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Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Sloane Stephens
1st winner$5,188
2nd winner$5,190
3rd winner$5,190
4th winner$5,190
Application Deadline
Aug 1, 2024
Winners Announced
Aug 7, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Either studying healthcare or attending an HBCU
2.5 or higher

Sloane Stephens has always been committed to giving back and supporting her community. As she competes at the highest levels of her sport, winning the US Open in 2017 and rising to become the #3 ranked player in the world, she also dedicates her time to charitable efforts with the Sloane Stephens Foundation. She founded the nonprofit in 2013 at the age of 20 to provide more opportunities to underserved children through education and sports.

Through her foundation, Sloane has helped level the playing field for over 10,000 underserved youth nationwide who otherwise would not have access to safe environments to learn, exercise or play.

Sloane continues making her impact through the $30,000 Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship, created in honor of her late grandparents who were instrumental in Sloane’s life and firm believers in the power of education. Lemon Perfect, the fastest-growing brand in the enhanced water category, shares Sloane's vision for a healthier, more equitable world and is contributing to Year 3 of the scholarship. This scholarship will support 6 students in paying for their education and following their dreams. All high school seniors and current undergraduate students who are studying healthcare or attending an HBCU with a 2.5 or higher GPA are eligible to apply.

In the spirit of resilience and dedication that Doc and Glo demonstrated throughout their lives, please share a personal story or experience that highlights your determination to overcome challenges. How has this resilience shaped your character and influenced your pursuit of a career in medicine or attendance at an HBCU?

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published February 9, 2024
Essay Topic

Write a short personal story or experience that highlights your determination to overcome challenges. How has this resilience shaped your character and influenced your pursuit of a career in medicine or attendance at an HBCU?

400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

March 2023

Raj'a Bue1st PLACE
Lily Garcia2nd PLACE
Indigo Washington3rd PLACE
Sydney Reynolds4th PLACE
Zoey Wilson 5th PLACE
Desiree Smith6th PLACE
Abraham Hernandez7th PLACE
Malik Myles8th PLACE
Maro Otolo9th PLACE
Umama Zia10th PLACE
Santana Abney11th PLACE
Kendall Urbano12th PLACE
Andre Allen13th PLACE
aniyah hill14th PLACE
Jadelyn Daniels15th PLACE
Brooklyn Pickens16th PLACE
Kyle Chamberlin17th PLACE
Angela Jazmin Iraheta Gruessing18th PLACE
Isaac Martinez 19th PLACE
Naia Watkins-Garner20th PLACE
Kendall Butler21th PLACE

March 2022

Jordan Hemmerly
Jayden Stocks
Tori Bell
Tiarra Davis
Angelica Jones
Chimerika Aneke
Sydney Bledsoe
Marty Moise
Dymond Williams
Jazmine Jackson
Paresh Kolluru
Angelica Ihim
Gabriella Hospedales-Mohammed
Marie Tarrab Dabbah
Quade Saldana
Mercy Austin
Nattala Dunkley
Kenzie Lowe
Naomi Taylor

Winning Application

Raj'a Bue
Albany State UniversityBrunswick, GA
My name is Raj’a Bue. I am a rising senior at Brunswick High School and I will graduate in 2023. I come from the small town of Brunswick, Georgia. Throughout my years of school, I have increased my knowledge and love for cheer and dance. Cheerleading has had an incredibly powerful impact on my life as it has taught me the meaning of hard work, teamwork, and perseverance, as it relates to these and many other attributes needed to be successful in both cheerleading and throughout life. Cheerleading has given me the skills that I need to be successful as an athlete, student and person skills which will lead me to success through college and into the real world. However, as much as I love cheerleading, it is not my only focus in my life. I have always aspired to have a career in Education. My educational aspirations consist of acquiring a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education that would assist me in pursuing a career as a Teacher. Academically, I have been working diligently to prepare myself for my future. I believe teachers are given the opportunity to set the foundations of a prosperous future, not only for individual children but for our society as a whole. Although this is a huge responsibility, I also believe that through the education of children, we are able to deliver children the opportunity find a future which they enjoy, and this is a responsibility which is very much worth working towards. Overcoming the hardships involved in working with young people in such a transitional and dynamic time of their lives will be a challenge, but I believe the reward of seeing children flourish is more than worth the effort and dedication required. From a young age, I have been involved in my younger siblings learning and development. I have also taken several Early Childhood Educational classes. I gained a sense of pride and achievement, as I helped them grow in to strong readers and independent thinkers. Having the patience to explain new words, sentences and concepts with clarity to the younger audience has pushed me forward to discover how children develop their mind. My natural ability to connect with children and love of learning are the qualities I have, which I believe make me ideal to embark on an Educational degree. I am keen to further my understanding and knowledge of child development, care, and education. Children should have somebody that believes and supports them to become the person that they aspire to be. Working with children and assisting them in achieving their goals in life is a huge ambition of mine. I enjoy interacting with children on their own level, gaining insight into their perception of the world. In the future, I aim to work with children. I feel the rewards of a professional career in teaching would satisfy the goals I have hoped to achieve for quite a while. I believe that with my enthusiasm, positive attitudes and strong interest Education will give me a firm foundation on which I can build my career, working with children. I can think of no better or more satisfying path to pursue. Receiving acceptance to college will boost my self-confidence, knowing that I not only completed a very important task, but also took the responsibility of creating a foundation for getting me closer to my career goals. I believe in the importance of earning a college degree. Therefore, I plan to work extra hard to obtain a degree in Education.
Lily Garcia
Sonoma State UniversityFresno, CA
I have a single mother who supports 4 children, while working as a Special Education teacher at Bullard High School in Fresno, CA, along with pursuing her Master’s degree. Money has never been a taboo topic in our household. I see my mom work hard and that has inspired me to always do my best. I grew up seeing firsthand what determination and grit looked like. I knew from a young age to excel in school I would have to always be determined, I would have to go above and beyond what others did. In early elementary, teachers believed I could not read and wanted to hold me back. They encouraged my mother to retain me or consider special placement. She fought to allow me to have the space to grow academically without restrictions. As I worked hard to prove my abilities at a young age grew to see with determination and grit I could do anything; I also found a love for reading. As a student I have applied this determination and I always do my best to go above and beyond both inside the classroom and outside of it. I have continued to achieve top grades while being a dual athlete and working a part time job. My first employment began my freshmen year, after a club advisor was impressed with my work ethic. For the last two years I have worked for the Rise Up program, tutoring and supporting Black students in AP courses. This program has allowed me to offer support and friendship to students who in many cases are the only African-Americans in their classes. I feel my work with Rise Up has allowed me to create more space for African-American students to feel welcomed in accelerated, high-performing classes. I am a student who understands that hard work is not an option, it is the standard. I recently achieved Summa Cum Laude along with athletic honors in both my sports. After graduation from Edison High School, I will attend Sonoma State University. During my time at Sonoma, I will be a member of their women’s track team. I will pursue a degree in Psychology and Criminology. After completing my bachelor’s degree at Sonoma State University, I would like to seek my master’s degree from a HBCU. I have worked hard to put myself in a position to qualify for academic scholarships in addition to athletic scholarships, my hope is that I can assist my single mother with my college expenses.
Indigo Washington
Howard UniversityFairfield, CA
Being the eldest of four grandchildren comes with a natural disposition to mentorship. I have taken on a mentoring role for my younger family members, even before I was aware of it. Mentorship to me is equivalent to love. To love someone so much that you want to add to their progression and development is beautiful. But then to nurture and shepherd them is golden. My love for mentorship materialized in fourth grade when I applied to be in one of the first groups of Playworks Junior Coaches at Fairmont Elementary. Playworks is a nonprofit anti-bullying organization designed to give students in low-income areas a safe place to practice physical and mental wellness. The program invites students to be peer mentors during recess and lunchtime while ensuring every student avoids exclusion. During my year as a Junior Coach and my two years as a Senior Coach, I gained pride and love for my school. I adored working with my coaching team and I was able to apply this work for years to come. Playworks nurtured my natural inclination while revealing to me my love for mentoring. While interning at Fighting Back Partnership’s Elevate Youth Solano (EYS), I work in a group of racially diverse students to learn the effects of different social determinants of health on Bay Area teenagers' relationships with substance use. In our year together, we learned how to mentor each other and take that skill into our communities. Based in the heart of Vallejo, California, we know the value of a good counselor, professional or not. Our diversity allowed us to see the complete picture of the youth in our area, showing us that there are mentorship roles everywhere. What I learned in EYS grew from the seeds Playworks planted in me. EYS and Playworks alike allowed me to exercise mentorship as a lifestyle rather than a position. As 2022 commences, I will be continuing my work with EYS on their Intergenerational Advisory Board. I will be mentoring the next set of scholars in the program and share with them the joys of peer advisory. My natural and nurtured propensity for leading has been exhibited in my participation in various activities. I have given my life to emitting the feelings I got from Playworks in every room I set foot in. Building a culture of inclusivity, relatability, warmth, and genuine care has always been my full-picture goal.
