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Albert Kunickis

1865

Bold Points

18x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am Albert Kunickis III, a senior at Lemont High School located in Lemont, Illinois - a small suburban town thirty-five minutes southwest of Chicago. I have been on the high honor roll every year, a member of my school’s National Honors Society, and a part of the Future Business Leaders of America program. I have also been featured in a WGN broadcast, ‘Lemont running back Albert Kunickis cannot be stopped’ and written about in a Chicago SunTimes article titled “Lemont running back Albert Kunickis makes the doubters pay” for my ‘inspiring’ football journey, where I will continue next year at Northwestern University. My life's goals are to play football, the sport I love, for the longest possible amount of time, and to design prosthetic devices for those in need. Humbly, I am qualified for any available scholarship because I believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Playing football with one arm has been a struggle to only those who believe I cannot perform as well as my peers. They are wrong. My confidence and work ethic has landed me multiple non-scholarship opportunities to play football at excellent Division I schools. If you would like to learn more about me, please search me up on google: 'Albert Kunickis'. Check out the articles written about me and the images associated with them!

Education

Lemont Township High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biochemical Engineering
    • Finance and Financial Management Services
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      biomedical engineering

    • Dream career goals:

      My goal is to design prosthetics for those in need. Me being a football player with one arm, I use a prosthetic arm in my offseason training which helps me perform my best on the field. Giving my insight on how to manufacture these devices for others with a similar situation as me would be amazing.

    • Busser

      Rosebud Lemont
      2019 – Present5 years

    Sports

    Basketball

    Junior Varsity
    2017 – 20192 years

    Football

    Junior Varsity
    2014 – Present10 years

    Awards

    • IHSFCA 6A All-State Team, SSC Player of the Year, 2x SSC Conference 1st Team
    • 2x SSC 1st Team All-Academic

