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Angel Akujor

5245

Bold Points

46x

Nominee

8x

Finalist

2x

Winner

Bio

Who would want to be a lawyer and a nurse? Well, let me introduce you to her. I am Angel: a three-job working woman who is on a mission to make a positive impact in various realms. I've had the incredible opportunity to serve as both mentor and ambassador at the International Business and Marketing Academy, where I channel my passion into guiding and inspiring individuals on their journeys. I've taken the initiative to found a volunteer organization, embodying my commitment to engaging lower-income youth in creating positive change. My journey has also led me to work as a psychiatric technician, providing care and support to vulnerable populations while gaining valuable insights into the complexities of mental health. Leading with compassion instead of judgment has been my greatest strength. Looking ahead, I hold a strong desire to attend law school after completing nursing school. My goal is clear: to serve and protect intellectually disabled individuals, advocating for their rights in every way possible. Growing up as a caretaker of sorts for a younger relative, I quickly learned that people with special needs are taken advantage of very often; I hope to do something to change that.

Education

Western Governors University

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing

Houston Community College

Associate's degree program
2020 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Nurse & Attorney

    • Direct Care Staff

      Clear Vision Youth Center
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Resident Assistant

      Landon Ridge Independent Living
      2023 – 20241 year
    • Nurse Extern

      HCA Healthcare
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Mental Health Technician

      West Oaks Hospital
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Team Member

      Chick-Fil-A
      2021 – 20221 year

    Sports

    Volleyball

    Junior Varsity
    2017 – 20181 year

    Arts

    • Lunches of Love Volunteer

      Drawing
      2019 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Mission Centers of Houston — Missionary
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Lunches of Love — Organizing and decorating lunch bags
      2019 – 2021

