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Alexandria Dabney

1605

Bold Points

3x

Finalist

Bio

Hello! My name is Alex Dabney and I am a first-year health science major attending Spelman College on the pre-medical track. Science and Psychology are my favorite subjects and I am going to pursue biology or health sciences as a major. I am most excited about researching and expanding my knowledge about the functions of the body on a molecular level. I am interested in neuroscience and is a neurologist or neurosurgeon. I plan to go to medical school after graduating. Throughout high school, I have noticed the racial disparities in the medical field and I want to be the person that closes the gap. I believe that everyone should have access to good-quality medical treatments and wellness care for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. COVID-19 has surprisingly positively impacted me. The global pandemic initiated me to gain connections, and provide support to different organizations including the Decatur Education Foundation and Red Cross. I used my leadership skills to provide support to families that were having difficulties throughout the pandemic. For instance, enhancing a child's self-esteem and improving academic capabilities through tutoring and creating different activities for the elderly. Even though being in isolation and taking virtual classes weren't ideal, those factors challenged me to reach out to new people and form meaningful relationships.

Education

Spelman College

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other

Decatur High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
    • Biology, General
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Research, doctor

      Sports

      Marching Band

      Varsity
      2018 – 20213 years

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        2021 “A Pearlific Rising” Lords & Ladies Cotillion — Painting instructor
        2020 – 2020
      • Volunteering

        Key Club — Volunteer
        2019 – 2019
      • Volunteering

        Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project in Decatur — Volunteer
        2018 – 2021
      • Volunteering