    Arts

    • Digital Art Course

      Graphic Art
      2019 – 2021

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Food Pantry — Package goods for individuals in need
      2019 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Bold Gratitude Scholarship
    I appreciate the way I was born, although it has brought me hardships; it has also taught me to fight for everything in life. Life with one arm may be seen as a burden from others’ perspectives. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at otherwise easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers - and that quickly translates to sympathy, which, despite coming from a kind and considerate place, can be stagnating. Certainly, I’ve learned that the willingness to authentically disregard fear and persevere is not an easy undertaking. And while I am unequivocally grateful for the support and sacrifice my family, friends, and community unconditionally give, I need sovereignty: some things I needed to fight for entirely on my own, even if everyone thought I needed two hands to do them. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. A presumed hobby quickly turned into a passion at my first practice. When I started youth football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the implicit yet obvious doubt they had in me. I’d step out to gather myself after being ridiculed for having one arm, only to come back in and prove that I was able to contend with them physically and mentally. I think about those games whenever times get challenging. I say to myself: “If my eleven-year-old self didn’t quit when it felt like the world was against me, why would I now?” I don't shy away from my difficulties with my arm anymore, if anything these moments have taught me to embrace who i am.
    Bold Goals Scholarship
    Life with one arm may be seen as a burden from others’ perspectives. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers. Certainly, the willingness to disregard fear and persevere is not easy. Doesn't matter. I need to fight tasks on my own, even if everyone thinks I need two hands to do them. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. When I started youth football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the obvious doubt they had in me. I’d step out to gather myself after being ridiculed about my arm, only to come back in and prove that I was able to contend with them physically and mentally. When in doubt, I now say to myself: “If my eleven-year-old self didn’t quit when it felt like the world was against me, why would I now?” Now, with a major opportunity to play Division 1 football at a fantastic institution, I am proud to say it's from my hard work and commitment. After my playing time, I am going to impact the world by making prosthetics for those in need. With my insight, I can help produce the best prosthetic arms for everyone. Whatever it is needed for, I can adjust - whether it’s for a sport, weight lifting, anything - I will help them succeed. But for now, I am going to continue playing football, attempting to make it big while in the meantime inspire those around me to get on their feet and accomplish anything they set their minds to.
    Bold Creativity Scholarship
    Improvising specfic things in order to overcome obstacles with one arm. Life with one arm may be seen as a burden from others’ perspectives. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers. Certainly, the willingness to disregard fear and persevere is not easy. Doesn't matter. I need to fight tasks entirely on my own, even if everyone thinks I need two hands to do them. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. When I started youth football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the obvious doubt they had in me. I’d step out to gather myself after being ridiculed about my arm, only to come back in and prove that I was able to contend with them physically and mentally. When in doubt, I now say to myself: “If my eleven-year-old self didn’t quit when it felt like the world was against me, why would I now?” Since then, I have prepared for every football season like it was my last by converting hours of training into my gameplay and have earned the respect of everyone. Even my childhood idol, NFL Quarterback Drew Brees, sent me a jersey after reading a Chicago Suntimes article written about me, with a message of encouragement to “Keep inspiring others!”. Now, with a major opportunity to play Division 1 football and an enthusiasm for my future, I am proud to say that it is also a reflection of my commitment and creativity, which so many others have sacrificed much to bring about.
    Bold Happiness Scholarship
    The level of "success" I've obtained, especially when it felt like nobody else was with me. Life with one arm may be seen as a burden from others’ perspectives. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers. Certainly, the willingness to disregard fear and persevere is not easy. Doesn't matter. I need to fight tasks entirely on my own, even if everyone thinks I need two hands to do them. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. When I started youth football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the obvious doubt they had in me. I’d step out to gather myself after being ridiculed about my arm, only to come back in and prove that I was able to contend with them physically and mentally. When in doubt, I now say to myself: “If my eleven-year-old self didn’t quit when it felt like the world was against me, why would I now?” Since then, I have prepared for every football season like it was my last by converting hours of training into my gameplay and have earned the respect of everyone. Even my childhood idol, NFL Quarterback Drew Brees, sent me a jersey after reading a Chicago Suntimes article written about me, with a message of encouragement to “Keep inspiring others!”. Now, with a major opportunity to play Division 1 football and an enthusiasm for my future, I am proud to say that it is also a reflection of my commitment, which so many others have sacrificed much to bring about.
    Bold Career Goals Scholarship
