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Abigail Brantley


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I am passionate about my Christian faith, exercise, law, the environment, and changing the world. I am an avid runner, participating in varsity Cross Country and varsity Track as a team captain. My lifetime goal is to practice either environmental, international, or corporate law. My greatest hobbies are reading and weightlifting. I hope that I can improve my community through practicing law one day.


Dakota Ridge High School

High School
2020 - 2024


  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Majors of interest:

    • English Language and Literature, General
    • Law
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      Become a lawyer and practice law.

    • Team Member

      2023 – 2023


    Track & Field

    2020 – Present4 years

    Cross-Country Running

    2019 – 20234 years

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      National Honors Society — Volunteer member
      2022 – Present

    Future Interests




    Mental Health Scholarship for Women
    As a high school senior, I have wrestled with the monster of mental health over the past four years of my high school experience. My mental health at times has been a major roadblock to my academic success and happiness in regards to my personal life. My sophomore year was by far the most mentally difficult year for me to push through. In October of my sophomore year my mental wellness was on the decline and unfortunately at that same time, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I struggled with extreme depression and anxiety all the while my mom was going to an unending number of doctors appointments and having multiple surgeries. My mental health continued to get worse as the year went on and it began to show through the cracks academically. I wasn't able to pay attention in class, I drifted away from friends, I started to put less effort into homework, I stopped studying for tests, and I would procrastinate assignments and project until the very last minute. By some miracle, I maintained my straight As sophomore year, but I wasn't engaged nor interested in school like I used to be. I reached a breaking point by the end of my sophomore year and I expressed my struggles to my doctor and my mom. I began therapy and was put on medication for my diagnosis. The medicine and therapy drastically improved my life and I began to regain my vigor for school, but I still wasn't fully myself so I began to explore new methods to better my mental health. The best tactics I found that improved my mental well being and allow me to prioritize my mental health are journaling, reading, listening to music, getting outside, and drawing. One of my favorite steps is journaling, I had sporadically done journaling throughout my life, but it wasn't until sophomore year that I committed myself to make a habit out of journaling. Being able to release my thoughts in a journal has been a cathartic experience which allows me to de-stress and sort through my emotions in a healthy manner. Reading has allowed me to expand my imagination, release stress, and escape to another reality. As an avid reader, reading allows me to explore far away places and dream big which has allowed me to better regulate my emotions and lessen my anxiety of the future. Reading also ensures that I am not on my phone or social media which has been detrimental to my well being. Music is a method I have found to be quite effective at calming myself down and regulating my emotions. Simply playing a catchy song full of energy can haul me out of a bad mental state. I sing at the top of my lungs in my car, windows down, wind in my hair which allows me to be present in the moment and the mountain of anxiety that I typically carry dissipates. Over the years I have navigated my mental health in healthy and unhealthy ways, it took trial and error until I finally got the hang of it. It was a winding and grueling journey that took time and patience, but it was all worth it because with a clear mentality and a sound mind, I am able to better focus on academics and my personal life. Mental health is paramount to academic success and with these tools and habits I have developed, I know I will be able to pursue an undergraduate degree with a strong foundation.
    RonranGlee Literary Scholarship
    "Why did I not die? More miserable than man ever was before, why did I not sink into forgetfulness and rest? Death snatches away many blooming children, the only hopes of their doting parents: how many brides and youthful lovers have been one day in the bloom of health and hope, and the next a prey for worms and the decay of the tomb! Of what materials was I made, that I could thus resist so many shocks, which, like the turning of the wheel, continually renewed the torture? But I was doomed to live." -Mary Shelly, Frankenstein Living in a world filled with falsities, evil, misery, and ill-willed humans is a fate worse than death, that is what Mary Shelly claims in her novel Frankenstein. Frankenstein is a novel about a monster animated by a scientist which leads to a series of murders and miseries. Underlying this particular paragraph where the monster is contemplating his damned existence, Shelly asserts that the true monster is man and the selfishness of humans through agonized tone and tranquil imagery. The plight of mankind is that it is plagued by selfishness and cruelty, Shelly emphasizes these harrowing characteristics of mankind by employing an agonized tone. The monster Victor Frankenstein has created cries out that he suffers, "...continually renewed...torture..." and asks, "Why did I not die?" As the monster ruminates on his gut-wrenching existence the agonized tone is illustrated through specific words such as "torture" and "die" which exemplifies the suffering that he is experiencing. Through an agonizing tone, Shelly captures the predicament of human suffering and reveals the underlying meaning of the text is that humans are programmed in such as