Jake Emerson, of Gastonia, NC, graduated with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Biology. Following graduation, Jake began medical school at Rush Medical College in Chicago. While he is excited to spend his first couple of years at Rush exploring various specialties, he is particularly interested in surgical oncology. During his time in Charlotte, Jake spent two years researching acute myeloid leukemia in the Hematology/Oncology Laboratory at the Levine Cancer Institute. He also participated in the Cannon Summer Scholars Program, where he studied the connection between asthma and obesity in at-risk populations in the Charlotte area. As a Levine Scholar, Jake explored his interest in building healthy communities through an internship with Sow Much Good, a non-profit organization seeking to ensure easy access to healthy foods for all citizens in Charlotte. His work with Sow Much Good inspired him to use his civic engagement grant to build the UNC Charlotte Community Garden, an on-campus produce garden that supplies students with fresh foods, sustainability education and space for leisure. “Not only did the Levine Scholars Program supply me with the tools to pursue my passions, but it also provided me with a unique array of experiences that helped me to identify the nature of those passions,” Jake reflected. His experiences studying abroad for a semester in Panama and volunteering in a small hospital in Tanzania were some of the most transformative. His eyes opened to the value of global medical efforts, and he hopes to impact an international community as a practicing physician.