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Mark Caldwell Memorial STEM/STEAM Scholarship

Funded by
$1,000
1 winner$1,000
Open
Application Deadline
Jun 30, 2024
Winners Announced
Jul 30, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners

Mark Caldwell was a bright, charismatic, and thoughtful person.

After graduating from Springboro High School in Ohio, Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree from Devry Institute of Technology. He worked 35 years as an electrical engineer, specializing in robotic integration within the packaging industry. His career took him all across the globe. 

Above all else, Mark was a loyal friend and a kind person. He treated everyone equally, with an open spirit and with dignity. Mark created the types of bonds that lasted decades.

To remember and honor the memory of Mark Caldwell, the Mark Caldwell Memorial STEAM Scholarship will support first-generation high school students who plan to pursue a STEAM degree.

To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be a high school senior and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. Preference given to students Springboro High School, OH or Woodlake Union High School, CA

While not required, it's a plus if you are active in F.I.R.S.T Robotics, Destination Imagination, the maker community, or similar activities.

To apply, please write about a time when, through tremendous hardship, you achieved something great in your life. Please go into detail about the strategies, skills, and techniques you employed to overcome the obstacles between you and your goal.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, STEAM, Ingenuity, Creator, Purpose, Ambition
Published March 28, 2024
Essay Topic

