Helping people through her study and voluntary work has led to some assistance of her own for Wellington medical student Lucy Sulzberger.
The 21-year-old is three years into her medical degree at Otago University and yesterday was one of 30 top scholars to receive a $6000 Freemasons University scholarship.
The former Samuel Marsden student from Ngaio was spending this year completing a bachelor of medical science honours degree while working with Professor Swee Tan and the Gillies MacIndoe Research Institute in Wellington, pioneering the future of cancer treatment.
The money would be put toward paying for her extra year of research study - a seventh year that many students put off because of the cost and time to complete, she said.
Next year she would return to Otago to complete her medical degree but she intended to do more research in the future.
"Research is quite different to medicine, which can be quite broad. I enjoy looking for answers where there aren't any."
This year Sulzberger has been part of a team looking at a proven treatment for "strawberry" birth marks and how that might transfer to treating cancer.
She said the scholarship and meeting other like-minded recipients incorporating their study and voluntary work - which is a prerequisite for applying - into their lives was an honour.
"It was interesting seeing how people were bringing about change, whether that was in the commercial world or diplomacy or something else."
"I'm sure we'll probably all watch each other's careers closely from now on."
One particular recipient whom Sulzberger bonded with was Manawatu's Anna Hoek Sims, who will start a masters in public health at Otago University next year.
Multilingual Hoek Sims had intended to be a diplomat but her own cancer diagnosis contributed to her change of career path.
Sulzberger said the pair shared a passion for health discrepancies and what caused them.
- The Dominion Post
What should happen with the Zephyrometer?Related story: Wind wand's future up in the air