Sydney Reynolds
Atherton High SchoolLouisville, KY
The quality I value most in myself is forgiveness. This has helped me to survive my darkest day and to forgive my mind for betraying me. I have always been a strong student. That changed when I contracted COVID during my junior year. The isolation almost killed me. My depression was so unrelenting that I considered suicide. There were days when I could not find the physical strength to lift my head. I slept with my mother, I held her hand as we crossed streets. I went from strong and independent to someone who couldn’t be left alone. My family and doctors realized I needed to prioritize my health and allowed me to take time away from school. I missed more than 90 days of my junior year of school. During my absences, on my good days, I worked to control how I felt. The weight of the world seemed to be on my shoulders and I was angry because I couldn't understand how somehow who seemed to have it all couldn't climb out of this hole. My self-talk was defeating. When the time came to return to school, I was nervous and concerned that I wouldn’t be able to catch up. I was relieved to find that my teachers were incredibly understanding, allowing me to make up most of my work. I dedicated most of the spring to make-up work and preparing for the start of senior year. Despite not having perfect grades, I finished the year with A’s and B’s, over 50 service hours, without running was voted to serve as Prom Queen by my peers, and was accepted into the National Academy of Future Physicians. While I missed more than 90 days of school, I learned valuable lessons about myself, and my own needs that will help me be a better student, professional, and person. And although I watched my GPA fall from 4.2 to 3.9 I learned that perfection isn’t required. I forgave myself in order to clear my path to success. This experience also further inspired me to pursue a Chemistry/Pharmacy degree. I want to be a beacon for black patients who feel as though there is no understanding or representation for them. I’ve done the research and it was hard to accept how often people who look like me suffer due to illegitimate medical information and biases of doctors and researchers. I believe that when I enter the medical industry, I will be a precious asset because I will have the perspective of a black woman, and will also have the motivation that other non-black professionals may not have to fairly and accurately treat all patients. This is not to say that medical professionals are intentionally harming others, but every profession should have a good representation of all in our society. My journey will help remove the stigma around mental health and will show others the power of forgiveness, medicine, and balance. My journey showed me that I am resilient, courageous, and internally motivated. Knowing this about myself will give me the courage and conviction to push through obstacles as they arise.
Zoey Wilson
Louisiana State University-EuniceVille Platte, LA
Desiree Smith
Denison UniversityWarrensville Heights, OH
Throughout life, I had dealt with ups and downs from getting a late diagnosis of severe depression and anxiety to taking a new step in my life and going to college. At this new stage in my life, it has been very hard from making sure I complete assignments on time to working two on-campus jobs, hoping that these funds will provide me some stability in the constant months that I stay on campus and to be able to help my family pay their utility bills as they are piling up over time, while my student debt is increasing due to the continual financial issues within my household. During this time, I have learned a lot about myself, and one item that I have learned to value is my resolve. My willingness to achieve and make myself and my parents proud. At an early age, I realized that I love to work and push myself to the limit to achieve and accomplish my goals from getting a good grade on a test by studying for a whole month or a whole night to pushing through my procrastination to completing a last-minute project that was due in a couple of hours. This determination I used to not like due to its damaging effects on my mental health, causing stress and unwanted depression and anxiety fluctuation. It consumed me because I felt like I always had to do something or complete a project, causing me to lose countless hours of sleep. This determination controlled me, making it something I struggled with for most of my life. It was not until when I got to college that I appreciated it. When I first got into college, I started to appreciate my persistence because i constantly helped myself to achieve good grades and further show more of a dedication toward my work and goals than just pursing a career that I did not really care to participate in.This quality has helped me in my life journey by allowing me to the realize the importance of myself and the world. I used to be so focused and lost in partaking in a goal that I failed to realize that through my persistence and willingness to survive I discovered that my determination helped me to conquer a lot of racial discriminations and segregations in my work career and personal life. I have learned to love my goals and dreams on a deeper level and have learned to handle myself with integrity, honesty and respect through the challenges and diligence in what I want to do with my life.
Abraham Hernandez
University of Mary Hardin-BaylorMcAllen, TX
Over the years, I have struggled with sports-related injuries. During my sophomore year, I fractured my right hip at the beginning of the school year and then my left hip at the end of the school year – both injuries were the result of playing football. Just after my hip healed, I broke my kneecap playing varsity basketball and had to have 2 major surgeries. This meant that I would not be able to participate in sports during my junior year either. I was devastated! My family, along with the support of my teachers and coaches, encouraged me not to get down on myself. I had to dig deep and find the mental space to believe in myself when so many others suggested that I quit sports altogether. I knew what it looked like in the natural, but I also knew what I wanted to get back to. I was able to persevere and find other positive outlets to keep me focused and in good spirits during my healing process. I began to channel that energy into academics, my church youth group, and volunteering opportunities. Now, as a senior and after countless hours of disciplined rehab and physical therapy, I am proud to say that I am fully healed. I was able to get back on the playing field with a new focus and renewed faith. Some will never understand my journey, but that is fine. It’s not for everyone to understand. After two, long years of major season-ending injuries, I had two choices – quit or elevate. I chose to elevate and push myself beyond what I thought was possible. Through this process, I’ve learned that the qualities that I most value in myself are my "no quit" mindset and self-discipline. My mindset and self-discipline have proven to be crucial when it comes to the mental and physical journey I have endured. I was recently crowned Homecoming King and named to the all-district football selection for offense and special teams. I am currently in the top 12% of my graduating class and I have already been accepted to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I am believing and pray that God will provide a way for me to attend financially. I plan to major in Exercise and Sports Science with a concentration in Sports Management. I feel that if I had off let the negative thoughts infiltrate my mind and take control instead of drowning them out, the outcome of my journey, my growing and thriving process, would have been a much different story to tell.
Malik Myles
University of Nebraska at OmahaOmaha, NE
If I had to choose one quality or characteristic that I value in myself, I would say my integrity. Integrity is very personal and important to me because of where I came from. My family was built on lies and secrets. The generations before me didn't value honesty and they didn't care if they had to hurt family to get what they wanted. So many of my family are broken. They distance themselves from everyone and their hearts have turned cold. I've seen them tear themselves apart since I was a young child. So early on in my life, I swore to live an honest life and value truth. Every day I find myself running trying to escape that low lifestyle. I knew early on that I wanted to live a beautiful life. I understand the natural balance of life. I also understand that sometimes we outgrow certain situations and relationships. When we allow things to end naturally, it doesn't hurt as much. Pain and guilt will follow and hurt our hearts if it was us that sabotaged what was good. Upholding my integrity ensures me and lets me know that things and people that are good to me didn't die off because of me not being honest. I believe that my choice to live in honesty will help me in many ways. I am a people person. I love making new friends and starting new relationships. I can honestly say from experience that relationships built on love and integrity are healthier and last longer. I want to be a person that people can be comfortable around and trust wholeheartedly. I don't want to be the person everyone looks at with a side-eye. I also believe that the truth will always have power. I say this very often, "The truth may not always be good, but it will always be good because it is the truth". My main career goal is to become an Educational Psychologist and a School Counselor. To help students on a deeper level will require me to earn their trust. No one will open up to those they don't trust. My favorite hobby is writing and producing music. I want to create music that people get inspired by and can relate to. The lyrics I write are honest and touching. I want those who listen to my music to know who I am with. I don't want them to have a false image of me or my morals. Many artists paint their image to be someone they're not. That's where integrity comes in. Shannon Alder once said, "One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself." This saying means so much to me as I continue to live with integrity. It may not be popular or recognized, but I found joy in being myself. If I live denying myself and acting as someone I'm not for the sake of others, I am living as a liar. We owe it to ourselves to be ourselves. One day I'd love to inspire people to live their best lives. I want them to look at my life and find the motivation to keep moving forward. One way I can ensure that is by living in honesty and truth.
Maro Otolo
Oglethorpe UniversityBrookhaven, GA
I was fourteen years old, three years away from graduating from secondary school, but I had a dream: I would study in the United States. It seemed impossible to my family and me, but it could happen. I could make it happen. A friend once told me, “Maro, you really get everything you set your mind to.” Honestly, she saw that in me before I saw it in myself. Determination is a quality that has led me to the point I am in life. If I am passionate about something and driven to get it, I will. If I envision a goal, I work hard to bring it to life. I am driven by the image of my future self, enjoying the product of my hard work and belief in myself. I pictured my mother’s face when she received the news that her first child was going to school in the country of her dreams. Approaching goals with a strong drive is the easiest part; having the discipline to stick to the process even when things get tough and optimism wanes the hardest. Virtually everything one can dream of is at the other end of determination and willingness to put in the work. I knew what I wanted but had yet to learn how to get it because I had never been taught. I had to teach myself. And that came with its challenges; sometimes we need someone to explain the intricacies of things, so I went to people; some strayed me away from my goal - intentionally and unintentionally – some others were rooting for me. If I let the people who made me feel my goal was unattainable keep me in that mindset, I would be living a different life from the one I dreamed about. I did not allow rejection letters to stop me; I did not let confusion and discouragement deter me. I was going to earn a scholarship and move across the world. Today, I am in my second year at a university in the United States, pinching myself every day that this is truly my life. This is all fourteen-year-old me wished for, and sixteen-year-old me worked for. I strongly believe I can do absolutely anything and that mindset will open more doors for me than I can think of. Moving out of Nigeria became genuinely pivotal, not just because I was physically starting over but because it showed me who I am. It showed me just how driven and focused I could be, how it could get me anything I desire and put me right where I want to be.