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Entrepreneurship

    Dr. Samuel Attoh Legacy Scholarship
    The power of legacy has been tried-and-tested for centuries. Its ability to dictate emperors, mighty men of battle, and more prove it to be formidable. Contrary to the complexity of its power, its meaning is quite plain. Legacy is simply a foundation. I like to think of it as two men building a house. The first laying the foundation and the second building the home upon it. Say the first man does an amazing job, his focus and attention to detail creating an amazing foundation. As a result, while the second man still has work to do, the effort he must put in is far less exhausting. This does not mean that he may not still butcher the home, but that it would almost require effort to do so. Now, when we apply this analogy a bit differently it looks something like this. Say that the first man struggled while building the foundation. His hands fell short of the glory it deserved. The second man must now work vigorously to build upon an unstable foundation. Meanwhile others laugh and scoff at what they presume is sheer laziness, all none the wiser to the fact that they could not be further from the truth. In reality, he was doing almost twice the work, just with half the results. But other than him who would know? After all, they could not see his foundation. This is what my heart beats for. It is my genuine desire to unveil what lies behind so many broken homes. To wipe the shame and hopelessness from those who have been shunned and taunted. The saying, “the youth is the future” is a phrase that I do not take lightly. When I think of the youth, I do not solely think about the ones with great grades, amazing social lives, and phenomenal parents. I also think about the youth who have fallen through the cracks, struggle in class, and may even be in foster care. They too are the future and their destinies are just as impactful as anyone else's. If the hope for the future truly lies in our youth, there is a long bridge we must cross to get there. These youth will become our nation’s adults. Their homes will be judged harshly with few ever seeing the foundations they were given. Throughout the years, I've done plenty of volunteering in my community, even starting my own organization. However, I constantly find myself frustrated when I realize many of the problems my community faces trickle down from the top. While I, and many others, work restlessly to patch up the leaks, the true problem persists. I’ve come to learn and appreciate that to fix a leak, you must fix its source. The system is broken and must be repaired. I want to change this. As we speak, I have progressed through half of nursing school and will begin submitting my applications to law school. While it is an expensive path, so is the price we pay for every day that goes by without change. The African American community has been riddled with ragged foundations that has stifled the buoyant potential we are overflowing with. By repairing the systems where we need them the most, medicine and law, I'd finally be able to serve, protect, and defend my community outright, unapologetically, and with a dutiful vengeance. One day, we will have a generation that will no longer write about what they were able to achieve despite their background because it will no longer be held against them.
    Endia Janel Visionary Women Scholarship
    She Rose in STEAM Scholarship
    I, understanding the taboos of the Black community from a young age, quickly learned to shove my mental health into my back pocket like a crumpled gum wrapper. Unbeknownst to 12-year-old me, hiding the skeletons in my closet didn't make them disappear, but instead, created a mountain of them. Only now, as an adult, have I decided to face the music and face this closet. Am I terrified that I am not enough to unpack it, thus succumbing to an avalanche of skeletons dating back to my early childhood? Why, of course, I am. Do I recognize how worthwhile this journey is and the impact it will have on me? Without a doubt. And that is what keeps me going. I couldn't write this without writing about her. Former Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst, fell victim to her battle against mental illnesses. Her passing led me to write this. It reinforced my realization that I had had enough. Pretending my battles didn't exist didn't heal the wounds I pretended not to feel. Instead, it deepened them. Learning that the beast that ate at me every day also ate away at someone else to such a grave extent ignited a fire I've yet to quench. No more hiding; that was only enabling it. I wanted to face it head-on. Now, unfortunately, this is an issue that is not only found in the Black community but in many minority communities as well. Dismissing mental illnesses is far too common. I've come to learn that we cannot win a battle that we've let taboo convince us doesn't exist. This is the first step, and while it may be difficult, it doesn't have to be ugly. It's okay to say "I'm not okay". Berating ourselves about being tough only gaslights us and enables mental illnesses to run rampant in our communities. Killing the stigma surrounding mental health saves the lives that can fall victim to it at any time. What I've described to you is what has shaped and fueled my dream of continuing my education to one day specialize in treating mental illnesses as a nurse. I want to be a frontline soldier in the war that many are oblivious to. My goal as a nurse specializing in treating mental illnesses is to destigmatize them first and foremost. This cannot be done without education. Misconceptions about mental illnesses can be found in all races and cultural backgrounds and are extremely harmful. Educating people on mental illnesses can bring us to a place where such illnesses can be viewed with as little stigma as physical illnesses, thus heavily increasing their chances of being treated.
    Freddie L Brown Sr. Scholarship