    Playing football has been a long, rough, and painstaking journey to become the athlete I STILL strive to be. I will never forget the countless hours I spent on the field with my father practicing catching, kicking, speed, etc. The weight room was never my forte, neither was confidence at all, to be honest. Struggling with improvisations of certain exercises I couldn’t perform made me want to give up trying. Bench pressing was one of those things. After countless sessions, It wasn’t getting easier nor I was getting stronger. Everyone was surpassing me, and it made me feel like I was stuck at the bottom of a sewer, looking up at my peers, feeling like dirt, and never being able to escape. From there, I decided that I never wanted to feel like that again. I was going to do whatever it took to improve my bench press, and anything else that stepped in my way. I was going to gain confidence, and leave a mark on the world. Those particular times, feeling like an irrelevant individual, changed the way I think today, and is part of the reason why I became a Division I athlete with one arm. After my playing time, I am going to leave my legacy by impacting the world with the creation of prosthetics for those in need. With my insight, I can help produce the best prosthetic arms for everyone. Whatever it is needed for, I can adjust - whether it’s for a sport, weight lifting, anything - I will help them succeed. But for now, I am going to continue playing football, attempting to make it big in the pros, while in the meantime inspire those around me to get on their feet and accomplish anything they set their minds to.
    Bold Reflection Scholarship
    Playing football has been a long, rough, and painstaking journey to become the athlete I STILL strive to be. I will never forget the countless hours I spent on the field with my father practicing catching, kicking, speed, etc. The weight room was never my forte, neither was confidence at all, to be honest. Struggling with improvisations of certain exercises I couldn’t perform made me want to give up trying. Bench pressing was one of those things. After countless sessions, It wasn’t getting easier nor I was getting stronger. Everyone was surpassing me, and it made me feel like I was stuck at the bottom of a sewer, looking up at my peers, feeling like dirt, and never being able to escape. From there, I decided that I never wanted to feel like that again. I was going to do whatever it took to improve my bench press, and anything else that stepped in my way. I was going to gain confidence, and leave a mark on the world. Those particular times, feeling like an irrelevant individual, changed the way I think today, and is part of the reason why I became a Division I athlete with one arm. After my playing time, I am going to leave my legacy by impacting the world with the creation of prosthetics for those in need. With my insight, I can help produce the best prosthetic arms for everyone. Whatever it is needed for, I can adjust - whether it’s for a sport, weight lifting, anything - I will help them succeed. But for now, I am going to continue playing football, attempting to make it big while in the meantime inspire those around me to get on their feet and accomplish anything they set their minds to.
    Bold Legacy Scholarship
    Playing football has been a long, rough, and painstaking journey to become the athlete I STILL strive to be. I will never forget the countless hours I spent on the field with my father practicing catching, kicking, speed, etc. The weight room was never my forte, neither was confidence at all, to be honest. Struggling with improvisations of certain exercises I couldn’t perform made me want to give up trying. Bench pressing was one of those things. After countless sessions, It wasn’t getting easier nor I was getting stronger. Everyone was surpassing me, and it made me feel like I was stuck at the bottom of a sewer, looking up at my peers, feeling like dirt, and never being able to escape. From there, I decided that I never wanted to feel like that again. I was going to do whatever it took to improve my bench press, and anything else that stepped in my way. I was going to gain confidence, and leave a mark on the world. Those particular times, feeling like an irrelevant individual, changed the way I think today, and is part of the reason why I became a Division I athlete with one arm. After my playing time, I am going to leave my legacy by impacting the world with the creation of prosthetics for those in need. With my insight, I can help produce the best prosthetic arms for everyone. Whatever it is needed for, I can adjust - whether it’s for a sport, weight lifting, anything - I will help them succeed. But for now, I am going to continue playing football, attempting to make it big while in the meantime inspire those around me to get on their feet and accomplish anything they set their minds to.
    Bold Turnaround Story Scholarship
    Some may see my life with one arm as a burden. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at otherwise easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers. Certainly, I’ve learned that the willingness to authentically disregard fear and persevere is not an easy undertaking. I need to work harder than others to prove myself, especially if everyone thinks I need two hands. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. When I started football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the implicit yet obvious doubt they had in me. Since then, I have prepared for every football season like it was my last. The past two seasons, I have converted hours of training into my gameplay and have consequently earned the respect of my opponents, teammates, and coaches. Even my childhood idol, NFL Quarterback Drew Brees, sent me a signed jersey after reading a Chicago Suntimes article written about me, with a message of encouragement to “Keep inspiring others!”. Other obstacles have and will continue to try and stop me, but I look forward to both the struggle and the success. My character is a mosaic of my life’s failures that tie me together. Now, with a major opportunity to play Division 1 football and an enthusiasm for my future, I am proud to say that it is also a reflection of my commitment, which so many others have sacrificed much to bring about. I hope to continue my dream path whilst gaining respect from others, in attempt to inspire them to change the world in their own way.
    Bold Persistence Scholarship
