Our scholars and alumni amaze me daily — their passion and unleashed potential will have a tremendous impact on our community. According to national patient care data, if just one of our alumni makes it through medical school (and if you met our scholars, you would know many more are going to achieve this goal), he or she would care for more than 10,000 patients as a primary care provider. Additionally, our alumni will be able to add a fresh perspective to the health care debates. Their voices are not represented now, but one day, they will be poised to influence critical decisions. These inspiring possibilities led me to take a year away from medical school to build MERIT's capacity and increase the number of scholars we support from 10 per cohort to 40. Our growth relies on generous support from Baltimoreans, both financial and through in-kind services such as physicians who serve as summer preceptors.