    This may be corny but my sense of humor is my strong suit. I love making people laugh and seeing their grins spread from ear to ear. However, I didn't always like this quality about myself. When they said that comparison was the thief of joy, they sure weren't kidding! By this I mean, I wanted every quality or characteristic that everyone else had. You see, my conversations with God would go a little bit like this, " Ugh, my neighbor Kyle plays basketball, God why couldn't you make me good at sports, you know, something useful!" Or, even a little something like this, "Wow, Mya is so smart, I bet she's going to get so far in life. God, you sure do have favorites." I spent so much time ridiculing and beating myself up about who I was and who others were that I never stopped to think about how great my qualities were. What made me stop? Well, here's what happened. I met Johnathon, a new foreign student at my middle school. He was skinny, around my height, and wore bold glasses thicker than his blazing Vietnamese accent. We stood outside classes together where I'd crack jokes endlessly. I still remember the sound of his laugh and doubt I'll ever forget it. He was extremely bubbly and I loved that about him. At the end of the school year, he ended up leaving. Our school had a website dedicated to students that allowed us to message each other. Johnathon left a message that rocked me to my core. It started off quite normal. He said that he had returned to Vietnam and was grateful for the friendships he'd made. The next sentence is what floored me. "Before I come here, I want to take my life and very depressed. Thank you, everyone for making me laugh and being my friend." I remember reading this, unable to believe the words. I could hear his accent through the screen and it brought me to tears. I never saw it coming. He was just so happy. He was constantly laughing. I was blindsided. I remember how grateful I was that we spoke so often; that he was reminded of the sweet parts of life. They say a day without laughter is a day wasted. But I never thought a simple laugh could save a life. This was when I valued my humor. I always knew I had this gift but always considered it pretty useless and never thought it'd come in handy. Sure, it may not sound as cool as other qualities but I think that's the best part. My story goes to show that any character can be utilized, even the ones that may not sound as cool on paper. Please do not discourage or stunt yourself by believing that one gift is better than another. We all have different gifts that can be used to help ourselves and others. This was the first time that my sense of humor helped me in my journey, and even if it will be the last, it was more than enough. Johnathan, if you somehow find this; remember to live love, and laugh. I wish you the best.
    Sigirci-Jones Scholarship
    My name is Angel Akujor. I graduated from high school in May of 2021 and have since attended Houston Community College where I completed my prerequisites with a 4.0 GPA in all sciences and a 3.8 GPA overall. Watching in awe as my mom packed her lunch before disappearing in the evening and coming home in the morning was my normal. However, I soon learned that nursing was more than the bigger-than-life stories my mom would tell me when she got home, the pretty blue scrubs I saw adorn her, or the fancy clogs I’d secretly slip into when she wasn’t looking. Nursing was much more. I only realized this as my exposure to nursing developed in a fashion I had never expected before. My little brother was diagnosed with Autism. Rocking him to sleep at night because I was the only one who knew how, getting him dressed in the morning and walking him to school while he’d regularly try to run into the street, and navigating communication with a nonverbal child was difficult. Understanding the triggers for explosive tantrums and de-escalation tactics was strenuous, to say the least. I, at the age of 10, became a nurse of sorts. Of course, I had no degree, proper training, or as little as a clue about the NCLEX-RN exam, but I knew what it meant to give my all to take care of someone. I didn’t wear the pretty blue scrubs or fancy clogs I dreamed of, but what I did do was much more rewarding than that. Nurses are caretakers, the voices of the mute and the wounded, and frontline heroes. Caring for my younger brother and hoping that one day there will be adequate resources for others to learn how to do the same for people with intellectual disabilities changed my perspective on the career. This was not the only piece of exposure that gave me a taste of nursing. A few months into 2022, I became a psychiatric technician. It was not long before I found myself entranced with working there. Helping alongside nurses as they aided patients introduced me to a new side of nursing that I absolutely fell in love with. Working as a psychiatric technician and watching the nurses live and in action opened me up to a wide variety of experiences that I believe to be invaluable and ultimately sealed the deal on my dream career. I can attest that my own personal difficulties played a role in my appetite for nursing too. I've faced many obstacles including navigating the loss of a peer that had unfortunately taken his life. These experiences have shaped my career goals and led me to desire to one day specialize in treating mental illnesses as a nurse. I want to be a frontline soldier in a war that many are oblivious to. My goal as a nurse specializing in treating mental illnesses is to destigmatize them first and foremost. This cannot be done without education. Misconceptions about mental illnesses can be found in all races and cultural backgrounds and are extremely harmful. Educating people on mental illnesses can bring us to a place where such illnesses can be viewed with as little stigma as physical illnesses, thus heavily increasing their chances of being treated.
    Act Locally Scholarship