    Some may see life with one arm as a burden. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at otherwise easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers. Certainly, I’ve learned that the willingness to authentically disregard fear and persevere is not an easy undertaking. I need to work harder than others to prove myself, especially if everyone thinks I need two hands. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. When I started football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the implicit yet obvious doubt they had in me. Since then, I have prepared for every football season like it was my last. The past two seasons, I have converted hours of training into my gameplay and have consequently earned the respect of my opponents, teammates, and coaches. Even my childhood idol, NFL Quarterback Drew Brees, sent me a signed jersey after reading a Chicago Suntimes article written about me, with a message of encouragement to “Keep inspiring others!”. Other obstacles have and will continue to try and stop me, but I look forward to both the struggle and the success. My character is a mosaic of my life’s failures that tie me together. Now, with a major opportunity to play Division 1 football and an enthusiasm for my future, I am proud to say that it is also a reflection of my commitment, which so many others have sacrificed much to bring about. I hope to continue my dream path whilst gaining respect from others, in attempt to inspire them to change the world in their own way.
    Bold Encouraging Others Scholarship
    Some may see life with one arm as a burden. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at otherwise easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers. Certainly, I’ve learned that the willingness to authentically disregard fear and persevere is not an easy undertaking. I need to work harder than others to prove myself, especially if everyone thinks I need two hands. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. When I started football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the implicit yet obvious doubt they had in me. Since then, I have prepared for every football season like it was my last. The past two seasons, I have converted hours of training into my gameplay and have consequently earned the respect of my opponents, teammates, and coaches. Even my childhood idol, NFL Quarterback Drew Brees, sent me a signed jersey after reading a Chicago Suntimes article written about me, with a message of encouragement to “Keep inspiring others!”. Other obstacles have and will continue to try and stop me, but I look forward to both the struggle and the success. My character is a mosaic of my life’s failures that tie me together. Now, with a major opportunity to play Division 1 football and an enthusiasm for my future, I am proud to say that it is also a reflection of my commitment, which so many others have sacrificed much to bring about. I hope to continue my dream path whilst gaining respect from others, in attempt to inspire them to change the world in their own way.
    College Showdown Scholarship
    Bold Patience Matters Scholarship
    Being patient is a virtue that only the humble and the worthiest of success can obtain. These individuals don't give up when the chips are down, it only fuels them to work harder to surpass their peers. Humbly, I believe I am one of those individuals. Being steps behind my peers all of these years fueled a fire in me that is still illuminated, even more so as the years progress. From not being able to climb the monkey bars, tie my shoes, zip up my coat, and ride my bike while watching my friends do so was devastating: I learned how to tie my shoes in second grade. The task was minuscule for the typical seven-year-old, so much so that my peers would purposely untie and retie their shoes to demonstrate their mastery. It was a criterion defining the elementary elite, and I couldn’t check the box. Every night, I would spend hours working through hundreds of failed attempts only to become more frustrated with myself -- I was determined to free myself from the confines of my mother’s double-knotted tie. A friend provided some guidance: he got it right away and then walked me through step-by-step. With each attempt, I progressed, but my patience withered as I couldn’t get a grip on the laces. Nevertheless, I swallowed my frustration, ultimately tying my first knot. It wasn’t neat, but I was elated. Not only because now my shoelaces wouldn’t drag on the floor when they came untied, but because this was the first challenge I conquered having half of a right arm. Similarly, I face challenges today. Continuing to work until I succeed has been my motto, because I believe waiting until success comes to you is extremely important, especially when it helps you figure out who you are.
    Bold Success Scholarship
    Shriners Hospital is a wonderful place that gives people with missing limbs the opportunity to live life to its fullest. I would go for annual check-ups, and the doctors persistently asserted that I should use a prosthetic arm in my everyday life, whether for sports, hanging out with friends, or in school. I disagreed. I didn’t want to be different from my peers. My whole life I conquered obstacles as they came, voluntarily overachieving so that I would not need the prosthetic. Up to this point, my independence and pride outweighed the practical value of a prosthetic. But as I grew older, weightlifting became a huge part of my life as I embraced the challenge of becoming the best football player possible. Most lifts require two hands, so during my next trip to Shriners, I initiated a discussion about creating a prosthetic arm that would help me lift weights like everybody else. Almost three years after that process, I can say this was a crucial investment. My decision to use a prosthetic arm took approximately 8 years, and “deciding” upon the college major I'd pursue was difficult. But somewhere along my line of thinking, the momentary answer hit me. I realized that I have a strong aspiration to assist and inspire others to utilize specialized prosthetics the way that I have. I started independently looking into the nature of biomedical engineering and what excites people about the field. A disability like mine - and countless others - sits right in its crosshairs. In this field, I will apply my mathematical and structural knowledge while concurrently helping people improve their quality of life and enhance their emotional and physical well-being, all while maintaining a sufficient level of independence and choice to pursue other work should it come.
    Ace Spencer Rubin Scholarship
    Winner
