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Abby Waugh

2315

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Bio

Hi! My name is Abby Waugh and I want to positively impact the world. My life goals revolve around using my skills and passions to contribute to society in any way possible. I am an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. I am involved in a youth suicide prevention organization named Hope Squad and truly value my work with the program. I have been in the program for six years as a leader. I have also been a Junior Hope Sqaud Student Advisor for three years. I want to continue to promote having conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. I am an active member in my community and school. In school I am the president of the Medina Speech and Deabte Team, middle school debate assistant coach, treasurer of NHS, VOFT member, H.U.D.D.L.E. leader, and a 4-year tennis player. Along with this, you can typically find me volunteering and helping teach at the elementary schools each week. I believe that by believing in me, you're not just supporting an individual but investing in a brighter society. Thank you for considering me for these scholarships and allowing me to continue to grow in the future!

Education

Medina High School

High School
2021 - 2025

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Majors of interest:

    • Human Biology
    • Criminology
    • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Public Safety

    • Dream career goals:

      Forensic Biologist or Biological Lab Researcher

    • I sell products, restock the store, clean, and connect with people in the Medina community to build strong relationships and promote supporting local businesses/small buisnesses

      The Raspberry and The Rose / Nibble
      2023 – Present1 year
    • I babysat for various different families. I clean, cook, and spend time with the kids while their parents are gone. I try to connect with the kids as much as I possibly can to make sure the kids can have an enjoyable time.

      Families in Medina County
      2019 – Present5 years
    • I work at a home nursery for flowers and plants. I work on growing the plants and preparing them to be sold. I also help to do all the art and design for markets where the flowers/plants are sold at.

      JZ Flowers
      2022 – Present2 years

    Sports

    Tennis

    Junior Varsity
    2021 – Present3 years

    Awards

    • Sportsmanship Award
    • Varisty Letter

    Arts

    • Celebrating Art

      Painting
      2022 – 2022

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      V.O.F.T. — Leader
      2021 – Present
    • Advocacy

      Hope Sqaud — Leader and Student Advisor
      2019 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Red Cross — Blood Donor
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Junior Hope Squad — Leader / Student Advisor
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Medina High School Elective Fair — Volunteer
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      A.I. Root Middle School Drama Club — Leader / Assistant Director
      2022 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      Camp Invention — Leadership Intern
      2023 – 2023