    We've all been told the same thing from a young age, "Help others". These words, however, have shifted in meaning over the years. What does it really mean to help others? What does it even look like? To many, it's some task requiring Hercules-like strength and hours upon hours of meticulous planning. And to be quite fair, can you blame them? Watching the news daily and seeing the numerous problems that plague our world can make us feel helpless. How can I, someone so small, help out with a problem so big? And if I do help out, who's to say it'd even make a difference? And if I make a difference, I'd probably have to put a lot of effort into it; I just don't have that kind of time! All of this is the rationale that many people have when thinking about helping. They don't have enough time or resources to make any "real" difference so why do anything at all? This is what I want to change. Yes, this. I want the narrative surrounding helping others to shift. It's a common misconception that you must be this whimsical exquisite being without flaws and perform extraordinary tasks before being considered truly helpful. I want you to know that is far from the truth. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to have your life figured out. You, right now, are enough. I started to act on this a few years ago when I started my own organization, Major Moves. I dedicated it to showing the youth in my community that helping doesn't have to be hard. Contacting schools or even churches in your community and asking if you can put a box with a sign that says "Book Drive" on it isn't hard. Telling the schools and churches to let students and members know that they can donate their books in the boxes so that you can send them to those in need isn't hard. Spending a day outdoors with friends and taking an hour out to clean up the area isn't hard. So many people want to help. They are just so overwhelmed with the problems they see that they don't believe they are adequate enough to do anything. And that is the saddest part. I want to be curt. There are people who wake up every day, just like you and I, but there's a key difference between us and them. When they wake up with things that they want to act on, they don't just sit and think about it, they do it. On May 24, 2022, at approximately 11:30 am, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered Robb Elementary School with an AR-15 and killed 19 innocent children who were mere days away from their summer break alongside 2 of their teachers. People like him are the ones that I wish believed that they weren't adequate enough to accomplish the things they wanted to. Why can't people who want to hurt others be the ones to say, "I don't have the time or resources to make a difference. I'm just not enough."? Yet, they never are. It's the people that the world needs who have this mindset instead. Now more than ever, every shred of help this world can get is invaluable. I want, no, need everyone who has the desire to help anyone in any fashion to know that they are making a difference. Helping doesn't have to be hard to be considered helping. I will continue to dedicate my time and energy to spreading this message alongside steps to execute it as well. Adopting this mindset can literally change the world. There is power in understanding how much power you truly have. I just need to teach people how easy, efficient, and valuable that power is to use.
    Women in Sports Scholarship
    Over the years, I've been placed in a multitude of uncomfortable situations. The only way to get through them, I learned, was to grow through them. This was hard for me to come to terms with. I wanted more than anything to open my eyes and see the problems standing before me disappear. But they didn't. Eventually, I learned that they weren't supposed to. The hurdles track runners face when competing don't disappear, they are conquered. As they jump over each hurdle the next becomes easier. Something I never thought would be a hurdle has become an increasingly obvious one to me. It is my gender or at least the people that attempt to use my gender to undermine, oppress, and control me. This realization has pushed me to devote my career to deteriorating the gender disparity that is heavily present in not only my state but in our country as a whole. I am determined to be a part of creating a generation that will no longer write about what they were able to achieve despite their gender because it will no longer be used against them as a hurdle. I hope to achieve this through my degree and how I use it in my career. As we speak, I have a 3.8 GPA and have submitted my applications to nursing school. Before graduating from there, I will submit my application to law school so I can begin studying law with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the fall of 2025. While pursuing this journey in nursing has been strenuous mentally, physically, and financially, I'm trusting the process and have never felt more fulfilled. I've learned that this is an expensive path but so is the price we pay for every day that goes by without change. Throughout the years, I've done plenty of volunteering in my community, even starting my own club. However, I constantly find myself frustrated when I realize many problems trickle down from the top. While I, and many others, work restlessly to patch up the leaks, the true problem persists. I’ve come to learn and appreciate that to fix a leak, you must fix its source. Hearing stories about the number of sexual harassment women in sports are put through and the blatant discrimination that they face is heartbreaking. Having a background in sports and coming from a family with many women who play sports makes me no stranger to the fact that our injuries just aren't taken as seriously as they should be. I'll never forget the gutwrenching case involving Larry Nassar and the hundreds of women that fell victim to his sexual abuse despite the FBI already being notified of these suspicions. These circumstances are sheer proof that the system is broken and in immediate need of repair. By repairing the system from both a medical and legal standpoint, I'd be able to serve, protect, and defend the underserved outright, unapologetically, and with a dutiful vengeance. The journey to a better, more efficient, and equal system has begun and I will use my education to fight for those who can't fight for themselves. Whether it be in the hospital or in the courtroom, I plan to use my degree to help women in sports be exactly who they want to be.
    Learner Statistics Scholarship
