Grateful Ashley aims to be a groundbreaker
A pharmacy student who hopes to join the island’s battle against chronic illness has been given a $10,000 boost.
Ashley Davies is the winner this year of the Phoenix Stores’ Dr Kathy-Ann Louise White Pharmacy Scholarship, named after the first Bermudian pharmacist with a doctorate to register for practice on the island.
Breast cancer claimed Dr White’s life in 1992, when she was just 35.
Ms Davies said she was driven to become “the best pharmacist I can be to help people with a very vulnerable area of their life and to help build a healthier Bermuda”.
Ms Davies, 24, from Southampton, said she lived on a tight budget as an older student doing a second degree.
She worked during her holidays last year at the Phoenix Stores dispensary and is now in third year of a master’s degree in pharmacy at King’s College, London. Ms Davies said she was interested in science from an early age and discovered a passion for pharmacy as she studied genetics at Western University in Canada.
She added: “I read countless research papers that aimed to find the genetic cause of diseases, which could provide potential targets for drug therapies.
“This really sparked my interest in the drug development process.
“I then began looking into pharmacy and became really interested in how important the role of the pharmacist is in healthcare.”
Ms Davies added: “I was drawn to the sense of community you get by working in a pharmacy such as Phoenix.”
She said she found mentors and role models during her summer at Phoenix, and picked up social and practical skills.
Ms Davies also learnt about the scholarship, and applied for the 2020 grant through the “extremely useful” Bermuda Scholarships website. Her work ethic and passion for the job were a prescription for success during her interview in May.
Ms Davies said: “For the past two years, I have won the best student for overall academic performance in my year at King’s College London — my education is extremely important to me because I want to make sure I can give people the best care possible.”
News of the award on June 12 was a big relief for a student determined to pay her own way.
Ms Davies will also have the opportunity for more summer work with Phoenix — and a job when she graduates. She said her colleagues at the store were “the kind of pharmacist I would like to be in the future; compassionate, trustworthy, dedicated, knowledgeable ... the list could go on”.
Ms Davies added: “That makes having the opportunity to come back to Bermuda to work for them that much more fulfilling.”
• The Dr Kathy-Ann Louise White Pharmacy Scholarship provides up to $10,000 per year for up to five years of study at an approved college or university
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