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Barbara Cain Literary Scholarship
    Books are powerful tools that can shape our lives and influence our perspectives. They offer insights into different worlds, provide lessons on various aspects of life, and inspire us to strive for our goals. The books I have read have been instrumental in shaping who I am today and have significantly influenced my goals. Through the diverse experiences and wisdom shared by authors, I have gained valuable lessons that guide my approach to self-improvement, human connection, social justice, and adaptability. Each book has been a stepping stone in my journey, helping me to better understand myself and the world around me, ultimately shaping my goals and the impact I hope to make. First, I have learned about how crucial self-improvement is. Self-improvement is so much more than just improving who you are, it's about constantly learning and growing to benefit myself and the people around me. I will do this by furthering my education in college and continuing to learn and grow from my experiences and mistakes. By committing to the ongoing self-improvement process, I believe I can become better equipped to tackle the challenges I encounter and inspire others to do the same. Second, I have learned how important fostering meaningful connections with others is. Human connection is at the center of everything we do. Building strong, important relationships with others is essential for creating a sense of belonging and community. This means actively listening to others, showing empathy for their hardships, and understanding society's diverse needs. This also involves offering support and encouragement, being there in times of need, and celebrating their successes as if they were my own. By prioritizing connections with others, I hope to contribute to a more compassionate and understanding society. Third, I have learned to fight for social justice. Social injustices such as inequality, discrimination, and oppression continue to undermine the well-being and dignity of individuals and our society. Addressing these issues and making effective change requires individual and collective action. On a personal level, I am committed to using my voice to advocate for systemic change and working to dismantle the structures of inequality in our world today. For me, this means getting involved in protests, writing articles, signing petitions, and overall supporting causes that have true meaning to me. By advocating for what is right, I hope to contribute to a more equitable world for future generations. Finally, I have learned how to continue to be adaptable and have an open mind. The world is constantly evolving in different ways, so the approach we take in the world should mimic that. This means having a willingness to challenge assumptions, embrace uncertainty, and remain open to new ideas and different perspectives. By staying adaptable, I hope to remain responsive to the needs of others and seize opportunities to make positive change, making the greatest possible impact. I don't know what impact (if any) I will have on the world, but I have learned many valuable lessons from reading that I will use to try to make a difference. I want to make an impact on the world and I am going to try with everything I have to do so.
    Elijah's Helping Hand Scholarship Award
    When I was in the seventh grade, I was in my language arts class when a video was played to me about a new program that would be implemented at my school. This program was called Hope Squad and its goal was to help aid in suicide prevention among youth. After the video, we were asked to fill out a form with three people in the school we would go to in a crisis. I was at home a couple of weeks later when I received a letter in the mail. Inside, was a paper that explained to me I was one of 18 students at our school who had been chosen to represent our school's Hope Squad program. After reading the papers, I was honestly scared to make my decision. "But why?", my friends asked. "You were chosen for this you should say yes!" they continued. I didn't have an answer for them. I should have been able to immediately say yes. I mean, the opportunity to help people is already incredible and the sheer fact I had been chosen for this made me feel incredible. But I just didn't know if I would be able to do well enough. I decided to take the risk and join the program. I went to the introductory dinner and met the other members, I also got to meet our advisor, Ron Blue, whom I would grow extremely close to over the next 5 years. After I had begun to grow close with the people in this program, I started to feel more comfortable with what we were doing. I grew more confident in my abilities to help people and be a resource others could come to. It's a surreal experience having a person come up to you when they are in a crisis, and ask you to help them get help and stay alive. It's not something any other normal person would have happened to them. I remember a time when I was in class and I had been asked by another student to talk. She confided in me that she had been struggling with an eating disorder and didn't know how to get help. She was desperate and didn't know what to do. She explained to me that she felt as though her parents wouldn't understand and she was afraid to reach out to her school counselor because she didn't want to be embarrassed or talked about, but she had trusted me. She had trusted me. Reflecting on the many situations I've encountered, I've come to see myself as a beacon for people to come to when needed. Dealing with situations like these for a while can take a toll on your mental well-being. Constantly being exposed to the struggles and crises of others can become emotionally draining and has been known to even lead to feelings of burnout or compassion fatigue. However, I needed to recognize that experiencing such challenges didn't diminish my capacity to help others; rather, it showed me the importance of self-care and seeking support when necessary. Embracing moments of vulnerability and seeking assistance from trusted individuals have been crucial in maintaining my resilience and ability to effectively help others. This program has not only changed my life but has ignited within me a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Witnessing the impact of providing support and encouragement to those in distress has fueled my passion for mental health advocacy and suicide prevention efforts. I will always be fighting for others and myself in every way possible.
    Sparkle and Succeed Scholarship
    When I was younger I didn't believe I could achieve any of my dreams because I have ADHD. In the fourth grade I was diagnosed with ADHD and it has been a rollercoaster navigating life and school with it. It was hard being a young kid and feeling isolated and different compared to others because my brain worked differently. I struggled to make friends in elementary school, making life even tougher. Luckily, I have amazing parents who helped me get a therapist and I was put on medication which has helped me tremendously to get through life as easily as I can. Going through the struggles I had and have currently has been challenging, but I will not let being different stop me from wanting to do more in my life. Despite having ADHD, I have accomplished many things. One of the proudest achievements I've had was being chosen to be in a youth suicide prevention organization. I am deeply committed to mental health advocacy and suicide prevention. For the past 6 years, I have been in Hope Squad, where I serve as a leader and a Junior Hope Sqaud Student Advisor (for the past three years). I want to continue to promote having conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. When I was younger, I was told to stop talking and to quiet down. I had already felt different and isolated, these comments made it even worse. I stopped wanting to talk and I hated having to speak. However, I was lucky enough to find the Medina Speech and Debate team, where I competed in congressional debate. Through this program and using my voice (even when I felt like others didn't want me to), I have accomplished so many things. I've gone to the state tournament two years in a row where I have gone to the semifinal and final rounds placing in the top 30 in the state. I've won many best P.O. (presiding officer) awards for my confidence and leadership. The awards I have been the proudest to have achieved were from being a semifinalist (top 30) and a finalist (13th overall) at the Princeton National Rotary Tournament (semifinalist my sophomore year and finalist my junior). This year, I was elected president of the team. I love the debate team because it has brought back my voice and my love for talking. I'm also a member of the Medina High School Girls Tennis team and have been for three years. During my time on the team so far, I have developed meaningful connections and created a space where people feel included and excited to play tennis. In my sophomore year, I won the Rollie Platz Sportsmanship Award for my attitude and the environment I have been able to create. In my junior year, I received my varsity letter as well as my letterman jacket. Simply, this scholarship will help me achieve my dreams. I plan to get my PhD and I am going to need financial help to do so unless I want to be in debt for my school. It would be an honor to be able to get that help through scholarships. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is contributing to my college education, however, I can't rely on them for all of my education. My life may be more challenging compared to a neurotypical person, but I won't let that stop me from doing anything and everything that I want to do. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship!
    Dwight "The Professor" Baldwin Scholarship