    Watching in awe as my mom packed her lunch before disappearing in the evening and coming home in the morning was my normal. However, I soon learned that nursing was more than the bigger-than-life stories my mom would tell me when she got home, the pretty blue scrubs I saw adorn her, or the fancy clogs I’d secretly slip into when she wasn’t looking. Nursing was much more. I only realized this as my exposure to nursing developed in a fashion I had never expected before. My little brother was diagnosed with Autism. Rocking him to sleep at night because I was the only one who knew how, getting him dressed in the morning and walking him to school while he’d regularly try to run into the street, and navigating communication with a nonverbal child was difficult. Understanding the triggers for explosive tantrums and de-escalation tactics was strenuous, to say the least. I, at the age of 10, became a nurse of sorts. Ofcourse, I had no degree, proper training, or as little as a clue about the NCLEX-RN exam, but I knew what it meant to give my all to take care of someone. I didn’t wear the pretty blue scrubs or fancy clogs I dreamed of, but what I did do was much more rewarding than that. Nurses are caretakers, the voices of the mute and the wounded, and frontline heroes. Caring for my younger brother and hoping that one day there will be adequate resources for others to learn how to do the same for people with intellectual disabilities changed my perspective on the career. This was not the only piece of exposure that gave me a taste of nursing. A few months into 2022, I became a psychiatric technician. It was not long before I found myself entranced with working there. Helping alongside nurses as they aided patients introduced me to a new side of nursing that I absolutely fell in love with. Working as a psychiatric technician and watching the nurses live and in action opened me up to a wide variety of experiences that I believe to be invaluable and ultimately sealed the deal on my dream career. I can attest that my own personal difficulties played a role in my appetite for nursing too. I've faced many obstacles including navigating the loss of a peer that had unfortunately taken his life. The only way to get through these obstacles, I learned, was to grow through them. I wanted more than anything to open my eyes and see the problems standing before me disappear. I eventually learned that they weren't supposed to. The hurdles track runners face when competing don't disappear, they are conquered. As they jump over each hurdle, the next becomes easier. Pursuing a degree in nursing has proven itself to be one of the hardest hurdles I've faced yet. However, I am more than certain that doing so will fulfill both the people I care for and myself as well.
    Sikora Drake STEM Scholarship
    Watching my mom hurriedly pack her lunch before disappearing in the evening and returning home from the hospital in the early morning, was my normal. However, I soon learned that nursing was much more than the bigger-than-life stories my mom would tell me when she got home, the pretty blue scrubs I saw adorn her, or even the fancy clogs I’d secretly slip into when she wasn’t looking. Nursing was much more. I only realized this as my exposure to nursing developed in a fashion I had never expected before. My little brother was diagnosed with Autism. Rocking him to sleep at night because I was the only one who knew how to, getting him dressed in the morning and walking him to school while he’d regularly try to run into the street, and navigating the ins and outs of communication with a nonverbal child was difficult. Understanding the triggers for explosive tantrums and de-escalation tactics was strenuous, to say the least. I, at the age of 10, became a nurse of sorts. Of course, I had no degree, proper training, or as little as a clue about the NCLEX-RN exam, but I knew what it meant to give my all to take care of someone. It's what made me want to become a nurse. Throughout the years, I've done plenty of volunteering in my community, even starting my own organization. However, I constantly find myself frustrated when I realize many problems trickle down from the top. While I, and many others, work restlessly to patch up the leaks, the true problem persists. I’ve come to learn that to fix a leak, you must fix its source. I quickly discovered through conversations with black women in my family and later on statistics from the CDC that black women were more likely to die during childbirth. This, oftentimes, occurred after making complaints of discomfort that were unfortunately disregarded. This is just one display of why diversity in the workplace is so important. Let me be frank, contrary to the common belief, much of racism and sexism is not intentional. Many people don't even realize that they are doing it. This makes it so much harder to fix. Many of us have unconscious biases that affect the way we interact with others. Diversity is the solution to this problem. Think about any workplace. Different people are responsible for different tasks. Having one person responsible for every task would be too much for them to handle and they would inevitably fail. People can only truly vouch for their own lives and personal experience. I don't expect an elderly white man from the East Coast to understand all the complexities surrounding what it is like to be a younger black woman in the South and vice versa. Misunderstandings are not always founded in malice but rather plain ignorance and just not knowing. Creating an environment that encourages diversity rids workplaces of this because different people of different backgrounds and lived experiences have someone who understands them. It is unrealistic to expect people from entirely different backgrounds to completely understand each other, even when their intentions are to do so. With diversity, we will be one step closer to filling in the gaps between our healthcare providers and our patients in so many ways.
    Texas Women Empowerment Scholarship