To apply, please write about a time when, through tremendous hardship, you achieved something great in your life. Please go into detail about the strategies, skills, and techniques you employed to overcome the obstacles between you and your goal.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Daniela Rodriguez Arellano
Woodlake Union High SchoolWoodlake, CA
In recent years, my father, a person whom I look up to the most, was at risk of deportation. He was detained and incarcerated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Because of this, I became unmotivated and started to lose interest in education. My grades quickly went from straight A’s to C’s and F’s. My determination and strive to learn and expand my knowledge seemed like it had vanished forever. After a few weeks of this ongoing little to no desire to learn, I became frustrated and angry. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I needed to morph this devastation into motivation. Through this very experience, I began to change my mindset and I discovered new ways of learning that I thoroughly enjoyed. In my first attempt to enjoy learning again, I started looking for reading material on subjects I was interested in such as psychology. I began reading about experiments and their significant contributions to psychology. From here I became fascinated with psychology and how the mind works. This helped me become more motivated and focused on school. In school, math has always been a subject that I enjoy. After my father’s incarceration, I became distracted during math class. However, I attempted day after day to overcome my mental obstacles in order to feel that sense of enjoyment again. After a few days of doing so, I became more focused in class and I was finally able to fulfill my desire to enjoy learning math again. With my own attempts to bring my grades up and enjoy school, I came across the educational program; Upward Bound Math and Science (TRIO) and I did not hesitate to apply. The opportunities that I was presented with through this program further helped me regain my passion for learning. I was surrounded by other individuals who enjoyed learning and had high educational goals for themselves. This helped me stay focused and motivated to achieve what I desired. After a few months in this program and regaining my passion for learning, I set a goal for myself; to be successful in my classes and to eventually get accepted into my dream university, UCLA. After making this goal for myself, I began applying myself in school. I have been taking AP and college courses during high school that allow me to challenge myself and feel the satisfaction of doing so. I also began participating more in extra curricular activities so I can have a balance between school and fun. Overall, my efforts on overcoming this hardship have allowed me to enjoy education and high school. The very cause for my educational barrier turned into my prime motivation to strive for educational success. I am currently at the top of my class and excelling in academics, and I plan to continue as I enter college. I have also recently been notified that I have been accepted into UCLA. I am eternally proud that I was able to turn my greatest weakness into my greatest strength. This situation has undoubtedly turned me into the best version of myself.
Hannah Hill
Springboro High SchoolSpringboro, OH
As a freshman at Springboro HS, I became very ill. It wasn’t a normal illness that could be easily identified, it was a strange debilitating virus that invaded my body. While this illness was short lived, it created a personal hardship I had to overcome. I am a swimmer; I swim 2-3 hours a day. I had become ill and didn’t realize how sick I was so I kept pushing myself to practice. At the precipice of the illness, I went to see the doctor. My mom urged the doctor to find a cause. I was so weak I couldn’t lift my arms up over my head. I had a blood test completed and it turned out that my creatine phosphokinase (CPK) results were extremely elevated. For a normal person the range is between 26-192 U/L, my blood indicated my CPK level was over 1900 U/L from the first test. This was as if I just completed a marathon (I had been sleeping for nearly two days prior to the test)! The virus was attacking my muscles; the more I worked out the more CPK was produced by my body to repair the muscles. I was causing a serious condition that could have been fatal. My muscles were breaking down and releasing potassium into my blood stream. If potassium levels get too high it can cause kidney failure and your heart can stop. Two months and many tests later to eliminate any muscle disease or necrosis, I was cleared to return to swimming. I had fallen behind in my training and I had on-going muscle fatigue to overcome. I could barely swim when I started training; I had to stop frequently. Daily, I would try to do a little more knowing that I could not lose sight of my original goals of breaking HS records and becoming a State Champion. I kept telling myself that I didn’t have an excuse, the virus was a temporary setback and I kept pushing myself to practice. Some of the techniques I used were mental, self-motivating techniques. I would set a practice goal and reward myself for achieving it. I swam the 50-yard Freestyle and relay events since I could only swim short distances. I had to prove to myself I was still fast. The first relay I was on as a freshman earned me praise from my teammates. I was the anchor leg and no one could understand why a freshman was swimming fourth. We were in second place against a rival swim team. I dove in the water and gave it my all, caught up, and passed the other team! We took first place in the event and my teammates were ecstatic. I earned the nickname, The Freshman. This was an extrinsic motivating factor that helped me to continue to achieve more. I didn’t break any records my freshman year, I made the state championship, but I didn’t medal. The next three years I continued working hard, listened to my body, and eventually became the 50- and 100-yard Freestyle Ohio HS State Champion. I hold 6 event records, helped my team win the Southwest Ohio Coach’s Classic (largest HS swim meet in the nation), and have earned a place on the Purdue University swim team. The obstacle I had to overcome was the mental challenge not to give up on my dreams. I was so extremely fatigued for several months that I didn’t think I would ever regain my edge. I had to challenge myself; I did and I am a much stronger person mentally and physically for overcoming this personal hardship.
Kayla Fong
Mountain View High SchoolLos Altos, CA
An obvious tube hole on the body may be seen as disturbing and unsettling to the naked eye. When I initially encountered the term "scar," I thought of a potentially traumatic or painful occurrence that has happened with a long-lasting detrimental impact on one's memory. Others may not notice, but the port-a-cath scar wound connected to my heart, as well as STEM innovation rescued my life. And it continues to be a symbolic influence to support those around me to convey the mark as a battlefield of a war one conquered in life. At the start, the scar signified another week of hospitalization, blood transfusion, chemotherapy, spinal taps, bone marrow transplant, or trial studies to manage my leukemia. They also symbolize slipping behind in school, being isolated from classmates, and a never-ending cycle of expensive healthcare bills. As well as too many late-night visits to the emergency department, which would inevitably lead to another round of needle injections, nausea, ingesting massive volumes of medicine, hair loss, and unexpectedly waking up to the audible ringing of my intravenous infusion pole at random times. Nonetheless, when my health improved after four years of chemotherapy, I discovered my enthusiasm for the STEM profession, since I would not be here today without it. My older sister, who was a member of the FRC 971 Robotics team, was a huge inspiration to me. A further challenge I experienced was not getting admitted into my own high school's FRC team since I was the only girl who applied. This influenced me, even more, to join the all-girls, award-winning FRC team, Space Cookies 1868, during my first year of high school situated in NASA. Joining this robotics team was one of my best decisions in life since I was able to motivate other young girls to pursue their passions and become powerful women in STEM. Every adversity I've faced now reflects a beautiful lesson in building resilience, people I've met through my condition, and the opportunity to make a huge impact in the lives of those who are going through the same thing. From an early age, I grew to speak for myself, to be an efficient leader, to persevere and excel amid misfortune, to develop into a strong and self-sufficient student, and to seek delight in giving back to my community that supported me during my times of difficulty. I plan to build on those accomplishments by developing important relationships in a new setting that will remain influential in shaping and growing my perception of society and my new offerings to it. Through the years, I challenged myself and I acquired CAD skills, Python, JavaScript coding, and mechanical wiring, participated in Hackathons, volunteered in outreach for people in need, and how to develop as an individual. I believe STEM can assist so many humans all across the world, particularly those in the healthcare sector, and save lives, just like mine. To my experience with a fatal disease and robotics, we must be willing to go beneath our familiarity, take chances, conquer problems, establish new foundations, and devise solutions to stitch up the wounds that are revealed, including both our own and the souls of those around us. I ought to courageously investigate other individuals' conflicts, remain alongside them, and truly start to uncover solutions to ameliorate their suffering through the universalities of human consciousness. If we can embrace our diversity while focusing on what unites us, I strongly feel there will be greater peace and fewer instances of pain and misery. Kindness and empathy, when combined with research, technology and innovation, can completely transform well-being.

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 30, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jul 30, 2024.

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