Umama Zia
Temple UniversityPhiladelphia, PA
When I was much younger, I remember crying to the Spongebob movie. Silly, I know, but It was right at the part where Patrick and Spongebob were bonding over their friendship, in light of them possibly dying. It’s one of the first memories I have of my sensitivity, a symbol of the emotions that were yet to come. I always knew that I was a sensitive child. It was obvious in the way I would carry myself, hiding away and always ready to tear up at the sight of a bug being stepped on or a homeless man hungry for a even a crumb. The world was too loud for my mind. I was too hyper aware of every little thing. For a long time, it was a quality I attempted to crush down. I wanted to be strong. I wanted to be the woman who walked into a room with her chin held high, her shoulders ready to carry the world. I didn’t realize that my sensitivity and my courage could coexist. As I got older though, I realized it was a way to become a listener and a lover. As I was able to be aware of my emotions, I was also able to be aware of others. It allowed me the ability to connect, and always see the world from the perspective of others. When I was in a fight with a friend, I was able to see where their own hurt was coming from. When I noticed myself judging someone, I would think about what they’re truly going through. Now, I see my sensitivity and compassion as a way to focus on the light of the world. I can be in tune with my emotions and know what and why I am feeling them. Being able to navigate the world with my emotions allows everything to amplify, feeling every detail the world has to offer. The qualities we have as individuals truly allows us to live our lives fully. Now, I am able to recognize I am living my life in a complete way, embracing all that I am.
Santana Abney
McDaniel CollegeBowie, MD
Although we go through life with many different traits and personality characteristics, optimism and honesty are two of the most important things any individual can practice. Such easy words, but with so much weight and baggage. Optimism is something that we all can struggle with possessing, and it's quite understandable. Life takes us on a joyride with curves and hills along the way, especially when we’re least expecting it. And sometimes those sharp parts can dull our outlooks on life. Sometimes they leave scars so prominent it’ll take years just to see them fade. But they always teach us lessons. Always a constant reminder that you were once going through the most turbulent lesson of your life. But you got through it. You pushed through even when those moments felt like a lifetime. It’s so easy for us to be the opposite of optimistic, pessimistic. It’s easy to seek out the bad apples over the good ones. Until suddenly the pain gets a little bit better day by day. Until you can wake up in the morning with less weight on your shoulders. Knowing that the future holds a greater outcome and greater peace than that small fraction of a terrible moment is enough to keep your heart in the right place. Honesty, though sounding so simple, is one of the hardest things we humans practice. We keep our most raw and truest opinions to ourselves in fear of hurting our loved ones, in fear of upsetting someone. We’re taught from a young age that “honesty is the best policy” and being truthful is one of the biggest respects we can give to someone. But sometimes being allowed to speak freely is shunned. It’s taboo, even disrespectful, especially when youth try to speak their minds. How can something we were taught from as young as 2 years old be deemed “disobedient”? Why am I being shut down for yearning for my voice to be heard? And even though there is backlash in speaking the truth, it should never stop you. Being afraid to have open conversations with people will only set yourself back from living in the freedom of being unapologetically you. Once you have the confidence of understanding your own thoughts and headspace, you can conquer anything the world tries to throw in your path. For me, these two words have been carrying me through to a happier place in life for as long as I can remember. No matter how bad it’s seemed or how close I was to giving up and losing hope, optimism and honesty had my back. By believing in myself and that “time will heal all wounds”, it kept me going. By not being afraid of being confrontational, being honest with those who have wronged me or hurt me, I was able to release all the harboring resentment and pain in my soul. It’s not an easy journey, and I definitely take it a day at a time. But I’m always getting better, always.
Kendall Urbano
Clovis Community CollegeFresno, CA
My name is Kendall Urbano. I am a high school senior, with a current GPA of 4.0, with the desire to go to a 4- year university majoring in biology. This desire sparked in my youth when a "freak" kitchen accident almost took my life. Living in and out of the hospital since this accident has weaved in deep devotion and pride into every endeavor I complete. Constantly missing school and undergoing various surgeries, I have faced the highs and lows of the well-being of both my mental and physical health. These experiences have only pushed me to not only live life, but devour every moment given. Through my life challenges, I’ve had to overcome obstacle after obstacle. Not only have I pushed myself through these times of hardship, but I’ve prevailed. I know that I survived for a reason, so why not set goals? Why not exceed all expectations? Why not give it my all? This has been my mindset from the moment I open my eyes to when my consciousness slips away. With every given task, I make sure to put my best effort into it. God gave me a brain, along with a day to own. I am always sure to give gratitude and take advantage of that. I am sure to be diligent in all that I do. Whether this entails schoolwork, my job, or mindless daily tasks, I make sure to take my time and engulf myself into each activity. I never want to just go "through the motions" and become a lost soul. In my family, they call me “Wonder Woman” because they see me on a daily basis fighting for my dreams and working hard. I have spent an endless amount of nights with tear-filled eyes from tiredness to ensure I understand each assignment to its fullest capacity. I take pride in my work, so I make sure to do an outstanding job every single time. Now, you’re probably wondering “Why?” Honestly, I’ve asked myself this question a few times before, but it’s always the same answer. I want to help others as others have helped me. I have been blessed with an able body, a strong mind, and an abundance of faith. My moments of hardship allow me to connect with others who are also struggling. I take each moment into a personal and special place. We all go through hard moments in life, but when you have someone who is dedicated to helping, it makes life that much more special. All these factors fuel my everlasting passion to work hard and improve each time.
Andre Allen
McDaniel CollegeUpper Marlboro, MD
“Your son may never walk or talk.” That was what doctors told my parents to expect of my life when I was born a micro-preemie weighing 1 lb. 7 oz. I was so tiny that my entire hand fit through my dad’s wedding ring at birth. I endured a life-saving surgery before I weighed two pounds. Finally, after three months in the hospital, I got to go home. Then several years later, I proved the doctors wrong. Although I experienced delays in my speech and fine motor skills, I learned to play sports and was one of the more vocal kids on my teams and in my classroom. Starting school, however, presented new challenges. By third grade, I still could barely read or write. Spelling and reading comprehension was a significant struggle. Homework that should have taken me 15 minutes took hours, and no matter how hard I studied, I was not earning the desired grades. Finally, after years of frustration in school, I was tested for learning differences and diagnosed with moderate to severe dyslexia with ADHD and attention glitches. Upon receiving my diagnosis, I felt a sense of relief! Once confident of my dyslexia, my parents were intentional about attaining the learning support I needed to succeed in school. However, even with learning support, I still struggled to read and write by fifth grade. At that time, my parents committed to finding a school community that understood my challenges, embraced my strengths, and could help me reach my full potential. My transition to The Summit School changed everything. I learned to read, but more importantly, I learned what I needed to succeed. For as far back as I could remember, my weaknesses were what had always defined me in school. At Summit, it was the opposite. The teachers emphasized focusing on your strengths and using those things to overcome shortcomings and get things done in different ways. Although finding ‘my village’ at Summit was life-changing, it did not come without a cost. My parents and I have experienced prolonged financial setbacks due to the cost of my educational needs. After my diagnosis, my parents sacrificed everything for me to attend the Summit School to help me reach my full potential. They put their dreams and plans aside to afford the $30,000 yearly tuition, including selling their home, downsizing, and moving into a shared space with our family. Unfortunately, over many years, these tuitions and fees have cost over $130,000 and have made it impossible to save for my college education. My ability and willingness to persevere is the quality I most admire about myself. Despite my health and learning challenges, I have earned success in both academics and athletics, including recently achieving a long-time goal of membership in the National Honor Society. I am also among the top ten wrestlers in my weight class in Maryland. Dyslexia has not hindered me. Instead, it has been a gift that has empowered me to think beyond the norm to solve problems, imagine new ways to meet my goals, and push through adversity to become the best version of myself. Perseverance will help me in my life journey as I pursue a degree in Biomedical Science and pursue my dream of establishing a nonprofit that empowers the youth of color with learning differences—seeing people who look and learn like you are a significant motivator. In addition, I hope to inspire others like me to focus on their strengths instead of shortcomings to reach their full potential. I believe my ability to persevere will assist me in fulfilling these goals.
aniyah hill
Merrillville High SchoolMerrillville, IN
A quality that I value the most in my life is my optimism. Everyone has choices. Everyone can either let something affect them positively or negatively. Being optimistic means that you see the light even in the darkest places. It means that you do not allow negative things to bring you down but to lift you. Being optimistic is important to me because I am an all-around positive person. It is also important to me because it means that I can encourage others to be positive as well. Every day I chose to dismiss any negativity that comes into my life. I've learned that being positive allows me to have an open mind. Optimism builds resilience. It makes me believe that I have the power to never give up no matter what life throws at me. Looking at the brighter side motivates me to be better than I was yesterday. Motivating yourself every day pushes you to move forward with life's challenges. The confidence and hope that comes with optimism bring self-confidence. Just because you are optimistic doesn't mean that you won't have bad days. Everyone has trials and tribulations that they have to get through. How we get through them and respond to them is what defines us as a person. The way we allow things to affect us builds our character. I feel that optimism will help me in life because it will allow me to see experiences through a positive lens. I believe growing up in life it took me some time to become optimistic. I had to go through tough times and be a bit of a pessimist. Being in a slump and allowing myself to fall before I could fly made me become a better person internally. I had to be left in the dark and find the light myself. In life, it's better to be there for yourself and remind yourself about the good things that can be found in the darkest of places. In my life journey, my optimism will lead me to be confident and have a sense of positivity that leads other people. I know that my goals are attainable and can be reached. I know that to achieve these goals I will go through many challenges. My optimism will allow me to be successful and motivate me to become the best me that I can be. The positive things that I will be able to bring into the lives of others will depend on the way I handle situations throughout life. Every day I have to choose to be the light in someone's day. I want to show others that the ability to choose happiness is all on you. I will be the light in someone's day.