    Over the years, I've been placed in a multitude of uncomfortable situations. The only way to get through them, I learned, was to grow through them. This was hard for me to come to terms with. I wanted more than anything to open my eyes and see the problems standing before me disappear. But they didn't. Eventually, I learned that they weren't supposed to. The hurdles track runners face when competing don't disappear, they are conquered. As they jump over each hurdle the next becomes easier. Something I never thought would be a hurdle has become an increasingly obvious one to me. It is my gender or at least the people that attempt to use my gender to undermine, oppress, and control me. This realization has pushed me to devote my career to deteriorating the gender disparity that is heavily present in not only my state but in our country as a whole. I am determined to be a part of creating a generation that will no longer write about what they were able to achieve despite their gender because it will no longer be used against them as a hurdle. I hope to achieve this through my degree and how I use it in my career. As we speak, I have a 3.8 GPA and have submitted my applications to nursing school. Before graduating from there, I will submit my application to law school so I can begin studying law with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the fall of 2025. While pursuing this journey in nursing has been strenuous mentally, physically, and financially, I'm trusting the process and have never felt more fulfilled. This is because I know this will create a bridge between myself and my community. I've learned that this is an expensive path but so is the price we pay for every day that goes by without change. Throughout the years, I've done plenty of volunteering in my community, even starting my own club. However, I constantly find myself frustrated when I realize many problems trickle down from the top. While I, and many others, work restlessly to patch up the leaks, the true problem persists. I’ve come to learn and appreciate that to fix a leak, you must fix its source. Watching the news and seeing victims of domestic violence being buried after making plenty of unheard complaints is gutwrenching. The lack of action taken to save these women's lives from their abusers is shameful. Hearing stories of women dying after healthcare providers simply didn't listen to their complaints and brushed them off is heartbreaking. Circumstances like this prove to be a constant reminder that the system is broken and in immediate need of repair. By repairing the system from both a medical and legal standpoint, I'd be able to serve, protect, and defend the underserved outright, unapologetically, and with a dutiful vengeance. The journey to a better, more efficient, and equal system has begun and I will use my education to fight for those who can't fight for themselves.
    Wieland Nurse Appreciation Scholarship
    Admiring my mom as she’d hurriedly pack her lunch before disappearing in the evening, returning home from downtown Houston in the early morning, and getting little rest before doing it all again the next day, was my normal. I was utterly fascinated. However, I soon learned that nursing was much more than the bigger-than-life stories my mom would tell me when she got home, the pretty blue scrubs I saw adorn her, or even the fancy clogs I’d secretly slip into when she wasn’t looking. Nursing was so much more. I only realized this as my exposure to nursing developed in a fashion I had never expected before. My little brother was diagnosed with Autism. Rocking him to sleep at night because I was the only one that knew how to, getting him dressed in the morning and walking him to school while he’d regularly try to run into the street, and navigating the ins and outs of communication with a nonverbal child was difficult. Understanding the triggers for explosive tantrums was strenuous, to say the least. I, at the age of 10, became a nurse of sorts. Of course, I had no degree, proper training, or as little as a clue about the NCLEX-RN exam, but I knew what it meant to give your all to take care of someone. I didn’t wear the pretty blue scrubs or fancy clogs I dreamed of, but what I did do was much more rewarding than that. Caring for my younger brother and hoping that one day there will be adequate resources for others to learn how to do the same for people with intellectual disabilities changed my perspective on the career. This was not the only piece of exposure that gave me a taste of nursing. A few months into 2022, I became a psychiatric technician at a mental health hospital. It was not long before I found myself entranced with working there. Helping alongside nurses as they aided patients during medical code blues introduced me to a new side of nursing that I absolutely fell in love with. Working as a psychiatric technician and watching the nurses live and in action opened me up to a wide variety of experiences that I believe to be invaluable and ultimately sealed the deal on my dream career. A combination of my experience working at a psychiatric treatment facility, admiring my mom, and my background caring for a child with an intellectual disability fueled my drive to become an RN. Discovering my passion for the career and the need for it as well brought me to the realization that it was the job for me. However, I can attest that my own personal difficulties played a role in my appetite for nursing too. As a child, I faced many obstacles ranging from low self-esteem to navigating the loss of a peer that had unfortunately taken his life. The only way to get through these obstacles, I learned, was to grow through them. This was hard for me to come to terms with. I wanted more than anything to open my eyes and see the problems standing before me disappear. But they didn't. Eventually, I learned that they weren't supposed to. The hurdles track runners face when competing don't simply disappear, they are conquered. As they jump over each hurdle, the next becomes easier. Pursuing a degree in nursing has proven itself to be one of the hardest hurdles I've faced yet. However, I am more than certain that doing so will fulfill both the people I care for and myself as well.
    Learner Math Lover Scholarship
