“As the daughter of two US immigrants who became naturalized citizens, it’s imperative to me that every person, despite their nationality or socioeconomic background, has access to medicine.”

Michelle has one goal for her medical career – give her patients more time with their loved ones. Serving one of the most impoverished counties in Texas, an area hard-hit by Covid-19, Michelle spends seven days a week working at US Customs and Border Patrol as a primary frontline PA as well as at the University of Texas Department of Surgery. After her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age and Christine tested positive as a carrier of the genetic mutation for breast cancer, Christine’s commitment to medicine only grew stronger. Michelle, you’ve earned this!

Khara H., BSN, RN

“I became a Pediatric Oncology Nurse because I always wanted to give a voice to those not strong enough to use their own.”

The path that led Khara to running a Covid-19 clinic in the tiny Inuit town of Utqiaġvik, Alaska isn’t a straight line. Khara joined the army in 2001, only five months before 9/11 would change everything. After returning from combat, having lost many friends, Khara felt lost. But not for long. While caring for her ailing grandmother, a former nurse, Khara found her own passion for nursing and enrolled for her bachelor’s degree. With a focus on pediatric oncology, Khara believes that small things can make a big impact. Let’s go Khara!




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