For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Andre Allen

1525

Bold Points

9x

Nominee

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I was born a micro-preemie weighing 1 lb. 7 oz. At birth, I was so tiny that my entire hand fit through my dad’s wedding ring. I endured a major surgery before I weighed two pounds. After three months in the hospital, I got to go home. Starting school, however, presented new challenges. By third grade, I still could barely read or write. Spelling and reading comprehension was a significant struggle. Homework that should have taken me 15 minutes took hours, and no matter how hard I studied, I was not earning the grades I hoped for. Finally, after years of frustration in school, I was tested for learning differences and diagnosed with moderate to severe dyslexia with ADHD and attention glitches. Once certain of my dyslexia, my parents were intentional about attaining the learning support I would need to succeed in school. However, even with learning support at my school, I still struggled to read and write by fifth grade. At that time, my parents committed to finding a school community that understood my challenges, embraced my strengths, and could help me reach my full potential. I believe our world has enough of the ‘same’ kind of people. I overcame challenges in my life, including dyslexia, because of my differences. The ability to think beyond the norm to solve problems, imagine new ways to meet my goals, and push through adversity have helped me become the best version of myself.

Education

McDaniel College

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
  • Minors:
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other

Archbishop Spalding High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
    • Biochemical Engineering
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
    • Marine Sciences
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Health, Wellness, and Fitness

    • Dream career goals:

      Establish my own non-profit organization helping youth with learning differences such as dyslexia.