    You're standing in front of the cashier, money in hand, and then you freeze as you try adding up your change. What about when you get headaches after your pharmacist accidentally placed too few pills in your prescription bottle? Or, what about when you're driving across a bridge and it collapses after a few mathematical errors were made while constructing it. Whether you hate her or love her, math is important. Every scenario described shows you why because they all involve math. From everyday inconveniences to life-changing accidents, math plays a major role. We are reminded of how essential math is at every second of every day. To be completely forthcoming, my love for math hasn't always been as such. We've definitely had a tumultuous relationship with ups and downs. It was all fine and dandy until they wanted to start throwing letters in the bunch. I'll be honest, I think my enmity towards math came from a place of confusion. I just didn't understand its relevance. I mean sure, the basics mattered, but why the letters? "Instead of asking me to find "x", how about explaining "y" I should care", my group of friends and I would joke. My relationship with math only improved and eventually flourished once I found myself in a love triangle of sorts. Yes, you read right, a love triangle. You see, I was hopelessly in love with science. Unbeknownst to me until the 9th grade, science was hopelessly in love and intertwined with math. You can imagine my frustration. Science and I were getting along just fine and then boom, here comes math to ruin things. Why on earth would a worthwhile subject like science have anything to do with the alphabet soup we call math? Well, it all started coming together as I became interested in the nursing field. Indeed, math was there, lurking at every corner, but I received it with delight this time. It made sense here, and dare I say was even needed. That's when it all clicked. This is what my math teachers were trying to teach me. Behind every exponent, PEMDAS lesson, and algebraic equation was a need. Not to be a Full House fanatic, but everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there's a place that needs math. The nursing field is no different. As I learned to appreciate math's capabilities and ubiquity, I began to love it!
    Share Your Poetry Scholarship
    To Be Great I’ve sealed your fate Today is the day You learn to be great Success takes a while For greatness isn’t a hobby It’s a lifestyle Now remember the legends The ones that are late Think Kobe Bryant Think Doris Day They weren’t known For the clothes they wore Or money they owned To be quite frank They were simply great Yet in the blink of an eye They were gone... What are you waiting for Who are you waiting for Why are you waiting When greatness awaits There is no time to waste So what are you waiting for Who are you waiting for Why are you waiting There is no time to waste Now that you know How to be great And remember It's never too late To put practice into place Follow thy heart For that's the first part Learn to have faith Trust that greatness awaits -Angel C. Akujor
    Bold Mentor Scholarship
    While pursuing both nursing, law, and mentorship has been strenuous mentally, physically, and financially, I'm trusting the process and have never felt more fulfilled. This is because I know this will create a bridge between myself and my community, an impact I have already begun to see through the organization I created. It'd be an honor to continue to use my education to help build a fair and equal nation for the next generation. Being the role model I wanted to see growing up would've meant wonders to me. By being this to someone, I believe that they too can be that to someone. Little changes can make big differences when executed with consistency. One day, we will have a generation that will no longer write about what they were able to achieve despite their background because it will no longer be used against them as a hurdle. It may sound far-fetched, brushed off as crazy talk. But isn't that what they said when people wanted to vote despite the color of their skin? Even now, I am writing an essay for a scholarship laying the foundation in which opportunity may blossom. Feats such as these would have easily been scoffed at not too long ago. The presence of this opportunity is evidence enough that little steps make big changes. But not without persistence. This is the impact I hope to have through my mentorship of others. I cannot allude to changing the world by myself and in the blink of an eye through the use of my education. However, I can confidently confirm that passing on the baton to the next generation and teaching them to do the same will build a legacy that bears good fruit and will change the world over time, one day at a time.
    Bold Bravery Scholarship
    I keep pressing onward. Over the years, I've been placed in a multitude of uncomfortable situations. Between a self-sabotaging mindset and a difficult home and school life, my young and admittedly naïve hands were full and flooding with obstacles. The only way to get through them, I learned, was to grow through them. This was hard for me to come to terms with. I wanted more than anything to open my eyes and see the problems standing before me disappear. But they didn't. Eventually, I learned that they weren't supposed to. The hurdles track runners face when competing don't disappear, they are conquered. As they jump over each hurdle the next becomes easier. Pursuing a degree in nursing has proven itself to be one of the hardest hurdles I've faced yet. As we speak, I have rounded up my prerequisites and started preparing my applications to nursing school. Before graduating from there, I will submit my application to law school so I can begin studying law with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the fall of 2025. While pursuing this journey in nursing has been strenuous mentally, physically, and financially, I'm trusting the process and have never felt more fulfilled. This is because I know this will create a bridge between myself and my community. I've learned that this is an expensive path but so is the price we pay for every day that goes by without a change in our communities. Despite my past, despite my pain, and despite the treacherous journey that lies before me, I keep pressing onward and so can you.
    Youssef University’s College Life Scholarship
    I'd set part of it aside to help me get car insurance. I've already saved up enough for the car I plan on getting but I'm having a hard time coming up with the money I need for the insurance. I scored in the 97th percentile for my entrance exam and made a 4.0 in all my prerequisites for nursing school. I think I've got a great chance of being accepted and they only accept 5 people per cycle. I worked really hard to get this far and always believed that hard work pays off. I'm just having a hard time seeing that because without the insurance I won't be able to drive the car and will have no way to get back and forth to school. I wish I could take the metro but it wouldn't take me close enough. I'm hoping that this of all things won't be the setback keeping me from what I worked so hard for so long. I'd use the rest of the money towards tuition. So far, I've applied to over 30 scholarships and am waiting to hear back. Tuition is much more than I can afford if I'm being completely honest with myself. I'm just hoping that the money from this scholarship with help cover its costs. All in all, I want to briefly express my gratitude for you making this scholarship to begin with. Regardless of who wins, you've helped carry the load of the cost of school off someone's shoulder.
