Brittany Lewis, a second-year student at the UC Davis School of Medicine, is the 2011-12 recipient of the Virginia Toombs, M.D. Memorial Scholarship.
As the recipient of the scholarship, Lewis will receive $4,000 toward reducing her medical-school loan.
The scholarship was created in 2000 in honor of Virginia "Ginny" Toombs, a 1982 graduate of the UC Davis School of Medicine, to assist UC Davis medical students who are single mothers with financial need. The primary purpose of the fund is to help cover the cost of fees and tuition. While attending medical school, Toombs raised her young son as a single mother. She took pride in the dual achievement of becoming a medical doctor and raising her son, Cameron, to be a fine young man.
Lewis is the mother of a 5-year-old son, Santana. As a single mother, Lewis said she often worries about the financial demands she will face during her residency training, when she will have to meet the costs of living and raising her son, while simultaneously repaying medical-school loans. Her parents, Quintin and Rebecca Lewis of Elk Grove, Calif., help out by frequently babysitting her son and providing home-cooked meals, but Lewis said they are unable to contribute much financial assistance.
Receiving the Toombs Scholarship would relieve a great deal of her anxiety over financial matters, in addition to allowing her to be a better mother and student, Lewis said. When she becomes a physician, Lewis said that she will help single mothers in need of financial and emotional support as they pursue medical degrees.
Lewis is a 2004 graduate of Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove, Calif.