    I learned how to tie my shoes in second grade. The task was minuscule for the typical seven-year-old, so much so that my peers would purposely untie and retie their shoes to demonstrate their mastery. It was a criterion defining the elementary elite, and I couldn’t check the box. Every night, I would spend hours working through hundreds of failed attempts only to become more frustrated with myself -- I was determined to free myself from the confines of my mother’s double-knotted tie. A friend provided some guidance: he got it right away and then walked me through step-by-step. With each attempt, I progressed, but my patience withered as I couldn’t get a grip on the laces. Nevertheless, I swallowed my frustration, ultimately tying my first knot. It wasn’t neat, but I was elated. Not only because now my shoelaces wouldn’t drag on the floor when they came untied, but because this was the first challenge I conquered having half of a right arm. Life with one arm may be seen as a burden from others’ perspectives. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at otherwise easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers - and that quickly translates to sympathy, which, despite coming from a kind and considerate place, can be stagnating. Certainly, I’ve learned that the willingness to authentically disregard fear and persevere is not an easy undertaking. And while I am unequivocally grateful for the support and sacrifice my family, friends, and community unconditionally give, I need sovereignty: some things I needed to fight for entirely on my own, even if everyone thought I needed two hands to do them. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. A presumed hobby quickly turned into a passion at my first practice. When I started youth football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the implicit yet obvious doubt they had in me. I’d step out to gather myself after being ridiculed for having one arm, only to come back in and prove that I was able to contend with them physically and mentally. I think about those games whenever times get challenging. I say to myself: “If my eleven-year-old self didn’t quit when it felt like the world was against me, why would I now?” Since then, I have prepared for every football season like it was my last. The past two seasons, I have converted hours of training into my gameplay and have consequently earned the respect of my opponents, teammates, and coaches. Even my childhood idol, NFL Quarterback Drew Brees, sent me a signed jersey after reading a Chicago Suntimes article written about me, with a message of encouragement to “Keep inspiring others!”. Other obstacles have and will continue to try and stop me, but I look forward to both the struggle and the success. My character is a mosaic of my life’s failures that tie me together. Still, with multiple opportunities to play Division 1 football and an enthusiasm for my future, I am proud to say that it is also a reflection of my commitment, which so many others have sacrificed much to bring about. Without shifting the way I view what others may see as unfavorable, I wouldn’t be the athlete, student, friend, or man I am today. I never knew tying my shoes would be so life-changing and awakening.
    Ron Johnston Student Athlete Scholarship
    I inspired myself. I learned how to tie my shoes in second grade. The task was minuscule for the typical seven-year-old, so much so that my peers would purposely untie and retie their shoes to demonstrate their mastery. It was a criterion defining the elementary elite, and I couldn’t check the box. Every night, I would spend hours working through hundreds of failed attempts only to become more frustrated with myself -- I was determined to free myself from the confines of my mother’s double-knotted tie. A friend provided some guidance: he got it right away and then walked me through step-by-step. With each attempt, I progressed, but my patience withered as I couldn’t get a grip on the laces. Nevertheless, I swallowed my frustration, ultimately tying my first knot. It wasn’t neat, but I was elated. Not only because now my shoelaces wouldn’t drag on the floor when they came untied, but because this was the first challenge I conquered having half of a right arm. Life with one arm may be seen as a burden from others’ perspectives. The uncertainty and added difficulty of succeeding at otherwise easily conquerable feats rings in the minds of onlookers - and that quickly translates to sympathy, which, despite coming from a kind and considerate place, can be stagnating. Certainly, I’ve learned that the willingness to authentically disregard fear and persevere is not an easy undertaking. And while I am unequivocally grateful for the support and sacrifice my family, friends, and community unconditionally give, I need sovereignty: some things I needed to fight for entirely on my own, even if everyone thought I needed two hands to do them. Playing football was one of those things. Naturally, fear and doubt struck me as I wondered if I would ever be good enough to be taken seriously by my teammates, and I developed an intense desire to prove everyone wrong. A presumed hobby quickly turned into a passion at my first practice. When I started youth football, I noticed coaches and teammates glancing at my arm during practices; I felt the implicit yet obvious doubt they had in me. I’d step out to gather myself after being ridiculed for having one arm, only to come back in and prove that I was able to contend with them physically and mentally. I think about those games whenever times get challenging. I say to myself: “If my eleven-year-old self didn’t quit when it felt like the world was against me, why would I now?” Since then, I have prepared for every football season like it was my last. The past two seasons, I have converted hours of training into my gameplay and have consequently earned the respect of my opponents, teammates, and coaches. Even my childhood idol, NFL Quarterback Drew Brees, sent me a signed jersey after reading a Chicago Suntimes article written about me, with a message of encouragement to “Keep inspiring others!”. Other obstacles have and will continue to try and stop me, but I look forward to both the struggle and the success. My character is a mosaic of my life’s failures that tie me together. Still, with multiple opportunities to play Division 1 football and an enthusiasm for my future, I am proud to say that it is also a reflection of my commitment, which so many others have sacrificed much to bring about. Without shifting the way I view what others may see as unfavorable, I wouldn’t be the athlete, student, friend, or man I am today.