        Decatur Education Foundation — Tutor
        2021 – 2021
      • Volunteering

        Red Cross — Blood donor
        2021 – 2021

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Barbara P. Alexander Scholarship
      I am a first-year Spelman College honors student pursuing a health science major. I am an independent, hardworking, open-minded, and observant student. However, being vigilant is one of my top traits. I can give good suggestions and criticism on specific subjects and material by having observant skills. Being observant is crucial to multiple processes and projects and is key to finding opportunities and providing insight when supporting my community. Pursuing a health care career, it is constantly demanding more people in this area. With the numerous scientific advances and the public’s increased interest in medicine and wellness, the potential for bettering human health is unequaled in history. This climate encourages me to pursue health care in the African American community, specifically for people with Alzheimer's. When living in a small Georgia town, I observed many health disparities between the white and African American communities for years. Specifically, the wealth gap between other races and African Americans, more so, many African Americans in Georgia have difficulty affording health care and treatments, primarily for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Medical communities surrounding the town are not current on how to treat AD patients effectively. However, after my matriculation through undergraduate schools, I will be a part of the change in treating AD patients. Many African American people with AD in the city are diagnosed much later than Whites for many reasons, including stigmas. For example, many Blacks are very apprehensive about bringing family members to be evaluated by a qualified physician when they exhibit early signs of dementia. Families dismiss the signs of forgetfulness as part of the aging process. This stigma is widely accepted among Black and other minority communities in the United States. Nevertheless, this means minorities are prone to the progression and advancement of this disease, thereby limiting their chances of survival despite advanced treatments. This is one reason. Blacks have a greater than 50% chance of developing AD compared to Whites. With my degree, I will be able to implement health policies so that every patient, regardless of race, will have equal treatment and equal consideration to being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Subsequently, Alzheimer’s impacts more African Americans and Hispanics than Whites. These minority groups are not treated or diagnosed, primarily due to low patient recruitment and poor coordination between trial sites, reducing drug development innovation. To this end, I will work with multiple health companies and providers to reduce issues regarding knowledgeable staff. Furthermore, many memory care facilities within the Black communities closed because families opted to keep their loved ones in their own homes, where many would die due to a lack of professional care. The facilities that remain open struggled under the weight of financial hardship and operational problems, forcing many healthcare managers to hire less trained staff members to circumvent financial woes. Receiving a health science degree will let me learn the best ways to provide professional health care and provide health care providers with various ways to best manage their staff. My undergraduate degree will provide experiences and opportunities to pursue advanced degrees to uplift minority communities by Promoting public health strategies and community engagement to increase awareness of Alzheimer's Disease, establishing clinical research studies to understand the complexity of the disease in the community by recruiting minority groups that are underrepresented in many AD studies. My efforts to end or slow the progression of AD will positively impact all minorities by narrowing the knowledge and detection gaps, promoting advancing new treatments, and increasing awareness for earlier diagnoses.
      She Rose in STEAM Scholarship
      Currently, I am a first-year health science major in this field, and it is constantly demanding more people in this area. With the numerous scientific advances and the public’s increased interest in medicine and wellness, the potential for bettering human health is unequaled in history. This climate encourages me to pursue health care in the African American community, specifically for people with Alzheimer's. When living in a small Georgia town, I observed many health disparities between the white and African American communities for years. Specifically, the wealth gap between other races and African Americans, more so, many African Americans in Georgia have difficulty affording health care and treatments, primarily for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Medical communities surrounding the town are not current on how to treat AD patients effectively. However, after my matriculation through undergraduate schools, I will be a part of the change in treating AD patients. Many African American people with AD in the city are diagnosed much later than Whites for many reasons, including stigmas. For example, many Blacks are very apprehensive about bringing family members to be evaluated by a qualified physician when they exhibit early signs of dementia. Families dismiss the signs of forgetfulness as part of the aging process. This stigma is widely accepted among Black and other minority communities in the United States. Nevertheless, this means minorities are prone to the progression and advancement of this disease, thereby limiting their chances of survival despite advanced treatments. This is one reason. Blacks have a greater than 50% chance of developing AD compared to Whites. With my degree, I will be able to implement health policies so that every