way that elicits suffering and hardships because of their selfish nature which makes death a more appealing anecdote. Frankenstein's monster concludes that he was "...doomed to live..." which illustrates the immense amount of torture the monster has experienced. The word "doomed" illustrates the agonized tone which reveals that Shelly is implying that life is a cursed condition that humankind has been subjected to which originates from their own selfishness and cruel disposition. Furthermore, humans are afflicted by their predisposition to hatred which Shelly highlights by contrasting it to tranquil imagery. Frankenstein's monster is perplexed as to why death takes "...blooming children..." and " lovers who have "...the bloom of health and hope..." instead of him who has suffered the hatred of man. The beautiful imagery illustrated by the words "hope" and " blooming" exemplifies how life can be alluring without the hatred of man. Underlying these sunny words, Shelly is asserting that mankind stains the beauty of life with their selfishness and hate. The monster realizes that he would rather, "...sink into forgetfulness and rest..." than continue to live because he believes life is not worth the miseries that he has encountered. The calm imagery exemplified by "rest" and "sink" reveals that a peaceful life is inhibited by the evils of man. Shelly implies that the monster created by Frankenstein is not the true monster because he realizes the plight of humanity and only wishes for the relief of death. In reality, the true monster is humankind and the selfishness and hatred that stems from man. Man burns everything he touches without regard to the consequences due to man's arrogance and greed. Shelly argues that the pitfalls of man have led humankind to become the true monster of life through torturous tone and idyllic imagery. Mankind has allowed themselves to be overcome by greed, hate, pride, and arrogance effectively mutating humans into a monster with a lust for death and destruction. The paragraph from Shelly's novel Frankenstein exposes the vices of humankind and how these vices enable humankind to be more destructive and evil.
    Big Picture Scholarship
    I run through the forest, branches scraping my arm, my hair flowing in the wind, singing, a spirit of adventure and bravery carrying me. As a five-year-old my imagination was running wild, I wasn't truly in a forest at all, just running around my backyard, but it didn't matter, I was free and wild and filled with a passion for adventure. The 2012 Disney film Brave has had the greatest impact on my life, it ignited a sense of adventure in my heart and instilled in me bravery, dedication, and confidence which has carried me through my life these past 12 years. Merida is headstrong, bold, adventurous, strong-willed, and loyal. As a young child when I first watched the movie, it instantly became my favorite because of Merida's sense of adventure and how she never once backed down from her values. Merida's refusal to give into traditional roles, because she desired a different life, inspired me to stay strong-willed when my values were involved. When Merida's mother is transformed into a bear from a curse, Merida continues to be brave and loyal. Despite the fear and pressure to save her family and break the curse, Merida continues to dedicate herself. Her strong will allowed her to protect her mother and break the curse. Merida's ability to be headstrong inspired me when I was young to be dedicated and strong-willed like her. As I grew older, I stayed strong-willed just as Merida did. The confidence Merida exuded through her archery and adventure motivated me to be confident as well. After seeing the movie, I began to carry myself more confidently and became more sure of myself. Even today as a Senior in high school, I am still inspired by Merida's confidence and the movie reminds me to be sure of myself even when I am filled with anxiety and stress. Merida's character growth also illustrates that people can grow and change, but they don't have to lose their values. Despite how young I was, I subconsciously knew that I should always preserve my values but I should simultaneously be able to grow when required. The hardships high school brought upon me were nearly crippling, but when I needed hope I would turn on Brave and remind myself what I valued and that I am strong and dedicated. The trials of high school have been grueling, but the characteristics that Brave instilled in me at five, allowed me to overcome them all. Brave has allowed me to succeed academically, athletically, and socially by reminding me to stay strong-willed, dedicated, brave, and adventurous. My mental strength has been wildly improved by the movie and Merida's character. I can confidently say that Brave has changed the course of my life and it will continue to help me thrive in my quest for knowledge and education.
    Minecraft Forever Fan Scholarship
    Panic sets into my bones as I sprint away knowing that I am on the brink of death, I just have to make it to my house, and as I run inside and slam the door shut I exhale a deep sigh of relief, then my mom calls to me that dinner is ready and I set down the controller, back to the real world. I always get so focused on Minecraft that I forget that it isn't real, I wasn't really close to death, just a character made up of pixels and code. When I play Minecraft the adventure hooks me, it is my favorite aspect of the game, I can travel far and wide to different biomes. I find passion in collecting various objects for achievements all in the name of adventure. The ability to visit far away and fictional lands such as the Nether or the End sparks my passion for adventure. I resonate with the adventure Minecraft fosters because I love exploring in real life through biking, running, and hiking. I have always loved video games, but Minecraft is the one that fosters endless adventures. I first started playing Minecraft when I was seven years old and even at my young age, all I wanted to do was wander and explore the endless worlds of Minecraft. As Minecraft has expanded and been updated over the years, the new biomes and hidden adventures have been my favorite part. With every new update I love to go on a new adventure searching for the newest mob, block, item, and more. Minecraft is an escape from the stress of life and I can decompress by adventuring. Minecraft offers the possibility of infinite adventures and that is why I love the game and have loved it for over ten years.