Jadelyn Daniels
University of FloridaPembroke Pines, FL
"Jade's a traitor!" Imagine you are a 17-year-old who has suffered the experience of being extensively bullied at your former high school, and this is what you hear chanted by a group of over one hundred students as you play in a high school soccer game. This is an experience that demonstrates my most valued quality- perseverance. In my freshman year at Pembroke Pines Charter High School, I was bullied by a group of students who threatened to kill me on a regular basis. One of my antagonizers had a very specific plan on how she would kill me at school. These students would continue to torment me even after one of them was charged with the crime of stalking. While my first instinct was to transfer to another school, I knew this was not a feasible solution. I had set a goal to earn the coveted Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Cambridge diploma. This highly challenging academic program required that I complete a specific schedule of college level classes and pass the stringent test for each in a three-year time span. It was not offered in the neighboring high school. If I left my school, I would lose everything that I had worked so hard the past year to attain. I knew that despite my unhappiness, I could not allow anyone to cost me that diploma. I worked diligently and persevered over the next two years, focused on my goal, and did not allow the negativity of others to suppress me. I reflected on the fact that my ancestors faced much worse difficulties in an attempt to earn an education, and this gave me strength to persevere. Knowing that those who came before me endured slurs and violence to pave a path for the future gave me the power and motivation I needed to continue. I excelled in school, participated in team sports, and volunteered in youth sports during my free time. I hoped to help foster a sense of confidence, values, and community in the participants who may be struggling with issues like mine. I achieved my goal of earning the AICE Cambridge degree in my junior year, and I now had the opportunity to transfer to Archbishop McCarthy High School. I was not running away from problems at my former high school, as I had accomplished what I had intended to do. Now, I had the choice to expand my education on my terms. I took a chance and a leap of faith (literally to a Catholic school) and transferred for my senior year. I loved it! I made new friends, joined multiple sports teams, and learned about world religions. I knew that I had made the right choice. When my current soccer team had to play my previous team, the mob of students chanted that I was a traitor. I did not let their jeers get to me. While our goalie was literally reduced to tears on the field due to the taunts, I held my head high. This experience is so meaningful to me, because I know my life as a minority may not always be easy. I am keenly aware that I will face trials and tribulations. They may not be as severe as what my ancestors faced, but there will be challenges. Having gone through this experience lends itself to the knowledge that with the ability to persevere, I can overcome anything to accomplish my goals, and no one can stop me from doing just that!
Brooklyn Pickens
University of KentuckyPetersburg, KY
A quality that I value most in myself is empathy. I didn't grow up in the greatest neighborhood, until about seven years old I lived in Fairfax, Ohio. Only one of my parents would be home at a time because one worked the morning shift and the other worked nights. During this time I was exposed to conditions of the less fortunate and it is something I will never forget. I couldn’t bear seeing the people living out on the street going without care, and this is what prompted my passion for service. Helping Hearts is a non-profit organization that I help run with my aunt. We do charity work and set up events for people in need to provide them with resources they wouldn't otherwise have. People frequently donate materials to us, and with those donations, we sort them into different kits and distribute them to people in need. In addition to sorting, I take the time to get to know people who ask for help and let them know that they’re not alone. Being a part of Helping Hearts has genuinely changed my perspective on today's society. A big thing that I have learned by helping run the organization, was how to better connect with people that have vastly different life experiences than me. It has opened my heart up to those who need me the most, and I try to dedicate my free time to service. Spending time with my aunt and watching her give all her time to help others, even strangers she has never met before has touched my heart in so many ways. She could be spending all her time at home watching tv and relaxing, but she chooses to take care of those desperate for help and love. At first, I would go and sit in her office and help sort clothes here and there. Once I was old enough to understand what was going on in the world, I wanted to make a change. I started volunteering at several places, eventually I chose to join my aunt and help her run the non-profit organization. Helping those in need has been such a big part of my life since I was a little girl. I knew that I wanted to help people in some type of way when I was older. I plan on studying psychology and I think by growing up in these conditions and being surrounded by acts of service it would be a fitting occupation. Being a part of Helping Hearts has taught me to be patient, empathetic, trustworthy, and a good listener, which are all characteristics of a psychologist. I have truly grown as a person spending so much time with my aunt running this organization and truly getting to know other people’s experiences. My drive to be of service to others has helped me change as a person and open my heart to others. I have learned so many things not only from my aunt these past few years but also from the people reaching out to the organization. Most of the time, people never give anyone the time of day when they ask for help and it truly hurts my heart. I listened to so many different stories from different people that all had their own unique stories. Listening to them and taking the time to get to know them before judging them is very important to me. Everyone we help is always so grateful but I am honestly grateful for them for sharing their stories with me, helping me become a more understanding and empathetic person.
Kyle Chamberlin
Design Science Middle College HighFresno, CA
I value a variety of features. My perseverance and courage are two examples. We all get knocked down at some point in our lives, and it's difficult to get back up and go on, whether it's academic or personal. It occurs to everyone. For me, it's a little of both. One of my close friends died, and it broke me down to the point that I didn't want to try in school, but there was one thing I didn't lack: resilience. Even though it was difficult, I got back up and refused to let anything pull me down again. This is why I respect my perseverance; without it, I would run away from my issues and would be unable to do anything genuinely remarkable. My bravery is another quality I respect. Without courage, I would not be in my current situation. It takes courage to choose Design Science Middle College High School because it's not your typical high school. It's a small school, everyone on staff enjoys coming to work, and most importantly, we'll finish at the age of 18 with both an associate's degree and a high school diploma. That is a fantastic accomplishment. Attending this school wasn't easy; I continually failed because I worried that I wasn't clever enough. Anyone who has this phobia is unable to really influence others or achieve their goals. I respect my bravery because it allows me to keep moving forward in the face of fear and achieve my final objective. These characteristics may be seen, for instance, in my biology III class. This was my first college-level science course, and it was not only challenging from my perspective. I received Ds on each exam, and I came close to failing it. I didn't let that discourage me from passing this class, so I persevered to the finish and earned a C overall. I had the fortitude to keep going despite my fear and the resilience to not give up. These two qualities will be extremely helpful to me as I continue my schooling. I will undoubtedly require it for the major I'm entering. Astrophysics, which is my major, is regarded as one of the toughest disciplines one can choose. Since math is one of my strong suits, it will be simpler for me than for someone for whom it is not. Even if math is my strongest subject, it will still be quite challenging. Even if it may be difficult, I will not consider giving up because of my resilience. Although I will undoubtedly be afraid of failing these classes, I will gather the courage to keep going and achieve my ambition of becoming an astrophysicist.           
Angela Jazmin Iraheta Gruessing
Freeman HighRichmond, VA
Honduran Honduran adopted American Immigrant These are all powerful words that make me who I am. At the age of three months, I was taken away from my blood family and dropped off in a box at a local hospital in Honduras with my 2 sisters. By the grace of God, an American woman found us and followed us through the orphanage system until she got custody of us. She saved my blind sister’s life, who had meningitis, and eventually got us out of the orphanage and became our legal guardian. It was a miracle that she was able to persevere for 10 years until she obtained visas to bring us to the USA. Mom got custody of us when I was 3 years old, and that changed my life. She is my hero and a complete blessing to us. Even though we are not related by blood, we are related by heart. Mom taught me how to love differences and be inclusive of everyone. No matter their story or the path they take, we are all equal. I carry that mentality with me every day. My values make me who I am and how I act towards others… no matter skin, religion, or gender. Living in a white neighborhood as a person of color has been a daunting challenge, as I really wanted to fit in. I believe that my mom has taught me the American value of being generous and helping others. This I carry with me always in class, with my friends, and with my sensitivity to others who are unfortunate. Teachers have told me that I am highly intelligent in many ways, mostly in math which is an exact science. I love math and go beyond the call of duty to understand formulas and systems. But during the pandemic I could not understand how to move forward with the limited ability to ask questions and share ideas with the rest of the class. This affected some of my grades Junior year, and I have since come to terms with the self esteem I needed to focus on academics. Now I am in my senior year, and it is all coming together for me. I have As and Bs in all my classes, and I am very focused on finding goals that will give me a future in this country. I have thought a lot about medicine and particularly Orthopedics because my one disability with tendonitis has introduced me to many doctors in that field. Knowing that math is my strong suit, I need help learning about work in this field. Last summer I worked as a hostess and managed a lot of money, and was a great asset to a trendy restaurant in Richmond. I am very creative artistically and music has also been very important to me as a musician (trombone). I am always affected by people around me who are inspired. And although I am playing with many ideas about my future, I know that the right university will guide me on my path as I continue to be both American and Latina. As a bi-lingual immigrant from the third world, I know I am lucky to be where I am. It has not been easy living in a white world, but I do feel love and security in my home. Deep in my heart, I want to find a career that enables me to give back and to make a difference in the lives of others who didn’t get the miraculous opportunity that I did. I hope you see my potential.