    Hi! My name is Abby Waugh and I want to do a lot of things with my time on earth. I plan to get my PhD, eventually achieve my career dreams, use my voice to make change, and overall positively impact the world. When I was younger I didn't believe I could achieve any of my dreams because I have ADHD. In the fourth grade I was diagnosed with ADHD and it has been a rollercoaster navigating life and school with it. It was hard being a young kid and feeling isolated and different compared to others because my brain worked differently. I struggled to make friends in elementary school, making life even tougher. Luckily, I have amazing parents who helped me get a therapist and I was put on medication which has helped me tremendously to get through life as easily as I can. Going through the struggles I had and have currently has been challenging, but I will not let being different stop me from wanting to do more in my life. Despite having ADHD, I have accomplished many things. One of the proudest achievements I've had was being chosen to be in a youth suicide prevention organization. I am deeply committed to mental health advocacy and suicide prevention. For the past 6 years, I have been in Hope Squad, where I serve as a leader and a Junior Hope Sqaud Student Advisor (for the past three years). I want to continue to promote having conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. In addition to my advocacy work, I am president of the Medina Speech and Debate team where I compete in congressional debate. Through this program, I have gone to the state tournament two years in a row where I have gone to the semifinal and final rounds placing in the top 30 in the state. I've won many best P.O. (presiding officer) awards for my confidence and leadership. The awards I have been the proudest to have achieved were from being a semifinalist (top 30) and a finalist (13th overall) at the Princeton National Rotary Tournament (semifinalist my sophomore year and finalist my junior). I love the debate team because it has given me a passion for using my voice to help others and advocate for my passion. I'm also a member of the Medina High School Girls Tennis team and have been for three years and I plan to run for team captain this year. During my time on the team so far, I have developed meaningful connections and created a space where people feel included and excited to play tennis. In my sophomore year, I won the Rollie Platz Sportsmanship Award for my attitude and the environment I have been able to create. In my junior year, I received my varsity letter as well as my letterman jacket. Simply, this scholarship will help me achieve my dreams. I plan to get my PhD and I am going to need financial help to do so unless I want to be in debt for my school. It would be an honor to be able to get that help through scholarships. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is contributing to my college education, however, I can't rely on them for all of my education. My life may be more challenging compared to a neurotypical person, but I won't let that stop me from doing anything and everything that I want to do. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship!
    John Young 'Pursue Your Passion' Scholarship
    Hi! My name is Abby Waugh and I want to do a lot of things with my time on earth. I plan to get my PhD, eventually achieve my career dreams, use my voice to make change, and overall make a positive impact on the world. My journey in STEM began with my love for science and research. There is something uniquely fulfilling about solving mysteries and uncovering answers, which has driven my passion for pursuing a career in STEM. Specifically, I am interested in crime scene work or biological lab work, both of which hold the potential to make significant contributions to society. In crime scene investigation, I can help solve crimes and bring justice, while in biological lab research, I can contribute to advancements in medical and scientific knowledge Beyond my academic life, I am deeply committed to mental health advocacy and suicide prevention. For the past 6 years, I have been in Hope Squad, where I serve as a leader and a Junior Hope Sqaud Student Advisor (for the past three years). I can't begin to describe the things that this program has done for me, but to put it simply, Hope Squad has changed my life. I want to continue to promote having conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. In addition to my advocacy work, I am president of the Medina Speech and Debate team where I compete in congressional debate. Through this program, I have gone to the state tournament two years in a row where I have gone to the semifinal and final rounds placing in the top 30 in the state. I've won many best P.O. (presiding officer) awards for my confidence and leadership. The awards I have been the proudest to have achieved were from being a semifinalist (top 30) and a finalist (13th overall) at the Princeton National Rotary Tournament (semifinalist my sophomore year and finalist my junior). I love the debate team because it has given me a passion for using my voice to help others and advocate for my passion. This scholarship will help me achieve my dreams. I love learning and getting new information, and I will be able to continue doing this in college. I plan to get my PhD and I am going to need financial help to do so unless I want to be in debt for my school. It would be an honor to be able to get that help through scholarships. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is contributing to my college education, however, I can't rely on them for all of my education. I believe that by believing in me, you're not just supporting an individual; you're investing in a brighter society. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship and allowing me to continue to grow in the future!
    Harry B. Anderson Scholarship
    Hi! My name is Abby Waugh and I want to do a lot of things with my time on earth. I plan to get my PhD, eventually achieve my career dreams, use my voice to make change, and overall make a positive impact on the world. My journey in STEM began with my love for science and research. There is something uniquely fulfilling about solving mysteries and uncovering answers, which has driven my passion for pursuing a career in STEM. Specifically, I am interested in crime scene work or biological lab work, both of which hold the potential to make significant contributions to society. In crime scene investigation, I can help solve crimes and bring justice, while in biological lab research, I can contribute to advancements in medical and scientific knowledge Beyond my academic life, I am deeply committed to mental health advocacy and suicide prevention. For the past 6 years, I have been in Hope Squad, where I serve as a leader and a Junior Hope Sqaud Student Advisor (for the past three years). I want to continue to promote having conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. In addition to my advocacy work, I am president of the Medina Speech and Debate team where I compete in congressional debate. Through this program, I have gone to the state tournament two years in a row where I have gone to the semifinal and final rounds placing in the top 30 in the state. I've won many best P.O. (presiding officer) awards for my confidence and leadership. The awards I have been the proudest to have achieved were from being a semifinalist (top 30) and a finalist (13th overall) at the Princeton National Rotary Tournament (semifinalist my sophomore year and finalist my junior). I love the debate team because it has given me a passion for using my voice to help others and advocate for my passion. I'm also a member of the Medina High School Girls Tennis team and have been for three years and I plan to run for team captain this year. During my time on the team so far, I have developed meaningful connections and created a space where people feel included and excited to play tennis. In my sophomore year, I won the Rollie Platz Sportsmanship Award for my attitude and the environment I have been able to create. In my junior year, I received my varsity letter as well as my letterman jacket. This scholarship will help me achieve my dreams. I love learning and getting new information, and I will be able to continue doing this in college. I plan to get my PhD and I am going to need financial help to do so unless I want to be in debt for my school. It would be an honor to be able to get that help through scholarships. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is contributing to my college education, however, I can't rely on them for all of my education. I believe that by believing in me, you're not just supporting an individual; you're investing in a brighter society. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship and allowing me to continue to grow in the future!
    North Star Dreamers Memorial Scholarship
    Hi! My name is Abby Waugh and I want to do a lot of things with my time on earth. I plan to get my PhD, eventually achieve my career dreams, use my voice to make change, and overall make a positive impact on the world. I am an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. I am involved in a youth suicide prevention organization named Hope Squad and truly value my work with the program. I have been in the program for six years as a leader. I have also been a Junior Hope Sqaud Student Advisor for three years. I want to continue to promote having conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. I am president of the Medina Speech and Debate team where I compete in congressional debate. Through this program, I have gone to the state tournament two years in a row where I have gone to the semifinal and final rounds placing in the top 30 in the state. I've won many best P.O. (presiding officer) awards for my confidence and leadership. I have been a semifinalist (top 30) and a finalist (13th overall) at the Princeton National Rotary Tournament (semifinalist my sophomore year and finalist my junior). I love the debate team because it has given me a passion for using my voice to help others and advocate for my passion. I'm a member of the Medina High School Girls Tennis team and have been for three years and I plan to run for team captain this year. During my time on the team so far, I have developed meaningful connections and created a space where people feel included and excited to play tennis. In my sophomore year, I won the Rollie Platz Sportsmanship Award for my attitude and the environment I have been able to create. In my junior year, I received my varsity letter as well as my letterman jacket. I am also involved in a program called H.U.D.D.L.E (which stands for Helping Us Develop Dedication, Leadership, and Enthusiasm). In this program, once a month you create a lesson plan surrounding things related to your brain and emotions and teach it to students at an elementary school in your school district. I love working with the kids through H.U.D.D.L.E because you are making an impression on our future, which I hope is a great one. I have always loved science and research. There is something about getting answers to a mystery that brings me joy, this is what led me to pursue science. Specifically, I want to pursue either crime scene work or biological lab work. Working in this line of work will be impactful to me and others (specifically if I pursue the crime scene aspect of lab research). This scholarship will help me achieve my dreams. I love learning and getting new information, and I will be able to continue doing this in college. I plan to get my PhD and I am going to need financial help to do so unless I want to be in debt for my school. It would be an honor to be able to get that help through scholarships. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is contributing to my college education, however, I can't rely on them for all of my education. I believe that by believing in me, you're not just supporting an individual; you're investing in a brighter society. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship and allowing me to continue to grow in the future!
    Connie Konatsotis Scholarship