patient, regardless of race, will have equal treatment and equal consideration to being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Subsequently, Alzheimer’s impacts more African Americans and Hispanics than Whites. These minority groups are not treated or diagnosed, primarily due to low patient recruitment and poor coordination between trial sites, reducing drug development innovation. To this end, I will work with multiple health companies and providers to reduce issues regarding knowledgeable staff. Furthermore, many memory care facilities within the Black communities closed because families opted to keep their loved ones in their own homes, where many would die due to a lack of professional care. The facilities that remain open struggled under the weight of financial hardship and operational problems, forcing many healthcare managers to hire less trained staff members to circumvent financial woes. Receiving a health science degree will let me learn the best ways to provide professional health care and provide health care providers with various ways to best manage their staff. My undergraduate degree will provide experiences and opportunities to pursue advanced degrees to uplift minority communities by Promoting public health strategies and community engagement to increase awareness of Alzheimer's Disease, establishing clinical research studies to understand the complexity of the disease in the community by recruiting minority groups that are underrepresented in many AD studies. My efforts to end or slow the progression of AD will positively impact all minorities by narrowing the knowledge and detection gaps, promoting advancing new treatments, and increasing awareness for earlier diagnoses.
      Black Students in STEM Scholarship Fund
      As a female who has attended predominantly White institutions my whole life, attending an HBCU, specifically Spelman College, is a breath of fresh air that would be my best self in the best way possible. All in all, attending Spelman College will help me flourish to express myself and not feel like the minority in group settings. Unlike being in a school setting with major white students, I get to surround myself with people who are like me and accurately learn about my African-American culture. No microaggressions, no racist undertones when discussing history or other social issues. I also want to attend a historically black college because I can be myself unapologetically. I always felt uncomfortable in my skin, and I didn’t like my dark complexion and curly hair. Being unapologetic can be challenging, especially when you are in a majority White community. As I got older I realized, why do I apologize for being me? Being in a nurturing, supportive environment will help me achieve three goals in the future: promoting public health strategies and community engagement principles to raise awareness of Alzheimer's, investigating how 3-D games can improve the memory performance of middle-aged people with and without Alzheimer's, and support Alzheimer patients through a difficult and deadly disease.
      Bold Great Minds Scholarship
      A historical figure that I admire is Alois Alzheimer. Alois Alzheimer was the catalyst in the world of neurology, specifically Alzheimer's disease. He was a neuropathologist and psychiatrist. When doing brain research in a German asylum, he took interest in the cerebral cortex of the human brain. During his time there, he observed an unknown disease of the cerebral cortex from a patient, Auguste D. Alzheimer observed that the disease had symptoms of hallucinations and memory loss. After Auguste D passed away, an autopsy showed many different abnormalities in the cerebral cortex. Alzheimer also observed that the brain had nerve tangles, commonly found in Alzheimer's disease. It is also admirable that the current diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is still based on the investigative methods used during his ground-breaking research; it gives insight into the quality of the research on Alzheimer's that I want to change. His discovery fueled my interest in Alzheimer's disease and ways to combat it. His discovery also spiraled into me advocating for Alzheimer's disease throughout my high school career and creating informational projects through different mediums. I intensively researched different Alzheimer’s treatments, why they failed, and the components of the treatments. I also researched the new treatment that came out in 2021, aducanumab. Most importantly, I wanted to fully understand what happens to people who develop this dreadful disease and develop protocols to either slow or prevent the progression of this disease. Alois Alzheimer made me desire to achieve three goals: promoting public health strategies and community engagement principles to raise awareness of Alzheimer's, and investigating how 3-D games can improve the memory performance of middle-aged people with and without Alzheimer's.
      Taylor Ibarrondo Memorial Scholarship
      In second grade, my teacher paired me with another student in class for a group activity but I was so shy I could barely speak to participate. Every time I would try to form words with my mouth, the words just wouldn’t come. I hated not being able to talk around others because of my timidness. Shy, reserved, quiet, were all adjectives that my fellow students would use to describe me. Yet, I just needed an outlet to express the creativity, humor, and confidence that I knew were inside me. I tried multiple activities such as dance and sports but they didn’t seem to help me gain the confidence to come out of my shell. However, one school lunch period in eighth grade changed my dilemma, presenting me with the opportunity to find my “voice” and self-expression. I was sitting at the front of the middle school cafeteria, when I spotted a flag and sign near a table that said, “Join Colorguard!” in big, bold letters. I saw students swarm to the table asking many questions, including