Isaac Martinez
California State University-Long BeachLong Beach, CA
I couldn’t catch my breath, my vision was blurry, the distorted yells of my coach centered me for a moment just to fall unconscious seconds later. My coach could have yelled in my face and I still wouldn't have gotten up. I gave up. The encouragement of my loved ones was insignificant. I didn’t see it in myself to keep going. I lacked motivation, recognizing my flaw I began the journey to develop the skill of self motivation. I recalled the commitment I made to boxing. To no longer be fearful and believe in myself. One main obstacle was anxiety when facing a rival. I had a tendency to run back from my opponent when they applied pressure, leaving me vulnerable. I upgraded my stance training with one foot inside a tire, forcing me to use head movements, parrying and counters. Gradually learning to face my fear head first, maintaining this mentality inside and outside the ring. My fears gave me the visualization of courage, my subjective mindset led to conformity, especially because I was lazy. I prioritized fun over academic success. Observing my friends having a good time encouraged me to join them. Putting short periods of fun ahead of my responsibilities. Upon reflection I started writing my goals down as if they already happened. For example, last year I had the drive to start my own club at school but lacked the courage to do it. So I wrote in my notebook ”Today I had my first club meeting.” Writing in detail how I would organize and recruit for the club. This year I was able to accomplish my goal of creating a Financial Literary club. I pitched my idea to the club coordinator Ms. Jocelyn and she loved it. She informed her higher ups of my idea, resulting in their partnership with Chase Banking. Preceding in Chase Banking representatives being brought to the school to further assist. In addition I was given the privilege to be the ambassador, between Financial Literacy Club and Chase. By achieving self motivation, I grew to become resilient in boxing and gained the confidence to start my own club. Now, I see that spotting a flaw and putting in work to change it has become my greatest asset. One that I will practice for the rest of my life.
Naia Watkins-Garner
University of North TexasDenton, TX
My mother decided to keep me on the abortion table. Some sweet Southern lady whose name my mother can’t recall saved my life. My mother was 18-years-old and already a teen mom to my older brother. She had no car, no home, no money, and no family support. Her own mother had suggested abortion and my father couldn't be reached. She felt like she had no other option, until she heard my heartbeat. That's when she decided that she would figure it out, no matter what it took. By the time I was 6 weeks old, my mother had saved up enough money cleaning houses to move us into a two bedroom apartment, buy herself a car, and put us in daycare so she could get a better job. She quickly found work that she wasn’t qualified for, so she would stay up late teaching herself the skills she needed. She took care of us. We didn’t just survive, we thrived. Despite the trials of poverty, I excelled in school and was happy. Fortunately, I was mostly unaware of all of the things we went through. One thing I did know was that all we had, we had because of my mom. The point of this story is not to evoke pity, but to explain how my mom gave me the best gift you can give a young black woman: grit. Grit is defined as "strength of character" by the Oxford dictionary. This strength was evident in the lessons that I watched my mom learn and the ones that she taught me herself. For me, grit culminates into one piece of advice: You can do the hard things. You can do them by yourself and you can do them well and if something is important to you, you will find a way. I think that last part has impacted me the most. I want to be a lawyer and as a first generation college student with almost no financial support, that's hard. Because my mom never went to college, I applied alone. I've had to work two jobs to pay for school and seek out advisors to learn the law school application process. It's not easy, but I know that the future I want for myself is worth it. Personally, my own grit has carried me through undergrad, getting my own apartment, and competing for Miss Texas, all while working full time. It's this quality that led me to this application and this quality that will get me through law school. I believe that opportunities are always out there, if you have the grit to find them. My passion for this message is what led me to create Success Under 16, an organization aimed at linking kids to the opportunities and experiences they may have otherwise missed out on and giving them the tools that allow them to show their strengths to the world. I believe that opportunities are always out there, if you have the resolve to find them and my hope for the future is that I can create opportunity for someone else to find their grit.
Kendall Butler
Florida State UniversityTallahassee, FL
Jordan Hemmerly
University of Hawaii at HiloHilo, HI
I swim above coral reefs, collecting photography as I go, and use those photos to produce GIS-annotated 3D maps that are accurate to the centimeter, printable, and compatible with artificial intelligence/machine learning tools. I gather 2D photos from GoPro or DSLR cameras while swimming in a 'Z' shape to make sure each photo overlaps about 70% of the same area as the last. Once I have all these photos I return to the lab and use software to stitch all the pictures into one massive, detailed, 3D map with each characteristic of the ocean-floor measured and labeled. I do this because the degradation of coral reefs and rise of sea level, at this point, is historically documentable. This is a great misfortune to societal advancement in a variety of biological and chemical sciences, and a danger to low-lying communities across the globe. Coastal communities and island nations deserve representation of their critical issues because sea level rise caused by climate change will impact them first. My desire is to focus on creation and implementation of products or systems designed to ease the workload of computing total reef resilience over a long-term timeframe as to contribute to sustainable community planning initiatives and oceanic science. My hope is that by engaging in science publicly and sharing these pieces of myself that others will become interested, or even just feel represented. The quality I value most in myself is my aspiration to continue redefining the concept of 'the box' people feel they're supposed to fit into because for me, the challenge of doing so has been terrifying and the most rewarding chase of my life. I fail at various things all the time. It is true that some times have been more impactful than others, and that I could be writing a very specific sentiment about failure as growth and racism etc. for this paragraph, but I don't think that deep personal approach will make the next point as clear as I'd like it to be: The truth is, when you're combining science and art inspired by community voices, every single step of the way is an experiment that might fail. Having that kind of constant pressure associated with my pursuit fires up my passion, reminds me why I'm committed, quiets any sadness, and fuels the daily grind. Debt, long nights, tropical storms, cold waters, and failed steps along the way, only help to keep me refining what I'm supposed to be so that I can help everyone be seen as someone. I'm Jordan Hemmerly, a current undergraduate at University of Hawaii Hilo. I work in coral reef research with the University of Hawaii at Hilo's Research Corporation's Multiscale Environmental Graphical Analysis (MEGA) Lab and also as a scientific communications correspondent for the Office of the Chancellor. I am the first member of both my biological and adoptive family to attend college in pursuit of a Bachelor's degree. I am the only African American female in my workplace and cohort. I have always known I wanted to move toward engineering, art, and communication while also staying conscious of my personal interest in conservation. Earth science and communications are amongst the finest of arts; I couldn't help but try to bring everything together at once. I regularly find myself surprised and dazzled by the ways that new technologies, artistic expression, and upgraded designs offer the possibility to connect people with information. I appreciate your time and sincerely hope to be considered so that I may continue to expand my knowledge base and connect with mentors and communities while working toward innovating marine conservation.
Jayden Stocks
Fox Valley Technical CollegeWatertown, WI
Characteristics define who we are. For me, that characteristic is a strong work ethic. Every day I try to do the best I can no matter where that may be. Whether I’m on a trail for cross country, sitting in a classroom, or working at my job, I always give my very best effort. Doing my best gives me an advantage. If I work hard, it usually pays off. This will give me an advantage in the real world as well. If I can give my best effort every day of my life, I know I can achieve my dreams of becoming a pilot, and staying physically fit as well as helping others in need. While giving my best effort from here on out would be great, I have always had a strong work ethic. When I was eleven years old, my brother and I thought it would be a good idea to start mowing lawns to make money to help save for our college tuition. When we started, it was tough--really tough. There were a lot of people that didn’t really think we could do a good job because of our age. It took us two to three years to establish ourselves and get to six weekly lawn jobs. At the end of that season, however, we managed to finally purchase a zero-turn lawn mower, which allowed us to mow even more lawns. The year after that, we made enough money to buy a truck, and now, three years later, we have worked our way up to more than twenty-five lawns per week, on top of handling all of our responsibilities with school and sports. The only reason we were able to buy a lawnmower, a truck, and equipment, was because we worked hard to get it. Along the way, we had to learn to make compromises. We often found ourselves giving up weekends and free time in order to get lawns done. The early mornings, the late nights, the grease stains and sweat were done to achieve something we wouldn’t see for years to come. We also learned a lot about customer service and negotiating with people. We had customers few and far between who were not completely satisfied with our work. We had to learn to negotiate a settlement in a professional manner no matter how the customer treated us. All of these skills jell together to help me become a better person in college and beyond. College is expensive, but I know in the end it will all be worth it. I know I am going to succeed because I love aviation and flying airplanes. I am really looking forward to college because of all the new people I will meet, the change of scenery, and most importantly, the opportunity to learn about something I am passionate about. After college, I really want to become a flight instructor, get into an airline, and ultimately start my own charter service to get people to where they need to go. I already have some experience in starting a business, and I know it will be something I enjoy doing. It will take a long time to get there, but if I work hard enough, I can make it happen. It may take more than two to three years, but just like working up to that point, I know I can do it. All because I have a strong work ethic.
Tori Bell
Concordia University TexasLodi, CA
I have a amazing passion for my career as a future nurse. Academically I strive to maintain straight ‘A’s as a student with genuine dedication for nursing. There are a few qualities and characteristics I value mostly about myself and the is that I am always confident. No matter what obstacles I am faced with I always maintains positive conduct during uncertain times at work and in my personal life. Another attribute of my personality is that I am always able to showcase great composure during my interviews when I am face with a opportunity at work. My enthusiasm shows how passionate I am about healthcare and I naturally showcase enthusiasm about the tasks that await for me. My main goal is to be a person who also has the ability to be a team player. I incorporates my analytical skills and encompass the ability to identify and solve problems as well. Last year, I worked while pregnant and carried my son to full term, at the same time I was going to school and working full time hours during the Covid-19 pandemic . I was astonished by how I was able to be a pregnant single mother and still graduate college with two degrees while still maintaining a cumulative GPA level of 3.5 out of 4.0. The following year, I was accepted into nursing school and was notified that I will be starting in January 2022. My progress towards achieving these goals has always been my perseverance to succeed. As long as I have worked I have made sure that I continue to be persistent on becoming a registered nurse. I know that my EMT and healthcare skills are beyond impeccable and my standards are high for myself. I want to succeed and it’s genuinely beautiful to my growth as a student throughout the years. If I was given the opportunity, I feel I would be an amazing recipient of this award. I can not think of anyone less deserving. My passion is to take care of others. I don’t hesitate to always be at the forefront to help people especially my family and also now I am more determined to graduate nursing school in order to give my son, Amirio, a better life. I’ve watched myself climb out of the most debilitating circumstances and through and through I continue to give to the healthcare field, to my staff and also to my family. I believe this is a moment for me to give back to myself.
