Mariela Vega

The board of directors of the Foundation of Collier County Medical Society is thrilled to announce that Mariela Vega, a distinguished graduate of Immokalee High School, in the class of 2027 at Florida State University College of Medicine, is the recipient of the Foundation’s 2024 Dr. William and Nancy Lascheid Memorial Scholarship for Medical Students.

This prestigious $15,000 award, celebrating its 10th anniversary, recognizes Florida residents training to become physicians who have demonstrated exceptional community service. It commemorates Dr. and Mrs. Lascheid, visionary founders of the charitable Neighborhood Health Clinic in Naples and past presidents of CCMS and the CCMS Alliance, respectively.

“Through this memorial scholarship, we provide crucial financial aid to those pursuing careers in medicine, and reward students who volunteer their time and talents to charitable endeavors,” said Dr. Rolando Rivera, board chair of the Foundation. “Ms. Vega stands out as an exceptional student and volunteer, committed to serving the vulnerable members of our community, and we are proud to present her with this award.”

“We are always impressed with the candidates applying for The Dr. William and Nancy Lascheid Memorial Scholarship. As we celebrate this year’s winner Ms. Mariela Vega, her experiences, drive, and determination clearly reflect my parents’ vision and the Clinic’s mission of providing quality medical care for low-income workers who are in need,” said Leslie Lascheid, CEO of Neighborhood Health Clinic.

Ms. Vega arrived in Immokalee from Mexico in 1999 with her parents. She received her bachelor’s at Birmingham Southern College, and her master’s at University of South Florida. Her community service activities have included volunteering at The Guadalupe Center, service trip leader to Immokalee with FSUCares, and mentoring for the Immokalee Foundation. Ms. Vega is also planning to research health disparities while home in Immokalee this summer.

“I am truly humbled and grateful to have been selected for the Dr. William and Nancy Lascheid Memorial Scholarship. As a first-generation medical student this opportunity will lessen the burden of medical school costs,” said Ms. Vega. “The legacy Dr. and Mrs. Lascheid have in serving the underserved communities in SWFL is an inspiration for me. I hope to one day contribute to my own community the same way they did. Thank you to the Foundation of CCMS for helping me on my journey to becoming a Physician.”

The Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization launched by the Collier County Medical Society in 2012, with the mission to provide support and leadership to programs that address access to healthcare and promote health education. The Foundation’s 11th Annual signature fundraiser, the Docs & Duffers Golf Tournament on October 5, 2024, will help raise funds for its scholarships and local healthcare initiatives. Further details can be found at and