myself. I wasn’t familiar with what Colorguard was, but I wanted a flyer because I was curious: What can you do with a six-foot pole and three feet of silk in Colorguard? Turns out a lot, I soon found out. When I came home from school, I found on the internet what Colorguard is, a search that led me down a rabbit hole of sports halftime video shows. I was in awe of what could be done with Colorguard in making such events come alive in dramatic ways. The coordinated, majestic, dazzling pageantry that was possible. I said to myself, “That’s what I want to do”. Later, as soon as I tried out for Colorguard at my high school and made the team, I felt so energized and alive like never before. After a year of being on the team, I was one of the main members to receive solos, duets, and trios. I was a part of Colorguard in the marching band from freshman year until my senior year. Colorguard didn’t just show me how to toss flags and weapons in the air, it taught me self-confidence. Performing at shows before large crowds and doing what I love to do as a team member has allowed me to showcase everything that I wanted people to perceive me as: passionate, fearless, driven, and hard-working. When I tossed my flag in the air for the first time in the football stadium under the bright lights with hundreds of people cheering, I finally knew what I wanted to do for the next three years as a high school student and in my community to help enhance my personal growth. I wanted to be challenged, come up with multiple ways to express myself. Colorguard also sparked a keen interest in me to get involved with hands-on activities within my community, helping me realize that I enjoy being decisive and taking action to help others and improve the environment that I'm in. For example, I’ve used my confidence to create different community service activities, such as my own pen pal system between over 20 high school students, and also between the elderly at two different local senior homes. I’ve also tutored several middle school and elementary school students as part of the Decatur Education Foundation throughout the school year. I am excited to continue to use my confidence, perseverance, and commitment to help others, including as an upcoming college freshman to assist other students and community members to find their voice as I have found mine.
      Rho Brooks Women in STEM Scholarship
      I have always had a keen interest in learning, and have been motivated to engage principals of science and mathematics in a hands-on setting. As a result, I applied to STEM programs every summer, which provided me with opportunities to interact with many different people from around the world. I am a self-motivated and goal-driven person who wants to make a difference. Surprisingly, COVID-19 has positively impacted me. The global pandemic led to connections, and support in different organizations including the Decatur Education Foundation and Red Cross. I used leadership skills to provide support to families having difficulties throughout the pandemic. For instance, I worked to enhance a child's self-esteem and improve academic capabilities through tutoring. I also created a variety of activities for the elderly. Although being in isolation and taking virtual classes were not ideal, those factors led me to reach out to new people and form meaningful relationships. My grandfather, who died of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), had an enormous impact on my life because he inspired me to believe that education and community mobilization are catalases to fight health inequities and illness in this country. After his death, I was influenced to volunteer to work with a neuroscientist at Emory University and pursue the Neuroscience BS/MS Program at Spelman College to learn how to prevent and effectively treat AD. For years, I hopelessly watched my grandfather slowly deteriorate from AD. Now, I understand why doctors call this dreadful disease the “long goodbye.” My interest in neuroscience occurred before my grandfather lost his battle with AD. Sequentially, I became more aware of the health disparities of AD within the small rural town of Rome, Georgia where he lived. The medical communities surrounding Rome are not current on how to treat AD patients effectively. Many Blacks with AD in the town are diagnosed much later than Whites for many reasons, including stigmas. For example, many Blacks are very apprehensive about bringing family members to be evaluated by a qualified physician when they exhibit early signs of dementia. Families pass off the signs of forgetfulness as part of the aging process. This stigma is widely accepted among Black and other minority communities in the United States. Nevertheless, this means minorities are more prone to the progression and advancement of this dreadful disease; thereby, limiting their chances of survival despite advanced treatments. This explains why Blacks have a greater than 50% chance of developing AD in comparison to Whites. While AD cases escalated in Georgia, many memory care facilities within the Black communities closed because families opt to keep their loved ones in their own homes-- where many will die due to lack of professional care. The facilities that remain open, struggled under the weight of financial hardship and operational problems, forcing many healthcare managers to hire less trained staff members to circumvent financial woes. Patients, including my grandfather, suffered because management reduce their social activities, which have been proven to delay the progression of AD. These adverse conditions made my grandfather more vulnerable to stress, depression, and anxiety, which worsen his symptoms. After a 6 month waiting period, my grandfather has transferred an hour away to a predominately Caucasian Alzheimer's memory center that provided better care. Needed progress was short-lived as he died quickly from complications of AD. My undergraduate degree will provide experiences and opportunities to pursue advanced degrees to uplift all communities by executing the following: 1. Promoting public health strategies and new treatments to mitigate the AD crisis its associated stigmas. 2. Establish clinical studies that include minority groups that are underrepresented in many AD studies.