Tiarra Davis
Missouri State University-SpringfieldElk Creek, MO
Since I was a child, I was known for being soft-hearted. There was no way you could have ever made me hurt another living creature (emotionally or physically) on purpose. I just could not bring myself to do it. I was the child who watched Animal Planet for hours on end, but you would find me crying when the ASPCA commercials would come on. I would beg my mother to allow me to donate my money to these organizations because I could not bare seeing any living thing suffer. Watching people and animals go through some of the most unimaginable and heinous circumstances in life always made me feel very emotional. I wanted nothing more than to reach through the television screen or to the person or animal in front of me and show them genuine love and kindness. Despite the struggles I have faced in life, my compassion and empathy for others is the quality I most value in myself. The fact that I was able to care for others even when my world was far from average is something I admire. One year, as a child, we had a severe flash flood that caused water to leak inside my bedroom. I then remember going outside and recruiting my cousins and brother to help me save fish that were displaced after their pond had overfilled. We ran around frantically scooping up water with a kiddie pool and buckets before finding as many fish we could that were still living. I wasn’t worried about the damage that might have been caused to our house. I was solely focused on saving as many lives as possible. Being someone who places such a high value on compassion and helping others will help me in my life journey in the long run. I receive so much happiness from knowing that I could make a difference in someone else’s life no matter how big or small that may be. I plan on working in the medical field either as a physician or a physician assistant. Helping people is a huge part of these careers, but I believe those who are most successful in them are those who act with compassion and a genuine interest in bettering other’s lives. My main goal is to work towards ending racial disparities in medicine. I want to help lower the rate in which black mothers unfortunately die during childbirth or the rate in which black people with skin cancer are more likely to die than those who are white. In order to do so, I will advocate for those who feel as though their voices are left unheard. I want to spark change within the medical system in general. I want to encourage more African-Americans and people of color to join the medical field and help with my mission. I want to create organizations and projects to help uplift voices of those who are underrepresented in medicine. People of color should not be dying because their concerns go unnoticed. People of color should not be dying because medical professionals were not taught how to diagnose skin diseases in non-white skin. People of color should not be dying because the medical system teaches students misinformation about health issues in non-white patients. I want to be a part of the movement to end medical mistreatment of people of color because I cannot stand to see my community suffer any longer.
Angelica Jones
Ramona Convent Secondary SchAlhambra, CA
For the great majority of my life, I found it difficult to accept myself and strived towards being what other people wanted me to be instead of being my authentic self. Only when I began reading books by an author named Don Miguel Ruiz did my habit of self-neglect begin to change. I was introduced to new ideas and philosophies that I chose to adopt because of how much they amazed me with the beautiful picture they painted of life. Eventually, I adopted the mindset of the author and began to see this picture as an awakened reality that inspired me to change. I didn't want to continue suppressing my emotions and inner desires. With this, I found a self-love that made life so much easier for me to handle. Stress became less overwhelming as I looked to myself as a source of motivation, I finally achieved the sense of style I've wanted for a long time (voluminous curls, a cute T-shirt, ripped jeans, and colorful bracelets), and I became more in tune with my needs and emotions. This love is what I value most in myself as it has brought me an unimaginable amount of happiness and without a doubt, it was/is the best discovery I have ever come across. I admire not only the benefits it has brought me, but the positive effects it has had on my relationships. It's a lot easier to make friends now that I am more accepting of myself/others and meeting new people has made my life all the better. I personally know lots of people around my school community and I enjoy having the ability to look to those friends for individual things. For example, I know I can look to my friend Jasmine for coming up with decorations for a club poster I need to do and I can look to Noemi if I ever need her help leading Music Ministry Club in song during liturgies because of her admirable confidence. In other words, knowing a vast array of people can have its perks as so many different people have their own distinct specializations. I remain confident that my ability to connect with so many people will benefit me in the long run as I pursue a career in law that centers around people. It is a light that illuminates my life and will glow undying from today until the end of my days on Earth as there are so many people on Earth to meet and connect with.
Chimerika Aneke
University of California-Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.' - Helen Keller. Optimism, or what I usually refer to as unwavering hope, is a quality of mine that I value the most. I see it as a gift from God rather than just quality. It has been the solid rock that made my footsteps firm, the last string I held on to, and my guiding light during the times I was in dark places. You see, being optimistic never excused me from feeling down when facing the many trials I went through in which included depression, financial bumps, and watching some of my closest family members go in and out of surgery or battle cancer. However, what it did do was stop me from ever giving in to those situations and giving up my dreams. Obtaining my tertiary education in the US has always been part of the steps I knew I needed to take to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor and someday having my own research institute in my home country, Nigeria. However, this step came with two main obstacles: being as competitive as the other students I would be going up against to attain admissions and paying for college; these obstacles I took on with great 'optimism'. I was able to gain admission into an IB Diploma Program in Nigeria with a 50% scholarship allowing me to take on college courses that were equivalent to AP classes. For two years, I had constant sleepless nights writing essays, doing research projects, volunteering for community service while searching for the right college for me. At the end of that process, I finalized that UCLA was the school for me. They had an excellent academic reputation, offered a superb research program, and it was in the heart of California - a place filled with many opportunities I could not wait to feast on; yet, I was bombarded with much negativity. 'You're Out-of-state! You can't afford it' 'There's nothing special about your life that would make them want you' 'You're competing against varsity athletes, Merit Scholars, science, and math fanatics!' Getting into my dream college should have become a distant memory for me, but in the moments when arrows of rejection were shot at me, hope became my shield. Opening my UC application and seeing all those empty essay boxes, I began to write about the one character trait I knew would make me stand out, my unwavering hope. A few months later, I find myself running around my school screaming, "I GOT IN!" With this quality, I was able to conquer my first challenge, getting into UCLA. Now, with this optimism I carry, I currently face my next challenge, paying for school. It is with great hope that I apply for every scholarship. It is with great hope that the donors might find me worthy of their investment. With great hope, I see myself graduating from UCLA summa cume Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Microbiology debt-free. I know that university isn't trouble-free. I have many deadlines to meet, tests and exams to study for, projects to complete, and opportunities I have to fight for due to my gender and race, but where there is optimism, there is power - a power that will help me surmount every single mountain that comes my way. Thank you for this opportunity.
Sydney Bledsoe
Ben Davis High SchoolBrownsburg, IN
A quality I value most in myself would be my resiliency and perseverance. My whole life I have been seen as underestimated and average. I began playing sports in middle school just to find out what I was good at, and the only sport that I seemed to be good enough for was softball. Softball gave me the outlet I needed to feel like I belonged... like I was ENOUGH. I began aspiring to play college ball my 8th grade year. I was and still am very determined to continue my academic and athletic career at a D1 University and will make it happen. I am determined and committed to completing this goal in my life. I never gave myself the opportunity to dream because any coach I shared my dreams with, they shot me down, told me I wouldn't make it to play even high school ball. I proved them wrong. Now my plans are to be a walk on at Clemson University. I'm going to prove everyone that underestimated me feel my power. I have always been average in school. Never made straight As, never felt confident in school and was always just barely making it. After years of being trapped in a school system that didn't think of students as nothing but a number and unsupportive staff members, I had no choice but to transfer High Schools. I am now at a school that the system actually cares for their students. Where failing isn't an option. Everyone at my school is a family, and I love being a Lady Giant. I know how powerful I am. I can do anything I set my mind to. I am determined to prove everyone who doubted me wrong. During the offseason I will be committing myself to my craft. No more slacking or making excuses, no more doubting myself or marginalizing myself. I WILL be playing in the ACC and I will prove the statistics wrong and be a part of that 2 percent. I WILL defy all odds, that's what I was meant to do. Being that I will be walking on, I have to financially support my way through college. My parents do not have the money to pay for my education, and I would never put that large of a burden on them. I want to go to Clemson to earn my degree and I WILL go to Clemson.
