Left image: Friends of York Hospital members Judith McAllister, Diane Williams and Marie Aimo, standing, left to right, and scholarship recipients Olivia Kallay and Raya Anderson, seated, left to right. Right image: York Hospital President and CEO Dr. Patrick Taylor stands with Olivia and Raya. Not pictured: scholarship recipients Sarah Green, Hannah Rickert and Sophia Roe.


The Friends of York Hospital are pleased to congratulate the five student applicants who were selected to receive college scholarships to facilitate their pursuit of careers in health care. Friends of York Hospital President Kate Ford, along with Judith McAllister and Diane Williams, 2021 Scholarship Committee Chairs, wish to express their gratitude to outgoing President Connie James and Scholarship Chairs Sue Little and Alice Emery, as well as the Physician’s Committee and the York Hospital Apothecary, for once again contributing to the Friends of York Hospital Scholarship Fund. Members of the Friends of York Hospital contribute annual dues and conduct a popular Basket Raffle each December to increase the scholarship awards.

The Friends of York Hospital Scholarship Program has been helping students achieve their higher education goals since 1962. Applicants must be high school seniors who plan to enter a medical/health care field and who graduate from a high school located in the York Hospital service area comprised of Kittery, Eliot, the Berwicks, Sanford, Lebanon, Kennebunk, Wells, Ogunquit, and York. The application process includes an essay describing why each student has chosen a career in the medical field and why they feel they should be awarded the scholarship. Official school transcripts and letters of recommendation from high school guidance counselors and from current or recent employers are also required. A selection committee comprised of hospital staff and members of the Friends of York Hospital review all applications, and often are forced to make difficult decisions based on need and merit.

While successfully navigating the unexpected yet ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during their senior year – with altered milestones such as prom and graduation –  the five students listed alphabetically below applied to the Friends of York Hospital scholarship program and were selected to receive an award.  Scholarship recipient Raya Anderson explained how the pandemic impacted her determination to become a nurse. “Through all the disruption and change brought on by the pandemic, I feel I have found my purpose in life. I’ve watched the news and seen the headlines detailing what frontline workers endure and I have found I need to be a part of that. I want my job to be of value to society. The crisis of a global pandemic put a spotlight on public health and showed the world how valued the medical profession is.” Olivia Kallay shared the following sentiments: “This last year has been a good learning experience for all of us to learn how to adapt to strange new situations – from a novel coronavirus to a new college –I’m looking forward to expanding my horizons studying math and biochemistry at Vassar College this fall. We made it!”

Raya Anderson is a graduate of Marshwood High School where she was recognized by the National Society of High School Scholars for exceptional academic performance. In addition to volunteering at Riverside Rest House during school and working at Water Country as a lifeguard this summer, Raya played varsity volleyball and was captain of both the varsity softball and indoor track teams. She will be attending Simmons University in Boston this fall, majoring in nursing with aspirations to become a nurse midwife.  To prepare for her health care career, she attended the Sanford Regional Technical Center Health Occupations program, where her instructor noted, “Raya is an excellent student with great reliability and accountability and picks up complex ideas quickly. She is mature for her age and very focused on her goal to become a registered nurse.” Raya’s Guidance Counselor added, “Raya possesses all of the qualities of someone who will thrive as a nurse. She is bright, caring, compassionate and above all, responsible,” and her Honors Biology teacher said “Raya’s strong suits are her excellent work ethic, energy and determination. On a social level, Raya has a wonderful personality and demonstrates a real seriousness of purpose –  she has a wide range of interests and expresses a concern for and awareness of her position as a citizen of the world.”

Sarah Green graduated from York High School and has chosen Virginia Tech to further her education. Her ultimate career goal is to obtain a degree in medicine with a specialty in neuroscience and radiology. In addition to job-shadowing three radiologists at York Hospital, which confirmed her desire to choose this career path, Sarah stayed active in high school with various clubs, concert band, and volunteering for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and York Public Library, while often working full-time hours.  Sarah’s guidance counselor said that she is “responsible, driven and bright.” Her employer enthusiastically added, “Sarah shows leadership and maturity . . . she has a calm approach and a solutions-based attitude that gives her a great ability for conflict resolution. She sets an excellent example for others to follow and has integrity in everything she does.” When describing her interest in neuroscience and radiology, Sarah explained, “Neurodiversity is a term used to describe how each person has genetic data unique to them, which influences how their mind works. My decision to study neuroscience fuels my passion and desire to understand the brain’s systematic function and what diversifies one individual from another. Being conscious about the idea of neurodiversity can help society have more compassion towards one another.”