      Stephan L. Daniels Lift As We Climb Scholarship
      This is a remarkable time for neuroscience. With the new millennium upon us—fueled by scientific advances and the public’s increased interest in medicine and wellness—the potential for bettering human health is unequaled in history. This climate encourages me to become a neuroscientist. Now that I have been accepted at Spelman College and its Honors Program my journey is about to begin. Why I am pursuing this challenging field of science? My answers are twofold: It fits my personality and personal experience with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). I am an avid learner who focuses on understanding problems. If I am not able to solve a puzzle, I am compelled to continue searching for a solution. I am aware of the challenges facing the neuroscience profession, but ironically, these same challenges are what makes this profession so rewarding and which will continue to drive me to better understand the brain and human illnesses. For years, I hopelessly watched my grandfather slowly deteriorate from AD. Now, I understand why doctors call this dreadful disease the “long goodbye.” My interest in neuroscience occurred before my grandfather lost his battle with AD. Sequentially, I became more aware of the health disparities of AD within the small rural town of Rome, Georgia where he lived. The medical communities surrounding the town are not current on how to effectively treat AD patients. Many Blacks with AD in the town are diagnosed much later in comparison to Whites for a multitude of reasons, including stigmas. For example, many Blacks are very apprehensive about bringing family members to be evaluated by a qualified physician when they exhibit early signs of dementia. Families pass off the signs of forgetfulness as part of the aging process. This stigma is widely accepted among Black and other minority communities in the United States. Nevertheless, this means minorities are more prone to the progression and advancement of this dreadful disease; thereby, limiting their chances of survival despite advanced treatments. This explains why Blacks have a greater than 50% chance of developing AD in comparison to Whites. While AD cases escalated in Georgia, many memory care facilities within the Black communities closed because families opt to keep their loved ones in their own homes-- where many will die due to lack of professional care. The facilities that remain open, struggled under the weight of financial hardship and operational problems, forcing many healthcare managers to hire less trained staff members to circumvent financial woes. Patients, including my grandfather, suffered because management reduce their social activities, which have been proven to delay the progression of AD. Sadly, these adverse conditions made my grandfather more vulnerable to stress, depression, and anxiety, which worsen his symptoms. After a 6 month waiting period, my grandfather was transferred an hour away to a predominately Caucasian Alzheimer's memory center that provided better care. Needed progress was short-lived as he died quickly from complications of AD. Alzheimer’s is a complex disease and we need the brightest scientists working to find a cure and reduce its health disparities. These conditions can be resolved by galvanizing our communities. My degree will provide experiences and opportunities to pursue advanced degrees to uplift all communities by executing three goals: 1. Promote public health strategies and community engagement principles to mitigate the AD crisis. 2. Establish clinical research studies to understand the complexity of the disease in the community by recruiting minority groups that are underrepresented in many AD studies. 3. Empower, teach, and mobilizes all community groups on preventing and reducing AD threats by educating them on proper nutrition, stress reduction, and managing chronic diseases.
      Kenyada Me'Chon Thomas Legacy Scholarship
      This is a remarkable time for neuroscience. With the new millennium upon us—fueled by scientific advances and the public’s increased interest in medicine and wellness—the potential for bettering human health is unequaled in history. This climate encourages me to become a neuroscientist. My recent acceptance to Spelman College and the Honors Program aligns with my goals to pursue the Neuroscience BS/MS Program, engage in research studies with surrounding medical schools, and attend medical school thereafter. I am pursuing this challenging field of science to gain answers after my grandfather lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). For years, I watched his mind and body deteriorate, while social issues (e.g. health disparities) associated with AD escalate in the small rural town of Rome, Georgia where he lived. Now, I understand why the medical field needs more understanding and empathetic doctors. Medical communities surrounding the town are not current on how to treat AD patients effectively. Many African American people with AD in the town are diagnosed much later than Whites for many reasons, including stigmas. For example, many Blacks are very apprehensive about bringing family members to be evaluated by a qualified physician when they exhibit early signs of dementia. Families dismiss the signs of forgetfulness as part of the aging process. This stigma is widely accepted among Black and other minority communities in the United States and around the world. Nevertheless, this means minorities are prone to progression and advancement of this dreadful disease; thereby, limiting their chances of survival despite advanced treatments. This is one