HARLINGEN — A dedication to education is something that was instilled in Anjali Bhatla at an early age.
The daughter of two physicians, Anjali grew up admiring her parents, looking up to them for their hard work. She will eventually follow in their footsteps.
Anjali is one of three college students in the state to receive the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship.
She joins 53 other exceptional college students from 47 U.S. colleges and universities.
A native of the Rio Grande Valley, Anjali is majoring in health sciences and policy studies, with a passion to reduce global health disparities at Rice University in Houston.
Anjali is a State Farm Youth Advisory Board member, a Rice Distinguished Trustee awardee and a National Coca-Cola Scholar.
Through her work at the Baker Institute for Public Policy and as founder and president of END7 at Rice, Anjali advocates for policies that can reduce the global burden of disease caused by neglected tropical diseases.
Each scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study and priority admission.
They also receive supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government.
Anjali, who was really excited to receive the scholarship, said it’s not just about the money, but about how with the scholarship comes many networking opportunities for its scholars.
A Rice-Baylor Medical Scholar, Anjali plans on pursuing a MD/Master of Public Health dual degree to use policy measures to improve access to health care.
She’s already been accepted to Baylor College of Medicine.
Anjali is no stranger to academic success.
The former student at Science Academy of South Texas was once recognized for receiving a perfect score of 2400 on the SAT.
She also graduated at the top of her class.
The Truman Scholars, all college juniors, were selected from among a record number of applicants and institutions: 775 candidates nominated by 305 colleges and universities.
They were chosen by 16 independent selection panels on the basis of the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.
In a unique move, the foundation picked three students from the state. Anjali said that almost never happens.
“I was really inspired by the people I had met. I am grateful that the foundation recognized that,” she said.