    Hi! My name is Abby Waugh and I want to do a lot of things with my time on earth. I plan to get my PhD, eventually achieve my career dreams, use my voice to make change, and overall make a positive impact on the world. I am an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. I am involved in a youth suicide prevention organization named Hope Squad and truly value my work with the program. I have been in the program for six years as a leader. I have also been a Junior Hope Sqaud Student Advisor for three years. I want to continue to promote having conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. I am president of the Medina Speech and Debate team where I compete in congressional debate. Through this program, I have gone to the state tournament two years in a row where I have gone to the semifinal and final rounds placing in the top 30 in the state. I've won many best P.O. (presiding officer) awards for my confidence and leadership. I have been a semifinalist (top 30) and a finalist (13th overall) at the Princeton National Rotary Tournament (semifinalist my sophomore year and finalist my junior). I love the debate team because it has given me a passion for using my voice to help others and advocate for my passion. I'm a member of the Medina High School Girls Tennis team and have been for three years and I plan to run for team captain this year. During my time on the team so far, I have developed meaningful connections and created a space where people feel included and excited to play tennis. In my sophomore year, I won the Rollie Platz Sportsmanship Award for my attitude and the environment I have been able to create. In my junior year, I received my varsity letter as well as my letterman jacket. I am also involved in a program called H.U.D.D.L.E (which stands for Helping Us Develop Dedication, Leadership, and Enthusiasm). In this program, once a month you create a lesson plan surrounding things related to your brain and emotions and teach it to students at an elementary school in your school district. I love working with the kids through H.U.D.D.L.E because you are making an impression on our future, which I hope is a great one. I have always loved science and research. There is something about getting answers to a mystery that brings me joy, this is what led me to pursue science. Specifically, I want to pursue either crime scene work or biological lab work. Working in this line of work will be impactful to me and others (specifically if I pursue the crime scene aspect of lab research). This scholarship will help me achieve my dreams. I love learning and getting new information, and I will be able to continue doing this in college. I plan to get my PhD and I am going to need financial help to do so unless I want to be in debt for my school. It would be an honor to be able to get that help through scholarships. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is contributing to my college education, however, I can't rely on them for all of my education. I believe that by believing in me, you're not just supporting an individual; you're investing in a brighter society. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship and allowing me to continue to grow in the future!
    VNutrition & Wellness’ Annual LGBTQ+ Vitality Scholarship
    "How will you use your education to make a positive impact on society" is one of the toughest questions I find myself having to answer. It's not that I don't have aspirations or dreams of impacting society, because I do, but there's never a guarantee you will make a difference. You can try and try to make an impact but sometimes you just don't, and sometimes you are not even trying and change someone's life. You simply never know, which is something I used to struggle a lot with when I was younger. Now that I am older, I am willing to take the risk because why not try? First, I will (try to) work on self-improvement. Self-improvement is so much more than just improving who you are, it's about constantly learning and growing to benefit myself and the people around me. For me, I will do this by furthering my education in college and continuing to learn and grow from my experiences and mistakes. By committing to the ongoing self-improvement process, I believe I can become better equipped to tackle the challenges I encounter and inspire others to do the same. Second, I will (try to) foster meaningful connections with others. Human connection is at the center of everything we do. Building strong, important relationships with others is essential for creating a sense of belonging and community. This means actively listening to others, showing empathy to their hardships, and understanding society's diverse needs. This also involves offering support and encouragement, being there in times of need, and celebrating their successes as if they were my own. By prioritizing connections with others, I hope to contribute to a more compassionate and understanding society. Third, I will (try to) continue my fight for social justice. Social injustices such as inequality, discrimination, and oppression continue to undermine the well-being and dignity of individuals and our society. Addressing these issues and making effective change requires individual and collective action. On a personal level, I am committed to using my voice to advocate for systemic change and working to dismantle the structures of inequality in our world today. For me, this means getting involved in protests, writing articles, signing petitions, and overall supporting causes that have true meaning to me. By advocating for what is right, I hope to contribute to a more equitable world for future generations. Finally, I will (try to) continue to be adaptable and have an open mind. The world is constantly evolving in different ways, so the approach we take in the world should mimic that. This means having a willingness to challenge assumptions, embrace uncertainty, and remain open to new ideas and different perspectives. By staying adaptable, I hope to remain responsive to the needs of others and seize opportunities to make positive change, making the greatest possible impact. I don't know what impact (if any) I will have on the world, but I will no longer let my worry about not making an impact stop me from trying to. I want to make an impact on the world and I am going to try with everything I have to do so.
    Urena Scholarship
    Personal development is a key aspect of a person's life. It is the process that allows us to become the best version of ourselves, equipping us with the tools to navigate challenges and opportunities. For me, personal development holds extreme significance as it not only enhances my own abilities but also enables me to contribute positively to the lives of others. One of the ways I work on personal development is through self-improvement. Self-improvement is more than just improving who you are, it's about constantly learning and growing to benefit myself and the people around me. For me, I will do this by furthering my education in college and continuing to learn and grow from my experiences and mistakes. By committing to the ongoing self-improvement process, I believe I can become better equipped to tackle my challenges and inspire others to do the same. Another way I am working on personal development is by fostering meaningful connections with others. Human connection is at the center of everything we do. Building strong, important relationships with others is essential for creating a sense of belonging and community. This means actively listening to others, showing empathy for their hardships, and understanding society's diverse needs. This also involves offering support and encouragement, being there in times of need, and celebrating their successes as if they were my own. I hope to contribute to a more compassionate and understanding society by prioritizing connections with others. Additionally, I am working towards personal development by using my voice to fight for social justice. Social injustices such as inequality, discrimination, and oppression continue to undermine the well-being and dignity of individuals and our society. Addressing these issues and making effective change requires individual and collective action. On a personal level, I am committed to using my voice to advocate for systemic change and working to dismantle the structures of inequality in our world today. For me, this means getting involved in protests, writing articles, signing petitions, and overall supporting causes that have true meaning to me. By advocating for what is right, I hope to contribute to a more equitable world for future generations. Finally, I work towards personal development by continuing to be adaptable and having an open mind. The world is constantly evolving in different ways, so the approach we take in the world should mimic that. This means having a willingness to challenge assumptions, embrace uncertainty, and remain open to new ideas and different perspectives. By staying adaptable, I hope to remain responsive to the needs of others and seize opportunities to make positive change, making the greatest possible impact. By focusing on self-improvement, building strong connections, using my voice, and staying adaptable, I am dedicated to being the best version of myself. This ongoing process will not only prepare me for the future but also empower me to contribute positively to society. As I continue to grow and evolve, I am committed to the principles of personal development, aiming to inspire others and create a lasting, positive impact.
    Strong Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship
    I want to make a positive impact on the world. This is a simple statement but it is true, I want to have an impact on people and the world. By having this goal, I showcase leadership in my daily life. First, I am an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. I am involved in a youth suicide prevention organization called Hope Squad and I truly value my work within this program. I have been in the program for six years as a leader. At our conferences, I speak and share my stories to connect with others and show people they are truly never alone. I am also a Junior Hope Sqaud Student Advisor (and have been for three years) where I teach younger students how to be kind and stop bullying. I want to continue to have conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. Second, I am president of the Medina Speech and Debate team where I compete in congressional debate. Through this program, yes I have won accolades, but that is not the most important thing I have received from debate, I have been given confidence in myself. I believe that my voice matters and will use it to make change. I truly love the debate team because it has given me a passion for using my voice to help others and advocate for my passion. Third, I'm a member of the Medina High School Girls Tennis team and have been for three years. When it is time for the next season to start, I plan to run for team captain. During my time on the team so far, I have developed meaningful connections and created a space where people feel included and excited to play tennis. In my sophomore year, I won the Rollie Platz Sportsmanship Award for my attitude and the environment I have been able to create. In my junior year, I received my varsity letter as well as my letterman jacket. Being a part of this team has been incredible for me physically and mentally. I would not know where I would be without this sport. Finally, I am involved in a program called H.U.D.D.L.E (which stands for Helping Us Develop Dedication, Leadership, and Enthusiasm). In this program, once a month you create a lesson plan surrounding things related to your brain and emotions and teach it to either third, fourth, or fifth graders at an elementary school in your school district. I have been in this program for one year and have been accepted again for the next school year. I love working with the kids through H.U.D.D.L.E because you are making an impression on our future, which I hope is a great one. This scholarship will help me achieve my dreams. I love learning and getting new information, and I will be able to continue doing this in college. I plan to get my PhD and I will need financial help to do so. It would be an honor to be able to get that help through scholarships. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is contributing to my college education, however, I can't rely on them for all of my education. I truly believe that by believing in me, you're not just supporting an individual; you're investing in a brighter society. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship and allowing me to continue to grow in the future!