reason Blacks have a greater than 50% chance of developing AD in comparison to Whites. While AD cases escalated in Georgia, many memory care facilities within the Black communities closed because families opt to keep loved ones in their own homes-- where many will die due to lack of professional care. The facilities that remain open, struggled under the weight of financial hardship and operational problems, forcing many healthcare managers to hire less trained staff members to circumvent financial woes. Patients, including my grandfather, suffered because management reduce their social activities, which have been proven to delay the progression of AD. Sadly, these adverse conditions made my grandfather more vulnerable to stress, depression, and anxiety, which worsen his symptoms. After a 6 month waiting period, my grandfather was transferred an hour away to a predominately White Alzheimer's memory center that provided better care. Needed progress was short-lived as he died quickly from complications of AD. Alzheimer’s is a complex disease that impacts more than 55 million worldwide. On a global scale, 75% of AD are not treated or diagnosed, primarily due to low patient recruitment and poor coordination between trial sites, thereby reducing drug innovation. To this end, we need the brightest scientists to find a cure and reduce its associated social issues, which must start by galvanizing our communities. My undergraduate degree will provide experiences and opportunities to pursue advanced degrees to uplift all communities by executing three goals: 1. Promote public health strategies and community engagement principles to mitigate the AD crisis. 2. Establish clinical research studies to understand the complexity of the disease in the community by recruiting minority groups that are underrepresented in many AD studies. 3. Empower, teach, and mobilizes all community groups on preventing and reducing AD threats by educating them on proper nutrition, stress reduction, and managing chronic diseases.
      Tanya C. Harper Memorial SAR Scholarship
      I have always had a keen interest in learning, and have been motivated to engage principals of science and mathematics in a hands-on setting. As a result, I applied to STEM programs every summer, which provided me opportunities to interact with many different people from around the world. I am a self-motivated and goal-driven person who wants to make a difference. Surprisingly, COVID-19 has positively impacted me. The global pandemic led to connections, and support in different organizations including the Decatur Education Foundation and Red Cross. I used leadership skills to provide support to families having difficulties throughout the pandemic. For instance, I worked to enhance a child's self-esteem and improve academic capabilities through tutoring. I also created a variety of activities for the elderly. Although being in isolation and taking virtual classes were not ideal, those factors led me to reach out to new people and form meaningful relationships. What inspires me to become a better person is to make positive changes in myself while influencing others. Before high school, I was a timid person. However I challenged myself, and . for three years, I was color guard section leader for Decatur High. I developed strong interpersonal skills such as integrity, problem-solving, and communication skills. I used this opportunity to empower and motivate my team to win numerous state and national competitions. My recent acceptance to Spelman College and the Honors Program aligns with my goals to pursue the Neuroscience BS/MS Program, engage in research studies with surrounding medical schools, and attend medical school thereafter. I am pursuing this challenging field of science to gain answers after my grandfather lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). For years, I watched our relationship slip away. While health disparities associated with AD escalate in the small rural town of Rome, Georgia where he lived. Now, I understand why the medical field needs more understanding and empathetic doctors. Medical communities surrounding the town are not current on how to effectively treat AD patients. In fact, many African American people with AD in the town are diagnosed much later in comparison to Whites for a multitude of reasons, including stigmas. For example, many Blacks are very apprehensive about bringing family members to be evaluated by a qualified physician when they exhibit early signs of dementia. Families dismiss the signs of forgetfulness as part of the aging process. This stigma is widely accepted among Black and other minority communities in the United States and around the world. Nevertheless, this means minorities are prone to progression and advancement of this dreadful disease; thereby, limiting their chances of survival despite advanced treatments. This is one reason Blacks have a greater than 50% chance of developing AD in comparison to Whites. Alzheimer’s is a complex disease that impacts more than 55 million worldwide. On a global scale, 75% of AD are not treated or diagnosed, primarily due to low patient recruitment and poor coordination between trial sites; thereby, reducing innovation of drug developments. To this end, I am committed to developing a shared global computer network of clinic trials (all minorities will be included) and new therapies that will generate scientific information from a robust database. Although challenging, my efforts will positively impact all healthcare sectors. I will end or slow the progression of AD by narrowing the knowledge and detection gap by advancing new treatments, awareness, and earlier diagnosis for all people worldwide. I envision this network will incorporate access to groundbreaking technology and advances in rural communities and should improve patient care.
      Eleven Scholarship
