Full ride to pharmacy school: Waubun senior ‘wins the lottery’ with Cultural Diversity Scholarship

“I saw it was from North Dakota,” she said, “So I figured I better answer it—seemed important.”

The person on the other end informed her that she was the recipient of a cultural diversity scholarship at NDSU, a full ride for six years of pharmacy school.

“They said it was like winning the lottery,” said Lehrke’s mother, Angie Lehrke.

The journey to the full ride

Not many high school graduates know what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Often times, the first couple of years of college are spent taking generals and exploring interests—but not for Anna Lehrke.

Lehrke did her exploring in high school, attending a career immersion program at the Mayo Clinic last summer.

“I knew for sure I wanted to go into the medical field,” said Lehrke.

She had always excelled in her math and science classes and knew it was an area of interest for her—but she didn’t know what area of the medical field she wanted to go into or even what all of her options were.

That’s where the immersion program came in. Lehrke heard about it from her English teacher, she applied and, before she knew it, she was holding a human eye at the Mayo Clinic.

Lehrke and a handful of other students were chauffeured around the hospital, taking “mini classes” in subjects like phlebotomy where they got to “practice drawing blood from a fake arm.”

“I got to see a colon right out of surgery,” said Lehrke.

She also got to see things like the liver of someone who had abused alcohol and a placenta from the birth of twins.

“Before, I thought about medical, like I could see myself (going into it),” she said, but she just wasn’t sure what part she wanted to do. “I went there, and it just sort of broadened my views.”

Lehrke came back to Waubun certain about the medical field, but she wasn’t sold on pharmacy school until she had to do a job shadow in her Senior Seminar.

“I babysit for a lady who is a pharmacist,” said Lehrke.

So that’s who she decided to shadow—and she learned a lot during her time in the…

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