Mark Caldwell Memorial STEM/STEAM Scholarship

Funded by
Rick Caldwell
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Jul 16, 2022
Winners Announced
Aug 16, 2022
Education Level
High School

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 first-generation student
  • Be a graduating senior at Springboro High School, OH or Woodlake Union High School, CA as a first-generation student
  • Have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA

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
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

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.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jul 16, 2022. Winners will be announced on Aug 16, 2022.