Marty Moise
SUNY Westchester Community CollegeNew Rochelle, NY
From a young age, I didn't have the best relationship with the majority of my family and this led to me struggling with feeling accepted and over a longer period of time, this affected my self- confidence. However, the presence of my mother and grandmother guided me to fight through most of my obstacles. Not to contradict my previous statement, they also tried to teach me that if there’s something you want in life, no one will give it to you, but instead you have to go out and get it yourself. It took me almost half my life to realize it for myself. I remember living in Martinique and often refraining from interacting with particular family members because of the hateful things they would say things like, “He should not be here…”, “His mom and dad are not even together.”. Over time, such negative comments would push a pubescent 8 year old kid to the brink of self hate and extreme isolation. I found no interest in expressing my issues with the constant feeling of having a target on my back. In middle school I was put in a few "fight or flight" situations that altered my views on how I see life. However the event that really altered my desires from life was the day I was patiently waiting at the bus stop after school and was threatened by five teeagers that proceeded to reach for my pockets in an attempt to steal my phone. In that moment of fight or flight, I chose fight. Doing so resulted in me being slammed in the middle of the street and almost getting hit by a car. To my relief, the driver managed to brake on time but acted as if the five teenagers trying to attack me were invisible and showed no sympathy. The lady in the grey sedan only yelled and honked at me to get out of the road. After the shock went away, the time following allowed me to reflect on how much emotional angst I held. I didn’t want that life anymore. Believe it or not, a near death experience can really make a person make the decision to take every beautiful moment of life and make the most of it. The following year I chose to leave my life behind and start fresh. “Start fresh” as in move to a completely different country without telling anyone beforehand. I did this knowing it would either be the best or worst decision of my life, but I wouldn’t ever know which one until I did it. Although I was excited to be learning about new cultures and experiencing new things, I still struggled with making friends and the language barrier did not help. After meeting the right people and switching the language of my phone from French to English, I quickly adjusted to my environment and was able to feel proud of my decision. I finally felt accepted and acquired enough confidence to make new connections regardless of my past traumatising experiences . High school particularly helped me overcome my struggles of living in fear and I became more confident in myself and where I stand along with understanding other people.
Dymond Williams
Hollins UniversityFairbanks, AK
I value my empathy towards other people and situations the most. I have always been really sensitive. I cannot watch movies with animals in them that are sad because they make me cry even if it is a kids movie. I also do not like history classes because it breaks my heart that people can be so evil. I have mostly viewed my empathy as a weakness because I feel so much and no one understands why, but now I see it as a strength. I am able to stand up for people because I feel deeply about treatment towards people. My friends say I am like a mother bear because I am caring and loving and if anyone messes with someone I stand up against it. People can also feel the love I have for them because of how genuine I am. This characteristic has helped me in life, but it also has led to some obstacles. When I was younger, I had a friend who had a terrible childhood and even though she was in a different situation it was not that better. We went on a school trip, and she accidentally left her money at the school and so I told her it is fine I can pay for anything you happen to need on the trip because my dad has always taught me to share if you can. I told her she did not have to pay me back because I did not want her to stress about it but one day she started being mean to me and bullying me saying that my life was perfect. That year I fell into a depression, but I also learned a lesson that just because I am caring and loving does not everyone else is. Now I know how being empathetic will help me in life, it will help me with my job because I love kids and I want to be a pediatric nurse so that I can always smile when I come to work. I love kids because I can feel their innocence and they are naturally happy which makes you happy because they do not have a care in the world. It helps me in knowing how to care for certain people and how to understand people instead of judging them right away. I am able to look at both sides of situations and understand why people feel how they feel about things. I am now happy to be empathetic, or some people may say sensitive.
Jazmine Jackson
University of Cincinnati-Main CampusDayton, OH
Paresh Kolluru
Lafayette High SchoolLafayette, LA
Angelica Ihim
University of PennsylvaniaFlorissant, MO
While I attended a graduation party, the trailer to The Good Doctor caught my eye as it played on the screen. A smile swept across my face as I watched the precise procedure Dr. Shaun performed as he attempted to stabilize a patient at an airport. My goal to practice medicine grew even more. I started watching The Resident and The Mindy Project - presumably unrealistic shows - and admired the exaggerated scenes, subtle comic relief, and fulfilling endings. However, I could not comprehend the scientific language used in these shows and lacked an understanding of the most intense scenes. I value my curiosity to learn because it pushed me to pursue my interests and begin my desire to comprehend medical terminology. Since I am finally getting a chance to embody my passion during my Medicine and Bioscience internship this year, I appreciate how the program emphasizes knowing and understanding medical terminology. The instructor noted that such knowledge would be necessary when navigating Barnes Jewish Hospital. So, every week we are assigned ten medical prefixes, told to create 20 combination words from them, and write ten sentences with medical scenarios. For example, I could turn gastro, oma, and itis into gastromitis, which means a tumor in the stomach with an infection. The instructor also gave us packets of information about hospital regulations and codes for emergencies. For instance, I learned that code blue means cardiopulmonary arrest, code pink indicates the abduction of a child, and code red refers to a fire in the hospital. It has been fascinating to gain all this knowledge after only a few weeks. Imagine how much medical terminology I would learn by the end of the year! In the second semester, I will have the opportunity to shadow Washington University Physicians and observe their patient interaction. I can also implement what I have learned by talking to patients and analyzing their records if given permission. The physicians will further educate me about how hospitals function daily. In addition, I intend to learn more medical terminology from my radiology, physical therapy, and pathology rotations. My internship has helped fulfill my dreams of having access to the language of medicine. Finally, I can add medical terms to the several languages I speak and become a self-proclaimed polyglot. When learning various subjects, especially medicine, my enthusiasm helps me understand topics better, and I even become motivated to conduct my research. For example, I am researching healthcare inequalities and how racial bias affects Black women's access to quality maternal care. Realizing the impact systematic inequalities have on pregnant women led me on a path to devising innovations that could decrease the mortality rates. As I continue researching, my curiosity to learn more about healthcare inequalities enables me to study and create solutions or consequences, tackling these issues. I want to embark on a journey towards studying the history of racial disparities in healthcare, from the lack of anesthesia white men used when nonconsensually experimenting on pregnant Black women to the 2016 study that showed 50% of medical students not believing that Black people felt pain. How do these facts correlate? How does this information affect the relationship between Black people and the medical care they receive? I plan to answer these questions further and dedicate my life to researching and understanding healthcare inequalities affecting my community and ensuring that people of color receive adequate and effective care. Moreover, my quest for knowledge allows me to try and make a positive impact in my community.
Gabriella Hospedales-Mohammed
University of MiamiMontgomery, IL
A quality that I value for myself is determination. With my father being an immigrant to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago, I believe that anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it. My father grew up poor in Trinidad and Tobago but wanted to obtain a better life for his family. Thus, he came to this country with only twenty dollars in his pocket. He came to the United States alone, worked two jobs trying to make ends meet while in community college. Through his tenacity, he was able to finish community college and then transfer to University of Illinois at Chicago, becoming a chemical engineer. My father did not have much when he came to this country, but now he has built a better life for himself and his children. The perseverance that my father had has shaped me into the person I am today. Knowing that my father came to the United States with practically no money has made me determined to try and work even harder than my father did. Fortunately, living in the USA, there are more opportunities for success compared to what my homeland country had to offer. Growing up with great values to work hard and become successful have molded my character as a human. In December 2019, everything changed. I was on my way to school when I suddenly came down with a high fever. Days after, my condition worsened, and I panicked. My dad told me to stay strong. I collapsed and spent ten days in the hospital, the doctors believed I had cancer. Several other specialists approached my case conservatively. Many treatments did not work. I endured extensive imaging, labs, and biopsies. My quality of life worsened drastically. Finally, a new rheumatologist took my case. She correctly diagnosed me with multiple autoimmune diseases and initiated the appropriate treatment. However, this treatment suppressed my immune system, and I was advised to limit my exposure only to individuals at home. I asked “why me” but remained optimistic. I started homebound tutoring, but social isolation swiftly overcame me. My peers continued life as normal while mine came to a halt. Three months later, COVID-19 caused a widespread lockdown. My friends did not adjust well, so I comforted them. After all, I endured a three-month head start. I wanted to help my suffering classmates. I did not want my illness to limit me; I used it to propel me forward. I presented a club idea to my school named “Kindness Through Crisis.” Students could virtually share their struggles and support each other. Sadly, I started losing hope in the club’s formation due to strict school policies. I spoke with my dad daily about this, his response was always to make it a reality, no matter the obstacles. I persisted, and the school finally approved my club. I remained determined. As COVID cases continued to rise, I used my spare time to assist the less fortunate. Many were without computers, knowledge about COVID, or did not know how to make a vaccination appointment. I started mass campaigns on social media to help people schedule appointments for themselves and their families. I was able to help over 236 people secure appointments. Through my challenges, I continued to persevere just as how my father came to the U.S and persevered through his struggles for a better life.
Marie Tarrab Dabbah
Willamette UniversityTurner, OR
Many people have told me that my personality is nurturing. I am welcoming and kind-hearted despite all the turmoil I have been through. I care for my friends as if they were my own family; I cook for them and feed them because of my experiences with eating disorders; I offer to take them places because I am a safe and responsible driver; I give them sound advice based on my experiences and offer my perspective on their issues, because there are lessons to be learned in every hardship we face. I even help them clean, because too many of my friends suffer from depression and anxiety, and they deserve to feel the warmth of a clean environment. Due to this, I have been nicknamed the mom of my friend group because of my homely personality and the empathy I exhibit. It is an honor that I carry through the halls of my school and down the streets of my town. Knowing that I have lessened the burden on a person, even for a fraction of a second, is why I strive to leave an impact on others— because help is always needed, whether it be rides to school or helping them fold laundry. Oftentimes, I will overstep my boundaries and push a person past their limits—it feels tense in the moment, but when they look back in retrospect, they always thank me for what I pushed them to do. My personality is like a pendulum, swinging back and forth between the loving and abrasive parts of who I am, but there is always a balance between the two. I project my emotions honestly, and this straight-forward communication is what has helped me become as loving and nurturing as I am. These traits are valuable to me because I do not act on them for selfish reasons; I truly enjoy helping and being there for others, which is why I aspire to be a physician. I find peace in knowing my actions are driven for a cause, knowing that they mean something to someone. Perhaps it is selfish to feel validation over something as simple as helping someone; perhaps I have a savior complex, but nevertheless, I will offer my time and energy to those I love and care for at the expense of my own happiness every time. These characteristics of my personality will help me in my life journey because as I move forward in life through college and relationships, I will slowly utilize my empathy, honesty, and communication skills to guide me through interviews, break-ups, friendships, and any interaction that requires basic compassion for one another. My long-term goals of becoming a surgeon are going to be faced with many challenges through board exams, interviews, and patient interactions that can jeopardize my entire career. These communication skills are not only useful in a clinical and professional setting, but they are essential to human connection. Communication skills and empathy are what makes a human a social being, and without those basic guides to social interaction, there would be no progress in this modern world. Having empathy shows that you understand a person despite not having paralleled their circumstances. A person can learn many things just from showcasing empathy, and it takes determination to put those lessons to real-life applications, which is what I strive to do for the remainder of my life. There are always new lessons to be learned, even if you think you know it all.
