Dedication to Professional Community Inspired by Scholarship

Chin Silver Chan, B.S., R.T.(R)(MR)
Aug. 30, 2016

Chin ChanWhen I was selected to receive the ASRT Foundation' Royce Osborn Minority Student Scholarship in 2012, I was in pretty rough shape financially. I was stressed out about the situation I was in and what my future would hold.

Despite being a star student and a hard worker all my life, I managed to dig myself into significant financial student loan debt. To top that off, I started my clinical internship, and costs were mounting as I had to figure out how to move to a new place and make ends meet while working full time. This is not the ideal mindset for someone who is thrown freshly into the field and needs to place the needs of his patients above his own.

The scholarship from the Foundation changed all of that. It allowed me enough breathing room financially to focus my attention on my education and on taking care of my patients. It is hard to keep things in perspective and give people the dignity they deserve if you are having nagging doubts in the back of your mind about whether you can make rent or afford to eat.

More important, however, this scholarship affected me in more existential terms.

At the time, I had already lost both of my parents, so I was unable to turn to them for emotional or financial support. Being a college student for five years these days is a brutal affair, and competition for scholarships is equally cutthroat. Despite coming from a “diverse background” and maintaining a 4.0 GPA my entire college career, I still faced an uphill battle in terms of being selected to receive scholarship assistance.

So receiving the ASRT Foundation scholarship was an amazing affirmation for me. I felt like finally someone in the world recognized my worth and all the blood, tears and sacrifice it took to get me to where I am now. I am especially honored given the fact that I was one of few selected for this national scholarship; most of the other scholarships I applied for were from my state or region.

I am sure you're wondering by now where the heck this handsome soon-to-be technologist ended up. Although I liked radiography, I fell in love with magnetic resonance imaging after having an opportunity to cross-train in the modality. Shortly after graduating with honors, I landed a job at a cutting-edge, high-volume outpatient clinic in Reno. I spent two years there getting quality experience under my belt. The learning curve was steep, and some days were really tough, but what I learned was invaluable.

I gained a lot of wisdom while I was there and learned what it means to truly be part of the health care system. However, I missed my family and my home, so I took my newly learned skills and insights and relocated to Washington. I have lived here for just over a year now, and I enjoy the new environment and taking care of my fellow Pacific Northwesterners. The move also allows me to be closer to my sister and newborn nephew, and I am excited by the prospects of being an uncle.

I want to thank everyone who donates to the Foundation. Your support has helped make it possible for me to reach this point in my career. As I have mused before, a scholarship isn't just about the money. It's more like a promise — a promise to each other and to those we help every day. A promise of loving and investing in one another and of supporting our professional community and its future, thereby reinforcing our highest core values to our patients.

As a Foundation donor, you are changing people’s lives — just like you did mine. Whenever I’m having a hard day, I remind myself that no matter what happens in life and in my career, someone believed in me enough to award me that scholarship. I cannot forsake the faith they had in me, and that motivates me to be the best R.T. I can be, and to be the very best person I can be.

Taking the time to write this today profoundly reminds me of the support the Foundation and its donors have given me and renews my commitment to you, our profession, and the lives we touch. I hope that donors continue their support of these scholarship opportunities and find other aspiring and worthy technologists to invest in as well.

Gratefully yours,
Chin Silver Chan, R.T.(R)(MR)