    • Food Service Provider

      Chick-Fil-A
      2021 – Present3 years

    Sports

    Wrestling

    Varsity
    2018 – Present6 years

    Football

    Junior Varsity
    2018 – Present6 years

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Claggett Farms — Farmer Assistant
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Marlboro Boys and Girls Club — Camp Counselor
      2018 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Happy Helpers
      2022 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Henry Bynum, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
    “Your son may never walk or talk.” That was what doctors told my parents to expect of my life when I was born a micro-preemie weighing 1 lb. 7 oz. I was so tiny that my entire hand fit through my dad’s wedding ring at birth. I endured a life-saving surgery before I weighed two pounds. Finally, after three months in the hospital, I got to go home. Then, several years later, I proved the doctors wrong when I began playing sports. Starting school, however, presented new challenges. By third grade, I could barely read or write. Homework that should have taken me 15 minutes took hours. Finally, after years of frustration, I was tested for learning differences and diagnosed with moderate to severe dyslexia with ADHD and attention glitches. Once I was sure of my dyslexia, my parents sacrificed everything to send me to schools that taught kids like me. They set aside their dreams and plans to afford the $30,000 yearly tuition, including selling their home, downsizing, and moving into a shared space with family. Over the years, these tuition and fees have cost over $130,000. As a result, my family has faced challenges in saving for my college education. Despite lifelong challenges with dyslexia, I have earned success in academics and athletics. In my senior year of high school, I achieved a long-time goal of membership in the National Honor Society and finished high school as a top ten wrestler in my weight class in Maryland. In addition, I recently concluded my first year at McDaniel College with a 3.58 cumulative GPA. Dyslexia has not hindered me. Instead, it has been a gift that has empowered me to think beyond the norm to solve problems, imagine new ways to meet my goals and push through adversity to become the best version of myself. Representation matters, so beyond earning my college degree, I dream of helping my community by establishing two non-profits. The first will involve empowering the youth in my community with learning differences similar to mine by providing knowledge-based resources and scholarships to assist with tutoring or other academic support they require—seeing people who look and learn like you is a significant motivator. The second non-profit will support kids and parents of children born prematurely, such as myself. Furthermore, I plan to help my community by continuing to volunteer at summer camps and practices with my local Boys and Girls Club wrestling program, which I have done for the last six years. In addition, I hope to inspire others like me to focus on their strengths instead of shortcomings to reach their full potential. I believe a Henry Bynum, Jr. Memorial Scholarship will assist me in fulfilling these goals. I have endured so much in my first 19 years; during this time, I’ve faced physical and academic challenges and persevered through them all. For these reasons, I am confident I am a great candidate for the Henry Bynum, Jr. Memorial Scholarship. I am applying because the scholarship money will tremendously impact me to continue my educational journey to give back to my community and uplift others with learning differences. Opportunities like the Henry Bynum, Jr. Memorial Scholarship help put college within reach for students like me who have persevered in meeting their goals. In addition, this award would help me fulfill my college financial obligation and be a blessing to my parents as they reestablish their own lives after dedicating it all to me. For these reasons, I am honored to be able to apply for Henry Bynum, Jr. Memorial Scholarship and continue my educational journey.
    Bookman 5 Scholarship
    “Your son may never walk or talk.” That was what doctors told my parents to expect of my life when I was born a micro-preemie weighing 1 lb. 7 oz. I was so tiny that my entire hand fit through my dad’s wedding ring at birth. I then endured a life-saving surgery before I weighed two pounds. Finally, after three months in the hospital, I got to go home. Then several years later, I proved the doctors wrong when I began playing sports and attending school. Elementary school, however, presented new challenges. By third grade, I could barely read or write. Homework that should have taken me 15 minutes took hours. Finally, after years of frustration, I was tested for learning differences and diagnosed with moderate to severe dyslexia with ADHD and attention glitches. Once sure of my dyslexia, my parents sacrificed everything to send me to schools that taught kids like me. They set aside their dreams and plans to afford the $30,000 yearly tuition, including selling their home, downsizing, and moving into a shared space with family. Over the years, these tuitions and fees have cost over $150,000 and made it impossible to save for my college education. Despite lifelong challenges with dyslexia, I have persevered through them all and earned success in academics and athletics, including achieving a long-time goal of membership in the National Honor Society and graduating high school with a 3.72 cumulative GPA. Obtaining higher education is essential to me because representation matters. Beyond earning my college degree, I dream of establishing a nonprofit that empowers the youth with learning differences—seeing people who look and learn like you are a significant motivator. In addition, I hope to inspire others like me to focus on their strengths instead of shortcomings to reach their full potential. Dyslexia has not hindered me. Instead, it has been a gift that has empowered me to think beyond the norm to solve problems and imagine new ways to meet my goals. My challenges have taught me to push through adversity to become the best version of myself and prepared me for the challenges I will face over the next four years as I pursue a degree in Biomedical Science from McDaniel College. I am applying for the Bookman 5 Scholarship because the money will have a tremendous impact in affording me the ability to continue my educational journey to give back to my community and uplift others with learning differences. Opportunities like the Bookman 5 Scholarship help put college within reach for students like me who have shown perseverance in overcoming obstacles to meet their goals. In addition, this award would help me fulfill my college financial obligation and be a blessing to my parents as they reestablish their own lives after dedicating it all to me. For these reasons, I am honored to be able to apply for the Bookman 5 Scholarship and continue my educational journey.
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    Winner
    “Your son may never walk or talk.” That was what doctors told my parents to expect of my life when I was born a micro-preemie weighing 1 lb. 7 oz. I was so tiny that my entire hand fit through my dad’s wedding ring at birth. I endured a life-saving surgery before I weighed two pounds. Finally, after three months in the hospital, I got to go home. Then several years later, I proved the doctors wrong. Although I experienced delays in my speech and fine motor skills, I learned to play sports and was one of the more vocal kids on my teams and in my classroom. Starting school, however, presented new challenges. By third grade, I still could barely read or write. Spelling and reading comprehension was a significant struggle. Homework that should have taken me 15 minutes took hours, and no matter how hard I studied, I was not earning the desired grades. Finally, after years of frustration in school, I was tested for learning differences and diagnosed with moderate to severe dyslexia with ADHD and attention glitches. Upon receiving my diagnosis, I felt a sense of relief! Once confident of my dyslexia, my parents were intentional about attaining the learning support I needed to succeed in school. However, even with learning support, I still struggled to read and write by fifth grade. At that time, my parents committed to finding a school community that understood my challenges, embraced my strengths, and could help me reach my full potential. My transition to The Summit School changed everything. I learned to read, but more importantly, I learned what I needed to succeed. For as far back as I could remember, my weaknesses were what had always defined me in school. At Summit, it was the opposite. The teachers emphasized focusing on your strengths and using those things to overcome shortcomings and get things done in different ways. Although finding ‘my village’ at Summit was life-changing, it did not come without a cost. My parents and I have experienced prolonged financial setbacks due to the cost of my educational needs. After my diagnosis, my parents sacrificed everything for me to attend the Summit School to help me reach my full potential. They put their dreams and plans aside to afford the $30,000 yearly tuition, including selling their home, downsizing, and moving into a shared space with our family. Unfortunately, over many years, these tuitions and fees have cost over $130,000 and have made it impossible to save for my college education. My ability and willingness to persevere is the quality I most admire about myself. Despite my health and learning challenges, I have earned success in both academics and athletics, including recently achieving a long-time goal of membership in the National Honor Society. I am also among the top ten wrestlers in my weight class in Maryland. Dyslexia has not hindered me. Instead, it has been a gift that has empowered me to think beyond the norm to solve problems, imagine new ways to meet my goals, and push through adversity to become the best version of myself. Perseverance will help me in my life journey as I pursue a degree in Biomedical Science and pursue my dream of establishing a nonprofit that empowers the youth of color with learning differences—seeing people who look and learn like you are a significant motivator. In addition, I hope to inspire others like me to focus on their strengths instead of shortcomings to reach their full potential. I believe my ability to persevere will assist me in fulfilling these goals.