      In second grade, my teacher paired me with another student in class for a group activity but I was so shy I could barely speak to participate. Every time I would try to form words with my mouth, the words just wouldn’t come. As a young child, I hated not being able to talk around others because of my timidness. Shy, reserved, quiet, were all adjectives that my friends and fellow students would use to describe me. Yet, I just needed an outlet to express the creativity, humor, and confidence that I knew were inside me. I tried multiple activities such as dance and sports but they didn’t seem to help me gain the confidence to come out of my shell. However, one lunch period in eighth grade changed my dilemma, my “voice” and presenting me the opportunity to find self-expression. I was sitting at the front of the middle school cafeteria, when in the cafeteria I spotted a flag and a sign next to a table that said, “Join Colorguard!” in big, bold letters. I saw students swarm to the table asking many questions, including myself. I wasn’t familiar with what Colorguard was, but I wanted a flyer because I was curious: What can you do with a six-foot pole and three feet of silk? When I came home from school, I looked up on the internet what Colorguard is and my search took me down a rabbit hole of sports halftime video shows. I was in awe of what could be done with Colorguard in making such events come alive in dramatic ways -- the coordinated, majestic, dazzling pageantry that was possible. It put me in a trance. I indulged myself in numerous videos of people talking about their experience with Colorguard. I said to myself, “That’s what I want to do”. When I made the team, I felt so energized and alive like never before. After a year of being on the team, I was one of the main members to receive solos. I was a part of Colorguard in marching band from freshman year until my senior year. Colorguard didn’t just show me how to toss flags and weapons in the air, it taught me self-confidence. Performing at shows before large crowds and doing what I love to do as a team member has allowed me to showcase everything that I wanted people to perceive me as: passionate, fearless, driven, and hard-working. When I tossed my flag in the air for the first time in the football stadium under the bright lights with hundreds of people cheering, I finally knew what I wanted to do for the next three years as a student, and in my community to help enhance my personal growth. I wanted to be challenged, come up with multiple ways to express myself. Colorguard also sparked an interest in me to get involved with hands-on activities within my community, helping me realize that I enjoy being decisive and taking action to help others and improve the environment that I'm in. For example, I’ve used my confidence to create different community service activities, such as my own pen pal system between over 20 high school students, and also between the elderly in two different local senior homes. I’ve also tutored several middle school and elementary school students as part of the Decatur Education Foundation throughout the school year. I am excited to provide my confidence, perseverance, and commitment to others. Not only as a student but also as a participant in community service, helping others find their voice as I have found mine.
      Scholarship Institute Future Leaders Scholarship
      In the marching band, I played two integral roles: Colorguard member and a leader. In both roles, I helped newcomers learn the basic skills of the flag, dance, and rifle as a rank leader. Furthermore, I had the privilege to motivate and improve their techniques and skills, provide positive influences of being a good leader, role model, and provide them with a moral compass. My positive attributes were very influential toward building better team members and performers resulting in ranking high in marching band competitions, and awards. Additionally, in my second season of marching band, specifically in colorgaurd, several leadership members and I noticed an experienced teammate wasn’t providing positive criticism towards other members in training. Normally, the person in question was not only a skillful performer, but she always tried to be helpful and considerate toward other colorguard members in training. However, on this particular day, she executed poor judgment and displayed a negative attitude towards her teammates. At this point, I knew this situation was immoral. To this end, I immediately informed the captains and other members in leadership; they didn’t seem to mind the issue because the person had good techniques and was proficient at what she did. However, it didn’t override the fact that they had a negative mental outlook when critiquing and helping other members. I had to convince them that it is not morally right to overlook the problem just because of her experience and let the member continue being rude because no one should be treated that way. I had to be honest with her that just because she is an experienced performer doesn’t mean that she can treat others in a negative way. I had to be honest and have a sense of a moral compass to decide whether to follow leadership and ignore the problem, or hold her accountable for her actions and let her know that her actions can negatively affect others. I had to make the correct, moral decision to hold the member accountable because as a team, they need to provide a positive mindset and be encouraging towards others. As part of a Key Club member, I had the privilege of assisting with the medical process for children participating in the Special Olympics. Many of the children were afraid of the medical staff and the physical procedures. To ease the tension, I used my comedic skills, which are usually hidden, by telling them funny stories about me; thereby, creating a positive dialogue between them and myself. When all the children completed their medical processes, they all said that I made them feel better when I talked to them and treated them like anyone else, which many neurotypicals do not do.