Quade Saldana
Ridgeview High SchoolOrange Park, FL
"Finish him". That is what my new tennis coach told me to do on a match day. It was expressed in that Mortal Kombat type of way. As the top seeded tennis player on my team, I play the top players of every school. Unfortunately, there are many schools I have played where the players have never picked up a racquet, until they joined their high school team. In this case, that was my situation. My opponent was a beginner, but I could see he was really trying. Instead of smashing the ball over the net on every point, I would push it over, so he would not lose motivation. I told my coach that if I play like I play other people at my level, I would demotivate him and he would never want to play tennis again. "I am here to encourage players to play the game, this is not a time for me to show off my athleticism", I told him. Quickly, throughout the season, my coach caught on that I was not going to humiliate other players that were just learning the game. In fact, I would help them understand the game better because their coaches also do not know the specifics of tennis. At times he would catch me showing an opponent how to hold their racquet correctly, or explaining the score. Then, at the end of those matches I would praise them for being out there. I know they appreciate me because at the district tournament, they would cheer for me. I have had their parents and coaches come up to me and tell me how much their kids enjoy playing me. It is very rewarding. I value my sportsmanship. Tennis is hard enough, physically and mentally, why make it difficult for novice players to want to continue. That is not to say that I play opponents at my level differently in regards to sportsmanship. I exhibit great sportsmanship on the court at all times, regardless of their level of playing. I am fair and respect the talents of my opponents. Sportsmanship can go beyond sports too. In life I will always need to show this quality, whether that be in school/college, with my family, in my job, etc. In college, I can see me being supportive to my classmates and even offer assistance when I can. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) student, this is what we do. We encourage and show support. We also act with integrity in our school work. This will carry on to my post-secondary education. Integrity is a big part of sportsmanship and key in business. I would like to have a career as an actuary. With this career being considered a branch of mathematics, you have to have integrity. Numbers can tell stories too and I want those numbers to show my quality of work. I want to continue being a team player in everything I do. I have been playing tennis since I was nine years old. It has taught me a lot, but great sportsmanship is the one I am most proud of and one I can carry with me the rest of my life.
Mercy Austin
The Classical Academy High SchoolColorado Springs, CO
The characteristic I value most about myself is my inability to be intimidated. It’s gotten me into a lot of trouble. Back in middle school, my principal (who terrified all of my classmates) challenged me to a one-on-one debate in front of the entire debate team and anyone who wanted to watch. She’d noticed my potential and wanted to see how I did under pressure. I accepted. On a dare from one of my friends, I chose the topic that the school’s uniform policy was too stringent and needed reform. I argued for the motion. She argued against. In one of the most intense encounters I’ve ever experienced, I laid out a passionate defense of my position, surrounded by nearly a hundred students who were all simultaneously rooting for me and terrified. She fought back, arguing in favor of the rules she’d set in place, and I attacked all of her arguments with as much vigor as I could muster. The next day, the uniform was still in place, but the policies around jewelry, socks, and headbands had been loosened. I was hailed a school hero. I’ve carried this same mindset with me as I moved halfway across the world and started at a public high school. I joined the debate team and continued to articulate my thoughts and emotions. I launched a project to advocate for HIV/AIDS, talking to hundreds of people and raising thousands of dollars. I organized bake sales for friends’ businesses, attended rallies to protest racial injustice, and learned to use writing and journalism as a way to speak up against injustice and corruption. As an aspiring journalist, I know I’m going to be put in a lot of intimidating situations. Watchdog reporting is a method of exposing deliberately concealed information, and often involves bringing down high profile figures. If I’m honest, that terrifies me. But I also remember the sixth grader who took on the principal to fight against what she considered unfairness. I remember the passion that she felt, the determination to bring change into a world that seemed content with everything being the way it was. And I know that little girl is still inside of me somewhere. Her heart beats for justice, and she’ll never stop until she achieves it. The world needs people who will stand up and say, “this isn’t right.” It needs the warriors, the storytellers, the people who are labeled ‘too much’. It needs people who unabashedly plunge themselves into the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable, and the intimidating. It’s not going to be easy, but no one ever said it should be. Let’s get started.
Nattala Dunkley
CUNY John Jay College of Criminal JusticeOceanside, NY
The quality that I value most in myself is that I am very passionate about helping others. Somehow, I find comfort and peace in being able to help others. My heart jumps for joy whenever I do, and whenever I am unable to help a person, it feels as if my heart sinks into an abyss. On occasions when I am out and a person who is in need of money approaches me, I always try to give what I can, because I believe that the little that I give can definitely make a difference. Additionally, I always give money to street performers because I love to help others. I strongly believe that if someone is in need of something, be it money, food, etc., once we are able to spare, if even a little bit, we should give. Thus, I practice that every time I go out. I really like this about me because the world could do with a little more kindness, and I am happy to be playing a part in doing so. One of my aim in life is to create two centers. One for the homeless and one for women and young girls who are being abused and have nowhere to go and those who have been kicked out of their homes. I was inspired to build a center for females because of the stories I have read on Instagram from females in my home country. I do not stand for females to be abused, and some have to stay with the abuser because they have nowhere else to go. Therefore, I want to build a place for them to go. Hence, I hope to have two centers in Jamaica, and two here. Additionally, I hope that one day I will be able to go globally with my movement so that I can help more people from around the world. Therefore, having this quality will give me the drive and determination to fulfill my aspirations. I believe that if you are giving or doing something for another person, it should be done from the heart, or don't do it at all if you are going to feel bad or second guess after.
Kenzie Lowe
College of the OzarksCrocker, MO
Being someone who experiences anxiety and self-doubt, this question is no doubt hard for me to think of an answer for. Especially in our society today, I struggle with mental health just like any other teenager. As my senior year comes to an end it has been even more difficult. Having to think about my future, how I am going to get there, and how drastically my life is going to change due to the fact I have chosen to go to a four-year college two and a half hours away from my home. Then, of course, the leaving my friends I have grown up with since preschool aspect. It has been hard. But I can say wholeheartedly I have learned to accept and love this part of me. The quality I admire so much about myself is my sensitivity and caring heart. It has been hard to come to terms with the fact I tend to struggle more with leaving things behind and starting a new chapter, but I have seen the beauty in that. Not everyone has that attachment to their childhood. I have been blessed by having an amazing family to grow up with and having the same friend group I have had since my elementary school days. Having my sensitivity comes with empathy. I hold a lot of emotions in my heart. Just thinking about graduation makes me happy but sad to the point I want to cry. And I love that part of me. It truly is a beautiful idea that people can just think about something that can make them smile or something that can make them cry. I know not a lot of people have this ability and I will forever cherish and admire this about me. With this quality, I see a loving life laid out for me. I know there will be rough patches just like any other person would say but I am ready for it. Just because I have a soft heart doesn't mean I don't have goals and a drive to have success in my life. But my soft heart will help me along the way. I can see myself making friends in college and making friends in my career field of choice. Having all of these qualities have helped me decide to pursue my career in nursing. A great trait in nursing is empathy. In my Health Science class at my local career center, one of the top character traits we have learned about is empathy. Empathy is the ability to feel and understand one's emotions. This has helped me tremendously learn to love my empathetic soul. I know with this trait, I will be able to connect to my patients on another level, especially because I wish to pursue a career as a labor and delivery nurse. I hope to provide my patients with as much love and comfort as possible. Overall, I know learning to love this quality of mine will help me in the future. With sensitivity, I can be sentimental towards patients who may be going through times of distress or even times of happiness. I hope someday I can make at least one person's day just by them feeling like I understood them and that I cared for them. That is truly all that matters to me. I feel called to bring more love into this world and I dream one day to make a change.
Naomi Taylor
AdventHealth UniversityWinter Garden, FL
I remember going to Busch Gardens one summer and having a fantastic time. My family and I were walking around the park looking for more rollercoasters, but the mood of our trip changed when we heard hostile yelling behind us. We turned around and saw an argument taking place between two men one of whom, was mentally ill. We heard words like retard, stupid, and other profane words I will not mention. My parents and I exchanged a glance that said more than words could, then I immediately ran to help. Other bystanders were clearly bothered by the situation, but I was confused as to they did not intervene. This situation allowed me to realize that I am a strong advocate for others. Every day I wonder if what I did was wrong because no one else had the same reaction, but then I remember that there is never anything wrong with lending a helping hand. I find happiness knowing that I can be there for others when nobody else will step up to the plate. There is value in putting others before yourself and I’ve learned that throughout my life. The Bible accentuates to love your neighbor as you love yourself because, in the end, it always brings good measures.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Aug 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Aug 7, 2024.