    Redefining Victory Scholarship
    No person is identical. No matter how similar two individuals may seem, we are all unique in our own ways. Uniqueness is a trait that is beautiful in our world. Just as no person is the same as another, no two definitions of a word are the same. Success, to me, means achieving goals that make you proud to have done them. In order for me to consider myself successful in life, I want to make a positive impact on the world. I believe that I have already started to do that and want to continue to do so. One of the ways I believe I have been successful so far (and exhibit what the word means to me) has been through my advocacy for mental health and suicide prevention. I started on this journey when I was in 7th grade and introduced to our youth suicide prevention organization called Hope Squad. When I started out in this program, I was nervous about the weight of this important of a topic and how much of a toll it could take on me (which ultimately held me back for a bit). Thankfully, I was able to overcome my anxiety because I had realized how important this work was to me. I quickly realized that my nerves were a good thing because they showed how much I truly cared. I have been in the program for six years as a leader and I truly value the work I have done. I have also been a Junior Hope Squad Student Advisor for three years, where I go to the elementary schools in my district and teach about kindness and anti-bullying efforts. I would consider the work I have done in this program so far, and what I will do during my final year, successful, but I want to do more. I have been able to help people and probably many more that I would't even know about, which makes me yearn to continue to have conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. Another way I believe I have been successful has been through the Medina Speech and Debate Team. When I was younger, I was told I was too talkative and that I needed to hold myself back if I wanted people to actually listen to me. Being who I am, I became anxious over any word I said. When I first joined the team, I was not confident and I was petrified to speak out of fear. I quickly learned from my teammates and coach that it was okay to have anxiety, but it's not okay to allow that anxiety to prohibit you from achieving your goals and pursuing passion. Because I was able to work through my anxieties and find my voice again, I became the president of the Medina Speech and Debate. I feel accomplished and successful from everything I have done so far and will continue to work hard in my last year on the team. I plan to join debate in college and continue to prove to myself and others that using your voice matters. Finally, I am involved in a program called H.U.D.D.L.E (which stands for Helping Us Develop Dedication, Leadership and Enthusiasm). In this program, once a month you create a lesson plan surrounding things related to your brain and emotions and teach it to either third, fourth, or fifth graders at an elementary school in your school district. I have been in this program for one year and have been accepted again for the next school year. I love working with the kids through H.U.D.D.L.E because you are making an impression on our future, which I hope is a great one. Being involved in this program has not only shown me what an impact a person can have on someone else, but has also shown me how important kindness and understanding can be for everyone. To put it simply, this scholarship will help me achieve my dreams. I love learning and I will be able to continue doing this in college. I want to get my PhD and I am going to need some financial help to do so. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is contributing to my college education, however, I know I can't rely on them for all of my education, I have to contribute and do what I can. It would be an honor to be able to get that help through scholarships. I believe that by believing in me, you're not just supporting an individual; you're investing in a brighter society. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship and allowing me to continue to grow in the future!
    Big Picture Scholarship
    I will never be able to watch "The Fault in Our Stars" without crying so hard my mascara is no longer on my eyelashes. The story is sad itself, but there is just something about the movie that makes me feel even more. Hazel and Gus are the main characters in "The Fault in Our Stars". They are both teenagers who have been impacted by cancer. Hazel is currently fighting her battle with cancer and Gus is close to being in remission. They met first at a support group for kids with cancer and quickly became close. Their love story, while tragic, is undeniably beautiful. The connection that Hazel and Gus share is remarkable. Their love is tender, raw, and honest. In their story, they connect over Hazel's favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, written by Peter Van Houten. Gus uses his wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation to take himself, Hazel, and her mom to Amsterdam to meet Van Houten. They quickly realized he was not the person they wanted and needed him to be. His assistant took Hazel and Gus to the Anne Frank house as an apology for his behavior. Even though Hazel was struggling to breathe, she walked slowly, step by step, climbing higher. A recording of a young girl (who can be assumed to be Anne) is playing, talking about her experiences. There is a moment after they reach the top where Hazel and Gus simply look at each other. You can see the love that they share. Finally, they kiss. It was a moment of love surrounded by darkness. I remember learning about what the fault in our stars meant. After what I think was my 20th binge of the movie, I was curious why John Green had titled this story as he did. He had derived the title from Julius Caesar (a play by William Shakespeare). The original line is, "The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars / But in ourselves, for we are underlings". The quote suggests that nothing but ourselves is to blame for the world's evil, we decide when things happen to us (and the world). But John Green suggested that some things are simply up to fate. Hazel did not choose to have cancer. Gus did not choose to die. The 'fault in their stars', as shown in the movie, is the unpredictable nature of life. When my grandfather passed, I struggled a lot with accepting he wasn't around anymore. I also could not bring myself to cry for the life of me. Normally, I'm a pretty emotional person. I cry at almost any sad thing that happens, but for some reason, I just wasn't able to cry. My body wouldn't allow me to feel the pain. I remember one day I came home and turned on "The Fault in Our Stars". I was watching as normal and I just started sobbing at a completely random part of the movie. I physically couldn't stop myself from crying. All of the pent-up sadness I had felt from my grandpa's passing finally came out. This story honestly confronts the reality of mortality, never shying away from the pain and tragedy of death, and that's what I needed to remember. It sucked. Death sucks. But we must keep living because the time we did have was better than having none at all. "You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful"
    Kalia D. Davis Memorial Scholarship
    Hi! My name is Abby Waugh and I want to make a positive impact on the world. My life goals revolve around using my skills and passions to contribute to society in any way possible. I am an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. I am involved in a youth suicide prevention organization named Hope Squad and truly value my work with the program. I have been in the program for six years as a leader. I have also been a Junior Hope Sqaud Student Advisor for three years. I want to continue to promote having conversations about suicide prevention and mental health to help others understand how important it is. I am president of the Medina Speech and Debate team where I compete in congressional debate. Through this program, I have gone to the state tournament two years in a row where I have gone to the semifinal and final rounds placing in the top 30 in the state. I've won many best P.O. (presiding officer) awards for my confidence and leadership. I have been a semifinalist (top 30) and a finalist (13th overall) at the Princeton National Rotary Tournament (semifinalist my sophomore year and finalist my junior). I love the debate team because it has given me a passion for using my voice to help others and advocate for my passion. I'm a member of the Medina High School Girls Tennis team and have been for three years. When it is time for the next season to start, I plan to run for team captain. During my time on the team so far, I have developed meaningful connections and created a space where people feel included and excited to play tennis. In my sophomore year, I won the Rollie Platz Sportsmanship Award for my attitude and the environment I have been able to create. In my junior year, I received my varsity letter as well as my letterman jacket. I am also involved in a program called H.U.D.D.L.E (which stands for Helping Us Develop Dedication, Leadership and Enthusiasm). In this program, once a month you create a lesson plan surrounding things related to your brain and emotions and teach it to either third, fourth, or fifth graders at an elementary school in your school district. I have been in this program for one year and have been accepted again for the next school year. I love working with the kids through H.U.D.D.L.E because you are making an impression on our future, which I hope is a great one. This scholarship will help me achieve my dreams. I love learning and getting new information, and I will be able to continue doing this in college. I plan to get my PhD and I am going to need financial help to do so unless I want to be in debt for my school. It would be an honor to be able to get that help through scholarships. I am fortunate enough to have a family that is contributing to my college education, however, I can't rely on them for all of my education. I believe that by believing in me, you're not just supporting an individual; you're investing in a brighter society. Thank you for considering me for this scholarship and allowing me to continue to grow in the future!
    Michael Rudometkin Memorial Scholarship
