Harold Reighn Moxie Scholarship

Funded by
Harold Reighn
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Jun 1, 2021
Winners Announced
Jun 30, 2021
Education Level
High School

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” - Victor Frankl 

We can’t control the circumstances of our birth, the situation we are raised in, or events of the past, but we can control how we react to these challenges, especially in the classroom. 

Our education system often rewards students who excel at memorizing facts and formulas, instead of those individuals who develop critical thinking skills and self-awareness.

But in life, memorizing facts and formulas won’t allow you to succeed in this world. Instead, it’s the ability to think independently, solve ambiguous problems, and find strength in the face of hardship and adversity that determines whether or not you’ll succeed in this world.

As one small way to support the tenacious and ambitious independent thinkers of our world, the Harold Reighn Moxie Scholarship will be awarded to one high school senior who will be the first in their family to attend college. This opportunity exists as one of our many high school senior scholarship opportunities.

All first-generation students who are currently high school seniors and plan to attend college in the fall of 2021 are eligible to apply. As part of your application, you will have the opportunity to tell us more about your story, the adversities you’ve encountered, and your plans for the future.

Personal Development
Selection Criteria:
Essay, Perserverance, Determination, Grit, Ambition
Essay Topic

Please tell us a little bit of your story. What adversities have you encountered that have changed the way you live your life? What do you hope to achieve in the future with these life lessons in mind?

200–1000 words

Winning Application

Isabella Castillo
Notre Dame AcademyLos Angeles, CA
I grew up in an environment where academics was not encouraged. My family has never had the opportunity to go to college because of financial problems and the language barrier. They grew up speaking only Spanish, so I have never had anyone help me with school. Murders occur regularly in my community, and gunshots occur almost nightly. I also live next to a sleazy motel, which swarms with drug dealers and prostitutes. Police officers have raided that motel multiple times. I have learned how to survive in this environment. At night, when I hear gunshots, I do not let my fear affect how I care for my disabled twin sister, Gracie. Many mornings, as I prepare for school, I wake up to the terrifying wail of police sirens and blow horns. However, I try my best to focus on what I have to study and learn that day. I have always fought to maintain this focus because I know how much my family--and, in particular, my sister Gracie--needs me. Because she was born with the neurological disorder Rett Syndrome, she is always on the brink of fatal complications. I have lived in hospital rooms for months at a time, taking care of her. At home, I give her sponge baths, and I change her diapers because she is non-ambulatory. Many nights, I sleep on the living room floor because Gracie needs twenty-four-hour care, and nights are especially dangerous for her. She constantly has secretions, and she can easily choke to death. I have always made Gracie my first priority, and I have learned over the years how to maintain my own life. In hospitals, with doctors and nurses continually coming in and out, I have learned how to do my schoolwork in a tiny corner of the hospital room, next to the loudly beeping machines. I have also learned how to be extremely efficient at school, studying and completing assignments as much as possible on school grounds. I know that studying at home is almost impossible. I have to always watch over my sister, making sure that she is not in danger. Because of my environment, I have become tough enough to handle all the challenges of my life. On several occasions, my family was not allowed back to our home because the police have blockaded my entire neighborhood as they hunted for dangerous criminals. During these times, I have learned how to sit quietly in my car, reading my textbooks by the light of broken streetlights. I have also learned how to remain calm even when my own family is in danger. My brother is gay, and threats have been made against his life. A couple of times, we have woken up to find my brother’s car completely torn and vandalized. However, I am absolutely determined to not let my environment drag me down. Despite my challenges, I was able to obtain “First Honors,” as well as many subject awards, in my school. Also, I have learned how to become an increasingly more effective student over the years. By my second semester of 11th grade, I was earning straight A’s, even as I was taking multiple Advanced Placement and honors classes. I have also assumed leadership roles in clubs, organizations, and athletics. In addition, to support my family, I took on odd jobs such as babysitting. The money I earned paid for necessities such as medications for my disabled sister. Often, I work several hours after a long day of school, sports, and other activities. I grew up in an impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhood. Nevertheless, I am far more than my environment. I am determined, ambitious, and resilient. No matter the challenge, I have never lost faith in myself or my future. I will always continue to learn and persevere. I am thankful for all of these experiences because it has inspired me to work to create change within our society. They have helped me realize that I need to help lift up all people’s valuable and beautiful voices. Only by including everyone’s distinctive voices, can we progress as a nation. Throughout my life, I have been fighting for such an equitable society. I have created organizations, marched in protests, and I have listened and tried my best to understand others. At any university that I attend, I would continue to passionately fight for a fairer, more just society.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 1, 2021. Winners will be announced on Jun 30, 2021.

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