A scholarship can change everything: The story of one woman’s journey to a career in medicine

Students sit at a graduation.
Students sit at a graduation.

From time to time, we see a young adult who has truly excelled, but who also has faced obstacles.

Lauryn Brown, raised in Tallahassee, enrolled at Florida State University at age 16 and graduated in December 2019 with a degree in interdisciplinary medical sciences.

With the help of the Florida Lottery Bright Futures Scholarship, Brown’s goal of a career in medicine — “to change the way people go about their lives” — is beginning to come into focus.

Growing up, Brown was gifted and ambitious. She excelled academically, graduating from Godby High School at just 15. Although her sights were set on a career in health care, her path to success wasn’t guaranteed.

“I definitely knew that I was going to go to college,” Brown said. “It was just a matter of when and how I was going to pay for it.”

A guidance counselor pointed her toward the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. With plenty of hard work and late-night study sessions, Brown was awarded the scholarship and enrolled at Florida State University at just 16 years old. Her goal of a career in medicine was coming into focus.

Despite her ambitions, Brown’s achievements in the college classrooms weren’t automatic, and she sometimes found herself struggling with certain subjects. One poor trigonometry grade almost made her reconsider her dream of studying medicine.

But Brown persevered, saying, “I just kept with it and kept improving."

Soon, Brown was flourishing. In addition to classes, Brown found time to tutor fellow students and even volunteered at a local hospital where she completed a medical internship and was accredited as a certified medical assistant. She graduated from Florida State University in December 2019 with a degree in interdisciplinary medical sciences.

“I just want to be able to change the way people go about their lives, make it so they have healthier behaviors that will benefit them in the future,” Brown said.

Now, she’s currently in the process of applying to graduate school, where she plans to focus on reproductive medicine.

The journey may not have always been easy, but Brown has paved her way for a career in medicine.

In her words: “Anywhere in medicine would be fine.”

With the help of Florida Lottery-funded Bright Futures Scholarship, Brown’s plans look to be bright.