    When I was in the seventh grade, I was in my language arts class when a video was played to me about a new program that would be implemented at my school. This program was called Hope Squad and its goal was to help aid in suicide prevention among youth. I listened to this video and was presented with a paper to fill out. The paper read, "Who is someone that you would turn to in an emergency and you would trust to save your life". I filled out this paper not thinking much about it. But I soon realized that they needed these papers filled out to see who could have the biggest impact on people and who could aid others in a crisis. It's a surreal experience having a person come up to you when they are in a crisis, and ask you to help them get help and stay alive. It's not something any other normal person would have happen to them. I remember a time when I was in class and another student had asked me to talk. She confided in me that she had been struggling with an eating disorder and didn't know how to get help. She was desperate and didn't know what to do. She explained to me that she felt as though her parents wouldn't understand and she was afraid to reach out to her school counselor because she didn't want to be embarrassed or talked about, but she had trusted me. She had trusted me. Reflecting on the multitude of situations I've encountered, I've come to see myself as a beacon for people to come to when needed. Dealing with situations like these for a while can take a toll on your mental well-being. Constantly being exposed to the struggles and crises of others can become emotionally draining and has been known to even lead to feelings of burnout or compassion fatigue. I had reached out to my advisor many times to get his opinion on whether or not to stay in the program. It felt so important to stick with but I had no idea if I was going to be able to make sure my mental health was being cared for while also caring for others. However, I needed to recognize that experiencing such challenges didn't diminish my capacity to help others; rather, it showed me the importance of self-care and seeking support when necessary. Embracing moments of vulnerability and seeking assistance from trusted individuals have been crucial in maintaining my resilience and ability to provide effective help to others. This program has not only changed my life but has ignited within me a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Witnessing the impact of providing support and encouragement to those in distress has fueled my passion for mental health advocacy and suicide prevention efforts. I have one more year of this program while I'm in high school and I am going to miss it tremendously when I graduate. the work I have done through Hope Squad reminds me every day how important simply caring for others is. After I graduate, I am committed to continuing to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and destigmatizing conversations surrounding it. I will continue to be driven to empower individuals to seek help when needed and to create a culture of compassion and understanding within our communities. I will always be fighting for others and myself in every way possible.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    When I was in the seventh grade, I was in my language arts class when a video was played to me about a new program that would be implemented at my school. This program was called Hope Squad and its goal was to help aid in suicide prevention among youth. I had listened to this video and was presented with a form to fill out. The paper read, "Who is someone that you would turn to in an emergency and you would trust to save your life". I filled out this paper not thinking much about it. But I soon realized that they needed these papers filled out to see who would be able to have the biggest impact on people and who would be able to aid others in a crisis. I was at home a couple of weeks later when I received a letter in the mail. Inside, was a paper that explained to me I was one of 18 students at our school who had been chosen to represent our school's Hope Squad program. Along with the congratulatory letter, another paper detailed how big of a deal it was to be so closely associated with things like suicide and that we should not take it lightly in deciding whether or not we should accept our spot. After reading the papers, I was honestly scared to make my decision. "But why?", my friends asked. "You were chosen for this you should say yes!" they continued. I didn't have an answer for them. I should have been able to immediately say yes. I mean, the opportunity to help people is already incredible and the sheer fact I had been chosen for this made me feel incredible. But I just didn't know if I would be able to do well enough. I had no idea if I could make a difference and the uncertainty scared me half to death. I decided to take the risk and join the program. I went to the introductory dinner and met the other members, I also got to meet our advisor, Ron Blue, whom I would grow extremely close to over the next 5 years. After I had begun to grow close with the people in this program, I started to feel more comfortable with what we were doing. I grew more confident in my abilities to help people and be a resource others could come to. It's a surreal experience having a person come up to you when they are in a crisis, and ask you to help them get help and stay alive. It's not something any other normal person would have happened to them. I remember a time when I was in class and I had been asked by another student to talk. She confided in me that she had been struggling with an eating disorder and didn't know how to get help. She was desperate and didn't know what to do. She explained to me that she felt as though her parents wouldn't understand and she was afraid to reach out to her school counselor because she didn't want to be embarrassed or talked about, but she had trusted me. She had trusted me. Reflecting on the multitude of situations I've encountered, I've come to see myself as a beacon for people to come to when needed. Dealing with situations like these for a while can take a toll on your mental well-being. Constantly being exposed to the struggles and crises of others can become emotionally draining and has been known to even lead to feelings of burnout or compassion fatigue. I had reached out to my advisor many times to get his opinion on whether or not to stay in the program. It felt so important to stick with but I had no idea if I was going to be able to make sure my mental health was being cared for while also caring for others. However, I needed to recognize that experiencing such challenges didn't diminish my capacity to help others; rather, it showed me the importance of self-care and seeking support when necessary. Embracing moments of vulnerability and seeking assistance from trusted individuals have been crucial in maintaining my resilience and ability to provide effective help to others. This program has not only changed my life but has ignited within me a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Witnessing the impact of providing support and encouragement to those in distress has fueled my passion for mental health advocacy and suicide prevention efforts. I have one more year of this program while I'm in high school and I am going to miss it tremendously when I graduate. the work I have done through Hope Squad reminds me every day how important simply caring for others is. After I graduate, I am committed to continuing to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and destigmatizing conversations surrounding it. I will continue to be driven to empower individuals to seek help when needed and to create a culture of compassion and understanding within our communities. I will always be fighting for others and myself in every way possible.
    JT Lampert Scholarship
    Supporting others in my everyday life and my future is a task I take (and will take) seriously. Currently, I focus on self-improvement, fostering meaningful connections, using my voice, and maintaining adaptability, all of which will serve as the foundation for my future career aspirations. Self-improvement is so much more than just improving who you are, it's about constantly learning and growing to benefit myself and the people around me. For me, I will do this by furthering my education in college and continuing to learn and grow from my experiences and mistakes. By committing to the ongoing self-improvement process, I believe I can become better equipped to tackle the challenges I encounter and inspire others to do the same. Human connection is at the center of everything we do. Building strong, important relationships with others is essential for creating a sense of belonging and community. This means actively listening to others, showing empathy to their hardships, and understanding society's diverse needs. This also involves offering support and encouragement, being there in times of need, and celebrating their successes as if they were my own. By prioritizing connections with others, I hope to contribute to a more compassionate and understanding society. Social injustices such as inequality, discrimination, and oppression continue to undermine the well-being and dignity of individuals and our society. Addressing these issues and making effective change requires individual and collective action. On a personal level, I am committed to using my voice to advocate for systemic change and working to dismantle the structures of inequality in our world today. For me, this means getting involved in protests, writing articles, signing petitions, and supporting causes that truly have meaning to me. By advocating for what is right, I hope to contribute to a more equitable world for future generations. The world is constantly evolving in different ways, so the approach we take in the world should mimic that. This means having a willingness to challenge assumptions, embrace uncertainty, and remain open to new ideas and different perspectives. By staying adaptable, I hope to remain responsive to the needs of others and seize opportunities to make positive change, making the greatest possible impact. In everyday life, these principles guide my actions and interactions. As I move forward in life, I plan to continue these actions, expanding my impact and striving to make a meaningful difference in the world.
    Our Destiny Our Future Scholarship