Olivia Kallay graduated from Berwick Academy and will attend Vassar College in the fall.  In addition to being a varsity cross country runner, varsity tennis player, and senior captain of the ice hockey team, Olivia is a pianist, alto saxophonist, editor of the yearbook, a peer tutor, and leader of the Student Wellness Advising Team. When not working at Yummies Candies, she is often volunteering at York Hospital where she brings meals to patient rooms, sorts medical records, or cleans the cafeteria. In school Olivia was consistently at the top of her class and excelled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses. She plans to continue her education in the field of scientific research and potentially pharmacology. After Olivia earned a Department Recognition Award in Science, her chemistry honors teacher stated, “Famous scientists have the same traits in common – they were curious, fearless, determined and of course, used their immense scientific talent to better the real world around them. Olivia exhibits all of these qualities plus a great attitude, dry sense of humor, and an outstanding problem-solving ability.” Olivia says her desire is to make a real positive change in the world, perhaps even discover a cure for cancer. In her own words, “I am a concrete thinker. I strive to understand the mysteries of the world around me. I see STEM fields as a way to improve the lives of people all over the world with new technologies. Today more than ever, scientists are in the news talking about new discoveries, new medications, new vaccines, new technologies and so much more. Imagine how wonderful it would be to discover the drug that cures cancer, or COVID-19, or one of the many deadly illnesses in the world that we still don’t have a cure for. I’d love to make a real change in the world – and I see scientific research and pharmacology as a way that I can contribute to health care advances and also do something I love.”

Hannah Rickert graduated from Kennebunk High School and will attend the University of Rochester to major in biomedical engineering. She has been accepted into the graduate engineering program, which is an accelerated bachelor/master degree program.  After completing her dual degrees, she wants to participate in medically-based cell and tissue research. She feels that taking part in medical research will allow her to help others on a larger scale. At Kennebunk High School Hannah played field hockey and was on the math team all four years. She maintained high honor roll each quarter and received a number of prestigious awards in Engineering and Computing. In the words of her guidance counselor, “Without question, Hannah has been one of our top academic students in the class of 2021 and her contributions have been vast and numerous. Her capacity to make a difference in this world is assured as she offers strong intellectual abilities as a curious, self-motivated, articulate learner with drive and ambition. She will thrive in an environment that continually presents her with opportunities to be intellectually stimulated, as well as to give back to her community.”

Sophia Roe is a graduate of York High School.  She will attend Northeastern University to major in Public Health. During high school, Sophia was on the high honor roll, received the Maine Society of Engineers Award, was an AP Scholar with Honor and was awarded the Highest Achievement in French. She played varsity volleyball and is an accomplished violin and clarinet player, often volunteering to play for residents at Kittery Estates. Sophia was a Student Council member all four years and served as Treasurer since sophomore year. Sophia says she was inspired to study Public Health while observing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. “I’ve always been told I am destined to become a ‘woman in STEM’ because math and science have always been fascinating to me,” she shared.  “When the pandemic hit last spring, I sat on my couch watching the news and many people titled ‘public health officials’ appeared on the screen to inform and address our nation. These people were so knowledgeable about both epidemiology and policy. I decided that a public health major combines my love for math, science and politics.” York High School’s Science Department Chair added, “Sophia is a serious student with a sharp mind and an engaging personality who loves a challenge. When my exams were very hard, Sophia enjoyed the difficulty; she thought it was ‘fun, like a puzzle.’ She is a compassionate and caring person who aims high in her personal goals, and because of her work ethic, intelligence, drive and maturity, achieves her objectives.”

Friends of York Hospital Scholarship Committee Chairs Judith McAllister and Diane Williams (both retired nurses) wish these impressive students well on their remarkable journeys to make the world a better place. “We are excited to hear how freshman year goes – and humbled to help promote careers that focus on health, hope and healing. We hope they come back to work at York Hospital someday!”

Please contact York Hospital Community Relations
if you have any questions, at 207-351-2385
or [email protected].