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Scholarship Impact: Ordinary People Doing the Extraordinary

Scholarships change lives. I’m living proof.   

I grew up helping my immigrant parents run their Chinese-American restaurant in the small town of Blanding, Utah. When I was 10 years old, my mother passed away suddenly from cancer, leaving my father to care for five children under the age of 13.   

From an early age, my father emphasized the need for each of us to excel in school. He knew a college education could open doors for our future. He was transparent with us and explained he could not afford to pay for our college tuition. As a ninth grader, that was a lot to process. I kept a job throughout high school but that wasn’t going to be enough. Could I find a way to attend college?   

I soon discovered there was a way. Ordinary people I didn’t know did the extraordinary. With an open hand, they supported numerous scholarships that allowed me to attend the University of Utah and complete a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. I went on to complete graduate school at the College of Pharmacy, once again with help from scholarship donors.

Winter Redd as a child at family restaurant
Winter Redd at eight years old (front middle) with her mother and siblings at the family restaurant.

Having an Open Hand   

After graduating from pharmacy school, my husband and I—though we consider ourselves ordinary people—wanted to create a scholarship in my parents’ names. We believe in the philosophy of the open hand.   

Having a closed hand may seem like the best way to keep things from slipping away (i.e., money or relationships). With an open hand, money may leave, but it can just as freely enter. This attitude of giving has helped us see outside ourselves and realize we are incredibly blessed financially.   

Now, it’s our opportunity to alleviate the worry for that second-generation immigrant student starting pharmacy school, unsure of how she’ll make ends meet.  

 I add my story to the story of other grateful scholarship recipients like new graduates Ryann Lim and Sarah Robertson (below). We hope to inspire others to find their own version of “extraordinary.” 

Reflections from Ryann Lim, DDS, Class of 2024 


Community was an important part of my upbringing in Singapore. Being a dentist allows me to serve communities in unique ways. Through my training, I’ve learned how to restore a person’s ability to enjoy the foods they love and regain the confidence to smile freely. I’ve seen how increasing access to oral health care is transforming lives.   

The University of Utah School of Dentistry provided a supportive environment that fueled my passion for bringing care to under-resourced communities. I’ve accepted a residency position at University of Utah Health to continue my training. One day, I hope to mentor the next generation of dentists and inspire young students to pursue a career in dentistry.


I recently had the opportunity to meet Tom and Laurie Eastwood, the donors who supported my Education Resource Development Council (ERDC) Scholarship. Laurie Eastwood is an ERDC member. During our conversation, I learned about her career as an artist and the work she does to empower women. It was nice to learn more about the Eastwoods and thank them in person for their generosity. I’ll always be grateful!

Winter Redd, PharmD, Sarah Robertson, BSN, Ryann Lim, DDS
From left to right: Winter Redd, PharmD, Sarah Robertson, BSN, and Ryann Lim, DDS at the University of Utah Health Scholarship Celebration, March 2024.

Reflections from Sarah Robertson, BSN, Class of 2024

The University of Utah Hospital has special significance to me. It’s where I gave birth to my first child after severe complications. That experience taught me to use my voice—to ask questions, understand procedures, and advocate for myself and my baby. It ignited my passion to become a nurse and help others find their voice.   

The University of Utah College of Nursing aligned with my vision, emphasizing evidence-based and patient-centered care. Nursing lets me be there for people in their most vulnerable moments, just like my nurses were there for me. It’s a privilege that I hold dear.   

When I received the phone call about my scholarship, I was sitting in my car in the preschool parking lot after dropping off my son. I was blown away by the generosity of the Bamberger Foundation. I cried tears of joy as I shared the news with my partner. With two little boys,  covering the cost of tuition and child care was challenging. 

This scholarship significantly lessened our financial burden. Ernest and Eleanor Bamberger believed in helping people reach their full potential. In moments of self-doubt, my scholarship motivated me to keep going. It reminded me Ernest and Eleanor Bamberger would have believed in me. 

I’m inordinately grateful to the foundation for investing in me!

Finding Your Own Version of “Extraordinary” 

When students and donors embrace the open-hand philosophy, we create a culture of support and empowerment. I’m forever grateful to the ordinary people who did extraordinary things for me and my education. 

There are numerous opportunities for those who want to open their hand and have lasting impact on a student. I encourage every scholarship beneficiary to adopt an open-hand philosophy when they graduate. It has unleashed so many good things in my life, and I believe it will in yours, too.

Winter Redd, PharmD

Winter Redd, PharmD

Winter Redd is an investigational drug service pharmacist for University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics and Huntsman Cancer Hospital. Redd received her PharmD at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy. She is a grateful scholarship recipient who established a scholarship in her parents’ name to support pharmacy students at the College of Pharmacy.  

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