While I never met Terrell, I connect with his mission to improve our communities’ deeply. His leadership and his dedication to improving the lives of others inspires me and motivates me to not only achieve my dreams, but to continue to serve the community at Roxborough and the city at large. To be recognized by the memorial fund for work is both gratifying and humbling.  As a first generation low-income student, I spent many nights agonizing on how to pay for college. I am beyond grateful to the Philadelphia Education Fund, the Terrell L. Bruce Memorial Fund, and Brandon Bruce for this opportunity to continue my education. My education has always been important to me, especially given my career goals.

I dream of becoming a doctor and using my love of the laboratory to improve the quality of life for multiple marginalized communities. I am interested in environmental and zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are diseases that originate in animals and are transferred to humans. Examples of these diseases are the swine flu, chicken pox, AIDS/HIV, and COVID-19. Finding a way to cure AIDS/HIV is a deep passion of mine both as a scientist and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I believe that is what Terrell and I have in common, we both dedicated or plan to dedicate our lives and careers to finding ways to improve our communities. 

Once again, I am beyond proud and grateful to be a recipient of this award. I vow to continue on Terrell’s legacy and serve my community in every way I can. Thank you for seeing a piece of Terrell in me and I cannot wait to make you and him proud.

​- Samantha Ferraro (Excerpts from personal statement) 

Terrell L. Bruce Scholar: Samantha Ferraro