Meet Haihley Connors, a 2023 Illini Dads scholarship recipient. Haihley was another of the 6 other students to be awarded this scholarship out of many qualified applicants. Read on to learn more about Haihley and her experience at the University of Illinois with the Illini Dads.
Major/minor: Interdisciplinary Health Sciences with a concentration in Health & Diversity
Year of Graduation: 2023
Fun Fact: I got to represent UIUC by working with the NIH during a Covid-19 vaccine study and got to meet and ask Dr. Fauci questions about Covid-19!
Favorite Campus Spot: CIF
Tell Us About Yourself: I am a senior studying i-health from Fairview Heights, IL. I hold various leadership positions in organizations on and off campus related to the healthcare field like McKinley Health Center, IHEAL, Avicenna Community Health Center, and the Career Center Pre Health program. I am super passionate about health disparities and health education. In my free time, I love to spend time with my friends and family, cooking, and finding new DIY hobbies. I also just recently got accepted into the BS/MPH program here at UIUC and will be graduating with my MPH in 2024.
What activities are you involved in at the University of Illinois?
-President of IHEAL
-President of McKinley Special Populations Wellness Peers
-Co-Director of Outreach for Avicenna Community Health Center
-McKinley Health Education Student Worker
-Co-Chair of McKinley Student Advisory Board
-Pre Health Coordinator & Ambassador at the Career Center
-NCSA REU Fellow & SPIN intern
-African American Breast Cancer Disparity Research
What are you hoping to gain from an education at the University of Illinois?
I hope to gain a true understanding of the healthcare system, how I can use my knowledge to help others, and I want to gain true friendships and lifelong connections!
What has been your favorite experience so far at the University of Illinois?
Going to football games with my family! My dad loves Illini sports!
What are your plans for the future?
Become a PA or MD, operate my own free clinics, advocate for minority populations, and combat health disparities and inequities using my Illinois education and my passion for community service.
Why did you decide to apply for the Illini Dads scholarship?
Outside of financial need, I decided to apply for this scholarship because of how much my own dad loves being a part of the Illini family. I hear the most about the Dads association around Dad’s weekend and was intrigued to learn more! After doing my research, I found that this association helps families get acclimated to Illini culture and also distributes scholarships to students. The philanthropy this association does is amazing and truly helps all Illini families come together in the name of supporting the dreams of our students.
How did the scholarship benefit you? Were there any specific areas that it helped?
This scholarship has given me the opportunity to focus more on my studies rather than my semesterly expenses. I have been able to put the energy I usually put into work into myself, my mental and physical health, and my education. This scholarship also helped me understand more about what the dad’s association does and pushed me to work harder in and outside of the classroom!
If you would like to learn more, click here. Applications for 2022-2023 scholarships are accepted between June 1st and November 21st. The Illini Dads is a nonprofit organization that donates lots of its funds towards banquets, grands, and activities that benefit the students, alumni and parents. They have gifted hundreds of thousands of dollars towards scholarships and grants to help students achieve their goals at the University of Illinois.