    "How do you plan to make a positive impact on the world" is one of the toughest questions I find myself having to answer. It's not that I don't have aspirations or dreams of impacting society, because I do, but there's never a guarantee you will actually make a difference. You can try and try to make an impact but sometimes you just don't, and sometimes you are not even trying and absolutely change someones life. You simply never know, which is something I used to struggle a lot with when I was younger. Now that I am older, I am willing to take the risk because why not try? First, I will (try to) work on self-improvement. Self-improvement is so much more than just improving who you are, its about constantly learning and growing to benefit myself and the people around me. For me, I will do this by furthering my education in college and continuing to learn and grow from my experiences and mistakes. By committing to the ongoing self-improvement process, I believe I can become better equipped to tackle the challenges I encounter and inspire others to do the same. Second, I will (try to) foster meaningful connections with others. Human connection is at the center of everything we do. Building strong, important relationships with others is essential for creating a sense of belonging and community. This means actively listening to others, showing empathy to their hardships, and understanding society's diverse needs. This also involves offering support and encouragement, being there in times of need, and celebrating their successes as if they were my own. By prioritizing connections with others, I hope to contribute to a more compassionate and understanding society. Third, I will (try to) continue my fight for social justice. Social injustices such as inequality, discrimination, and oppression continue to undermine the well-being and dignity of individuals and our society. Addressing these issues and making effective change requires individual and collective action. On a personal level, I am committed to using my voice to advocate for systemic change and working to dismantle the structures of inequality in our world today. For me, this means getting involved in protests, writing articles, signing petitions, and overall supporting causes that have true meaning to me. By advocating for what is right, I hope to contribute to a more equitable world for future generations. Finally, I will (try to) continue to be adaptable and have an open mind. The world is constantly evolving in different ways, so the approach we take in the world should mimic that. This means having a willingness to challenge assumptions, embrace uncertainty, and remain open to new ideas and different perspectives. By staying adaptable, I hope to remain responsive of the needs of others and seize opportunities to make positive change, making the greatest possible impact. I don't know what impact (if any) I will have on the world, but I will no longer let my worry of not making an impact stop me from trying to. I want to make an impact on the world and I am going to try with everything I have to do so.
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    When I was in the seventh grade, I was in my language arts class when a video was played to me about a new program that would be implemented at my school. This program was called Hope Squad and its goal was to help aid in suicide prevention among youth. I had listened to this video and was presented with a form to fill out. The paper read, "Who is someone that you would turn to in an emergency and you would trust to save your life". I filled out this paper not thinking much about it. But I soon realized that they needed these papers filled out to see who would be able to have the biggest impact on people and who would be able to aid others in a crisis. I was at home a couple of weeks later when I received a letter in the mail. Inside, was a paper that explained to me I was one of 18 students at our school who had been chosen to represent our school's Hope Squad program. Along with the congratulatory letter, another paper detailed how big of a deal it was to be so closely associated with things like suicide and that we should not take it lightly in deciding whether or not we should accept our spot. After reading the papers, I was honestly scared to make my decision. "But why?", my friends asked. "You were chosen for this you should say yes!" they continued. I didn't have an answer for them. I should have been able to immediately say yes. I mean, the opportunity to help people is already incredible and the sheer fact I had been chosen for this made me feel incredible. But I just didn't know if I would be able to do well enough. I had no idea if I could make a difference and the uncertainty scared me half to death. I decided to take the risk and join the program. I went to the introductory dinner and met the other members, I also got to meet our advisor, Ron Blue, whom I would grow extremely close to over the next 5 years. After I had begun to grow close with the people in this program, I started to feel more comfortable with what we were doing. I grew more confident in my abilities to help people and be a resource others could come to. It's a surreal experience having a person come up to you when they are in a crisis, and ask you to help them get help and stay alive. It's not something any other normal person would have happened to them. I remember a time when I was in class and I had been asked by another student to talk. She confided in me that she had been struggling with an eating disorder and didn't know how to get help. She was desperate and didn't know what to do. She explained to me that she felt as though her parents wouldn't understand and she was afraid to reach out to her school counselor because she didn't want to be embarrassed or talked about, but she had trusted me. She had trusted me. Reflecting on the multitude of situations I've encountered, I've come to see myself as a beacon for people to come to when needed. Dealing with situations like these for a while can take a toll on your mental well-being. Constantly being exposed to the struggles and crises of others can become emotionally draining and has been known to even lead to feelings of burnout or compassion fatigue. I had contacted my advisor many times to get his opinion on whether or not to stay in the program. It felt so important to stick with but I had no idea if I was going to be able to make sure my mental health was being cared for while also caring for others. However, I needed to recognize that experiencing such challenges didn't diminish my capacity to help others; rather, it showed me the importance of self-care and seeking support when necessary. Embracing moments of vulnerability and seeking assistance from trusted individuals have been crucial in maintaining my resilience and ability to effectively help others. This program has not only changed my life but has ignited within me a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Witnessing the impact of providing support and encouragement to those in distress has fueled my passion for mental health advocacy and suicide prevention efforts. I have one more year of this program while I'm in high school and I am going to miss it tremendously when I graduate. the work I have done through Hope Squad reminds me every day how important simply caring for others is. After I graduate, I am committed to raising awareness about the importance of mental health and destigmatizing conversations surrounding it. I will continue to be driven to empower individuals to seek help when needed and to create a culture of compassion and understanding within our communities. I will always be fighting for others and myself in every way possible.
    Big Picture Scholarship
    "...the cancer, which was made of him, finally stopped his heart, which was also made of him" I will never be able to watch "The Fault in Our Stars" without crying so hard my mascara is no longer on my eyelashes. The story is sad itself, but there is just something about the movie that makes me feel even more. Hazel and Gus are the main characters in "The Fault in Our Stars". They are both teenagers who have been impacted by cancer. Hazel is currently fighting her battle with cancer and Gus is close to being in remission. They met first at a support group for kids with cancer and quickly became close. Their love story, while tragic, is undeniably beautiful. The connection that Hazel and Gus share is remarkable. Their love is tender, raw, and honest. In their story, they connect over Hazel's favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, written by Peter Van Houten. Gus uses his wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation to take himself, Hazel, and her mom to Amsterdam to meet Van Houten. They quickly realized he was not the person they wanted and needed him to be. His assistant took Hazel and Gus to the Anne Frank house as an apology for his behavior. Even though Hazel was struggling to breathe, she walked slowly, step by step, climbing higher. A recording of a young girl (who can be assumed to be Anne) is playing, talking about her experiences. There is a moment after they reach the top where Hazel and Gus simply look at each other. You can see the love that they share. Finally, they kiss. It was a moment of love surrounded by darkness. I remember learning about what the fault in our stars meant. After what I think was my 20th binge of the movie, I was curious why John Green had titled this story as he did. He had derived the title from Julius Caesar (a play by William Shakespeare). The original line is, "The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars / But in ourselves, for we are underlings". The quote suggests that nothing but ourselves is to blame for the world's evil, we decide when things happen to us (and the world). But John Green suggested that some things are simply up to fate. Hazel did not choose to have cancer. Gus did not choose to die. The 'fault in their stars', as shown in the movie, is the unpredictable nature of life. When my grandfather passed, I struggled a lot with accepting he wasn't around anymore. I also could not bring myself to cry for the life of me. Normally, I'm a pretty emotional person. I cry at almost any sad thing that happens, but for some reason, I just wasn't able to cry. My body wouldn't allow me to feel the pain. I remember one day I came home and turned on "The Fault in Our Stars". I was watching as normal and I just started sobbing at a completely random part of the movie. I physically couldn't stop myself from crying. All of the pent-up sadness I had felt from my grandpa's passing finally came out. This story honestly confronts the reality of mortality, never shying away from the pain and tragedy of death, and that's what I needed to remember. It sucked. Death sucks. But we must keep living because the time we did have was better than having none at all. "You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful"
