Silvia Petkova moved to the United States from Bulgaria as an 8-year old, speaking no English. Her family was in search of a better life. When Robert and Susan first met Sylvia her determination to fulfill her dreams of being a pharmacist and her desire to help her family impressed them tremendously. Her enthusiasm to learn was contagious.

Silvia will start her second and final post undergraduate year in the internationally respected Pharmacy Doctorate Program at Purdue University fall, 2014. She received one of the coveted pharmacy doctorate spots after completing the rigorous pre-pharmacy curriculum requirements her freshman and sophomore year. She is pursuing a doctorate in International Pharmacy, and hopes to help others that lack medical attention, in the United States, in her home country of Bulgaria, and around the world. This summer she was offered an internship at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, receiving the competitive placements after an intense screening and application process. She has been a leader within the Pharmacy academic community at Purdue University and a role model during internships at Wishard Hospital, Indianapolis. She has volunteered with great insight and inspiration as a L.I.F.T. Scholar mentor and involved herself in college social projects.


Silvia is the first of her family to attend college. She graduated from high school a semester early in order to help her family financially. The L.I.F.T. Foundation has been honored to continue assisting Silvia with a full academic scholarship as she completes her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.

“The L.I.F.T. Scholarship is the means to gain independence… to lift my family out of financial need. It drives me to succeed so that I am able to help my family and my community. I am able to live my life to the fullest with the gift that learning has given me. Knowledge gives life color and meaning. Inspiration flows freely from its depths to create a new vision of the past and a dream of what the future can become. It lifts humanity as this scholarship lifts me.”