Every student has a path they follow

Pathways to MLS

Every student has a path they follow before arriving at our MLS Program. Below is the story of one student's journey.

Sarah's Pathway

Sarah Pham
Sarah Pham

Hard work is a subjective term, but by all accounts, it’s been central to Sarah Pham’s educational experience.

Hard work contributed to her acceptance into the University of Minnesota’s Honors Program, and its Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) Program major, and to her academic success within both.

But sometimes, at some point, hard work in of itself isn’t enough. Sarah learned this as she worked two jobs to help pay for her education, while devoting the effort it takes to maintain excellent grades within her rigorous and time-consuming studies.

“I was worried about squeezing in hours,” she says. “It was a lot of work.  I remember going back to my dorm after work, and ‘wait, I have to study.’”

Sarah’s drive to becoming a medical laboratory scientist is “to be an integral part of a patient’s care and diagnosis”, she says. “Who does that test? We fill that gap and bridge point A to point B” in patient care.

But her ability to slow down at the wheel and proceed at a healthy pace finally arrived after she learned of and applied for a new grant that the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration awarded to the University of Minnesota’s MLS program.  The MLS Pathways Scholarship, as it’s called, covers the expenses she and other recipients incur as University of Minnesota MLS students.

“Honestly, I was quite shocked” to have received the Pathways Scholarship, she says. “It means that I will not have to worry about not having enough time to study because I must work to earn money. I can buy books, supplies, and other necessary materials to help me succeed.”

Sarah still maintains one job – collecting Covid-19 specimens for processing and testing at Minnesota’s Department of Health -- to satisfy her intellectual interest in the field. Coupled with the Scholarship, it additionally eases the burden on herself and her family, which has helped support her education.

Here are the specific qualifying guidelines for University of Minnesota MLS students to receive funding from The MLS Pathways Scholarship, and descriptions of the many other scholarships that students in the MLS program can apply to receive.