    J.Terry Tindall Memorial Scholarship
    "On your mark, get set," the starter pistol fires and we are off. My body is humming with anxiety, I feel my lunch threatening to come up. Half of my mind is screaming at me to quit, and the other is yelling that I can't give up. When I finally cross the line and look up at the board displaying our times my heart sinks, once again I am far away from the time that I should be running. I want to cry, but I turn to my teammate who beat me and joke with her about how much my lungs hurt. I may wear a smile on my face, but the burden of failure washes over me once again. As a competitive runner, I am constantly competing with myself, comparing my times and hoping I can best my personal record. I have competed in cross country since sixth grade and track since seventh grade while being on varsity all four years of high school in both. As much as I adore my sports, I have gone through tremendous amounts of anxiety and heartbreak because of my repeated failures while running. Junior year of my track season was my greatest failure as a runner, I didn't break any of my personal records and I was unable to make the state relay team. Freshman and sophomore year of track I was consistently one of the legs of the four by eight hundred meter relay, and both years we went to state and I contributed to qualifying for and running at state. Then junior year every eight hundred I run is slower than the years before. I thought my failures were just beginning of season rust that I needed to shake off, but as the season progressed, my times wouldn't move. I put in the same effort I always had, showing up to practice everyday, giving races my one hundred percent, yet I couldn't improve. Race after race I failed to improve my time and one of my teammates replaced me on the relay team. The relay qualified for and went to state without me, I was an alternate but it was a failure for me. I felt utterly defeated, I was a failure and my worth was gone. I survived the failure of the track season by leaning on my humor and beginning to view track as my place to relax instead of stress. I focused on my relationships with my teammates and having fun, the season ended and while I failed, I was still happy because I had my friends and teammates around me. In the end I realized that I cherished the community of track more than I liked beating my times and being on the state team. I overcame my shortcomings by shifting my mindset. I went into my senior year cross country season with my mind bent on having fun and appreciating the people around me and my experience more than the times I was running. The mindset shift completely changed my running, I hadn't beat my personal record in cross country since sophomore year and at the end of the season I shattered my record. I learned the valuable lesson that my worth is not contingent on my performance, rather my mindset and how I value my experiences and the people around me.
    Allison Thomas Swanberg Memorial Scholarship
    Community service to me is about being a better human and helping people. As a Christian I strive on the daily to exemplify empathy and show love to those around me. Through community service I am able to show people the compassion I know they so desperately need. Since I was in 5th grade, I have been passionate about community service. It all began when my mom started the Kids Care Club, we ran a food drive at the elementary school and went on a field trip to MorningStar, an assisted living and memory care center. As I interacted with the seniors at the center and realized that I could bring a smile to their faces, a fire ignited in my heart, I just knew I wanted to help people. I am adamant about treating people with empathy and compassion constantly. As I volunteered more in my community I began to realize that giving people my time and service made my heart full. In 8th grade I volunteered for my church to watch the kids. As I helped the kids with activities and games, I felt this warmth in my heart, making the kids laugh and smile helped me actively practice empathy. Throughout my high school career I have been a member of multiple community service-based clubs such as Key Club, Student Government Auxiliary, and National Honors Society. These clubs enabled me and continue to enable me to help people in my community whether it is setting up and cleaning up school dances, making posters to inspire positivity in the school, or participating in Wish Week. These forms of community service mean that I can impact my immediate community in tangible ways and knowing that I can feel accomplished that I am doing something to improve the world and spread love and empathy. Since community service enables me to spread love, I plan to continually give back to my community throughout my career and lifetime. Specifically, I will continue to volunteer at my church to give relief to parents and teach children about kindness. After I graduate college I plan to go to law school so I can practice law and through law give back to my community by helping them solve their issues. I am currently set on environmental law so I can better the climate and contribute to preserving nature so my community can experience nature to the fullest potential for an extended amount of time. As I practice law, I will also commit myself to bettering my community by serving at a food bank, donating, and volunteering at my church. Community service has a direct impact on people's lives and everyday I want to strive for the improvement of my community. Through empathy, compassion, love, and service I will be forever committed to helping others.