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    When I was in the seventh grade, I was in my language arts class when a video was played to me about a new program that would be implemented at my school. This program was called Hope Squad and its goal was to help aid in suicide prevention among youth. I had listened to this video and was presented with a form to fill out. The paper read, "Who is someone that you would turn to in an emergency and you would trust to save your life". I filled out this paper not thinking much about it. But I soon realized that they needed these papers filled out to see who would be able to have the biggest impact on people and who would be able to aid others in a crisis. I was at home a couple of weeks later when I received a letter in the mail. Inside, was a paper that explained to me I was one of 18 students at our school who had been chosen to represent our school's Hope Squad program. Along with the congratulatory letter, another paper detailed how big of a deal it was to be so closely associated with things like suicide and that we should not take it lightly in deciding whether or not we should accept our spot. After reading the papers, I was honestly scared to make my decision. "But why?", my friends asked. "You were chosen for this you should say yes!" they continued. I didn't have an answer for them. I should have been able to immediately say yes. I mean, the opportunity to help people is already incredible and the sheer fact I had been chosen for this made me feel incredible. But I just didn't know if I would be able to do well enough. I had no idea if I could make a difference and the uncertainty scared me half to death. I decided to take the risk and join the program. I went to the introductory dinner and met the other members, I also got to meet our advisor, Ron Blue, whom I would grow extremely close to over the next 5 years. After I had begun to grow close with the people in this program, I started to feel more comfortable with what we were doing. I grew more confident in my abilities to help people and be a resource others could come to. It's a surreal experience having a person come up to you when they are in a crisis, and ask you to help them get help and stay alive. It's not something any other normal person would have happened to them. I remember a time when I was in class and I had been asked by another student to talk. She confided in me that she had been struggling with an eating disorder and didn't know how to get help. She was desperate and didn't know what to do. She explained to me that she felt as though her parents wouldn't understand and she was afraid to reach out to her school counselor because she didn't want to be embarrassed or talked about, but she had trusted me. She had trusted me. Reflecting on the multitude of situations I've encountered, I've come to see myself as a beacon for people to come to when needed. Dealing with situations like these for a while can take a toll on your mental well-being. Constantly being exposed to the struggles and crises of others can become emotionally draining and has been known to even lead to feelings of burnout or compassion fatigue. I had reached out to my advisor many times to get his opinion on whether or not to stay in the program. It felt so important to stick with but I had no idea if I was going to be able to make sure my mental health was being cared for while also caring for others. However, I needed to recognize that experiencing such challenges didn't diminish my capacity to help others; rather, it showed me the importance of self-care and seeking support when necessary. Embracing moments of vulnerability and seeking assistance from trusted individuals have been crucial in maintaining my resilience and ability to provide effective help to others. This program has not only changed my life but has ignited within me a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Witnessing the impact of providing support and encouragement to those in distress has fueled my passion for mental health advocacy and suicide prevention efforts. I have one more year of this program while I'm in high school and I am going to miss it tremendously when I graduate. the work I have done through Hope Squad reminds me every day how important simply caring for others is. After I graduate, I am committed to continuing to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and destigmatizing conversations surrounding it. I will continue to be driven to empower individuals to seek help when needed and to create a culture of compassion and understanding within our communities. I will always be fighting for others and myself in every way possible.
    Met Gala Masterpiece Scholarship
    "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" which was the 2022 Met Gala theme is my favorite. My favorite look from the 2022 Gala was Blake Lively's dress as an ode to monumental sites in America. When Lively first arrived at the Gala, her copper dress had a large bow on her hip that led to a dramatic train. As she walked along the carpet, the bow untied slowly and revealed a teal-green aspect of her dress. Her look was stunning, not only because of how beautiful the dress (and accessories) were but also because of how many elements she was able to incorporate to fit the theme perfectly. First, her ode to the Statue of Liberty. The statue was created in New York in 1885 as a gift from France. Originally when it was created, it was a deep copper color but as time passed, the copper rusted and became teal. Lively implemented this in her dress (with her copper bow turning into a teal train) to show the progression of art over time. Second, her ode to the Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Embroidered on the teal side of her dress, the twelve zodiac constellations that are painted on the ceiling of Grand Central Station can be found. Third, her ode to the Brooklyn Bridge and the Chrysler Building. Lively arrived with a bedazzled copper clutch in her hand. On one side, the Brooklyn Bridge can be seen with the letters BRBIJ running down the sides. These letters represent her family, keeping them close to her always. On the other side, the Chrysler Building during sunset is illustrated. Later, she was seen with yet another purse that was shaped as the Hippodrome Theatre, which has largely been considered the largest theatre in the world. Finally, her ode to Central Park. Her bedazzled pumps, which had a large flower in the front, once again showed the beauty of New York. Blake Lively's outfit and accessories truly encapsulated the very essence that is the Gilded Age of America. This look is my favorite out of any Met Gala look I have witnessed and will continue to live on through Met Gala history. My least favorite look from the 2022 Gala was Kim Kardashian in an original Monroe dress. In 1962, Marilyn Monroe wore this dress to JFK's birthday celebration where she performed "Happy Birthday". Monroe originally had said she would appear in a modest outfit and when she arrived in a skin-colored and tight-fitted dress, people were shocked. This dress became significant in history and gained extreme fame. Kim Kardashian was able to get into contact with the current owner, which eventually led her to wear it at the Gala. The dress was (obviously) created to fit Monroe's body type, not Kim Kardashians. Because of this, Kim had to be forced into the dress and sew her back into it. Doing this destroyed parts of the original dress and it will never be back to the original state as it once was. The worst part of this whole ordeal was that after a few minutes, Kim changed out of the original dress into a replica, defeating the whole point of wearing the original. The 2022 Met Gala was supposed to honor fashion through America, but, because the dress had been altered to supposedly "honor" it, the art of it was destroyed. Kim Kardashian's Met Gala outfit was the worst to me because there were so many other options as to honor the dress or Marilyn Monroe herself, but because none were chosen, it felt more destructive than honorable.
    Spider-Man Showdown Scholarship
    Andrew Garfield's portrayal of Spiderman is my favorite. One of the most compelling aspects of Andrew Garfield as Spiderman/Peter Parker is his ability to show the characters' complexities in their entirety. He brings depth to the character making Peter Parker a relatable, vulnerable, and emotionally complex person. His performance allows the audience to empathize with Peter's struggles, whether it be trying to figure out who he is in high school or saving the world. Another aspect of Andrew Garfield's portrayal of Spiderman/Peter Parker that I love is that he is portrayed as curious and determined to follow his passions throughout the movie. Throughout the films, Peter Parker is depicted as a brilliant kid, he can be seen tinkering with gadgets and conducting science experiments in most of the film. Garfield's portrayal effectively showcases Peter's relentless pursuit of knowledge and his commitment to using his abilities for the greater good, which adds depth and dimension to the character. Finally, the genuine love and admiration for his people showcase how incredible Andrew Garfield is at portraying Peter. Whether it be his admiration for Aunt May or his love for Gwen Stacy, Garfield's Peter demonstrates empathy, compassion, and loyalty in his interactions with others. His emotions can be felt through the screen, which allows the audience to connect with his character even more. Overall, Andrew Garfield's portrayal of Spiderman/Peter Parker is my favorite because he brings depth to the character, shows determination, and displays genuine love and care within the movie. His portrayal is and will always be my favorite
    Student Life Photography Scholarship
    Nicholas Hamlin Tennis Memorial Scholarship
    When I was younger, I never thought I could play/participate in sports. I was never an athletic kid and felt as though this realm was just not it for me. However, when I entered high school, I realized there was a piece of me that was missing. I soon found out that I hadn´t been against joining sports, but rather I was longing for a sport that would accept me even though I was never going to be the best. I walked into tryouts and was paralyzed with fear. While I had been dreaming and practicing for this, I still felt inadequate. I did not let the fear stop me and I made the girl's tennis team that year. One thing that I learned pretty quickly about being a part of a 60-girl team was that the coaches simply did not have enough time to be extremely picky and focused on how I was performing (not to say I wasn´t working as hard as possible). I was able to use my freshman year as a stepping stone to get me acclimated to the environment of sports and I quickly fell in love with the court. I would play almost every day. During summer when other kids wanted to lounge around their homes, I was playing and practicing. I got better little by little and finally felt like I was going to be able to prove people wrong. I could do sports. But then I got injured. I was playing a match as a replacement and I tripped on a ball that had not been picked up. I fell to the ground in agonizing pain and started crying. But quickly the pain faded and I stood up with the help of my teammate and walked off the court to get assessed. Even though I was in the most pain of my life, it had been so brief I re-entered the match. As the weeks and months progressed, I noticed I was having extreme pain with walking and even going up the stairs in my home felt like a daunting task. After pleading with my parents for what felt like an eternity, I was finally taken into the doctor to be assessed officially. I was told that my injury, while painful, cannot truly be fixed. I had injured a ligament in my foot and it had healed itself and left behind scar tissue that was affecting my walking and causing my pain. The answers they could give me were that the pain may or may not get better but I can try to work on it. Even though there was no guarantee, I went to physical therapy three days a week (sometimes even skipping my lunch), and trained with the athletic trainers before every match to make sure I could return to the sport I had grown to love. Thankfully I was lucky and after wearing a brace and training for almost 5 months, I was okay. My pain went away and I was able to return to the courts. I still have some pain sometimes in a tough match but I just remind myself that that is my battle scar. I knew I worked through something so difficult for a sport I had never even thought I could do. Tennis has taught me that it is okay to take risks and that fighting for it is worth all the pain when you love something.