    Dashanna K. McNeil Memorial Scholarship
    I, understanding the taboos of the Black community from a young age, quickly learned to shove my mental health into my back pocket like a crumpled gum wrapper. Unbeknownst to 12 year old me, hiding the skeletons in my closet didn't make them disappear, but instead, created a mountain of them. Only now, as an adult, have I decided to face the music and face this closet. Am I terrified that I am not enough to unpack it, thus succumbing to an avalanche of skeletons dating back to my early childhood? Why, of course, I am. Do I recognize how worthwhile this journey is and the impact it will have on me? Without a doubt. And that is what keeps me going. Now, I couldn't write this without writing about her. Former Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst, fell victim to her battle against mental illnesses. Her passing led me to write this. It reinforced my realization that I had had enough. Pretending my battles didn't exist didn't heal the wounds I pretended not to feel. Instead, it deepened them. Learning that the beast that ate at me every day also ate away at someone else to such a grave extent ignited a fire I've yet to quench. No more hiding; that was only enabling it. I wanted to face it head-on. I've come to learn that I, the ones I hold dear, and my community as a whole cannot win a battle that we've let taboo convince us doesn't exist. This is the first step, and while it may be difficult, it doesn't have to be ugly. It's okay to say "I'm not okay". Berating ourselves about being tough only gaslights us and enables mental illnesses to run rampant in our community. Killing the stigma surrounding mental health saves the lives that can fall victim to it at any time. What I've described to you is what has shaped and fueled my dream of continuing my education to one day specialize in treating mental illnesses as a nurse. I want to be a frontline soldier in the war that many are oblivious to. My goal as a nurse specializing in treating mental illnesses is to destigmatize it first and foremost. This cannot be done without education. Misconceptions about mental illnesses can be found in all races and cultural backgrounds and are extremely harmful. Educating people on mental illnesses can bring us to a place where such illnesses can be viewed with as little stigma as physical illnesses, thus heavily increasing their chances of being treated. I do not know who may be reading this or where they may be but I must make it clear. You can make it through this battle. Take it easy and take it one step at a time. If you have any harmful thoughts please don't hesitate to contact 800-273-8255.
    Superfood Lover Scholarship
    My obsession with superfoods has definitely been fueled by my treacherous health journey to fitness. As a very young child, I caught the common cold but was never seriously ill. This changed. Slowly but surely I began to fall ill, first being diagnosed with Asthma and soon after with Iron deficiency anemia at the age of 3. Being the die-hard picky eater that I was, my parents struggled relentlessly and ultimately in vain to try to get me anywhere near my arch-nemesis, vegetables. Yes, I admit, my love for superfoods wasn't always such. I felt as though I didn't need them and spent my early teens brushing off my illnesses as something that could only be eased by medicine. This was until I met a condition medicine had no answer to. I still remember the amount of pain my menstrual cramps would leave me in and how little any medicine would help. Doctor after doctor reassured me that every test in the book, from mammogram to bloodwork, came back negative. I thought this would make me feel relieved, instead, I felt hopeless. A few months ago (yup, my love for superfoods is quite new) I ventured out of my comfort zone and began exploring the world of superfoods; I could not be more grateful. My body has improved in every shape and fashion. Turns out, an excess of sugar combined with a lack of water intake and nutrients found in superfoods can exasperate cramps. Here's why this caught me so off guard. I am a 5'9" 130lb teenager. According to the BMI, I'm a healthy weight. Sure, I wasn't eating too many calories but the calories I was eating came from sugary drinks and food lacking any nutrients. Once I discovered how great superfoods made me physically feel, I just couldn't go back to my days of rarely reaching for them. But, here's the thing, I have these really small dots. They're all over my tongue and I call them tastebuds. Superfoods and my tastebuds don't exactly see eye to eye. My way of fixing this was simple. I became what I like to refer to as a Superfood Junkie by incorporating them into my diet in my own way. I made the foods taste how I wanted them to. For instance, I chop my Brussel sprouts in half, sprinkle some olive oil and salt on them, pop those babies in the oven, and enjoy! Now, this is something I would never expect myself to say but Brussel sprouts are not only my favorite superfood but my favorite food in general. A small tip to anyone reading this and considering venturing into superfoods would be that while they may not be a cure to any and everything, incorporating them into your diet with always act as a benefit rather than a detriment. Remember that incorporating them doesn't require an all-or-nothing approach. Adding your own spin on how you like your food prepared and utilizing balance in your diet is key!
    Jameela Jamil x I Weigh Scholarship
    In my head, he was just a kid in my class and to him, I was probably the same. Come to find out, we were and will always be so much more than that to each other. I'm talking about Johnathon, a new foreign student that I met at my old school. He was skinny, around my height, and wore bold glasses thicker than his blazing Vietnamese accent. We stood outside classes together where I'd crack jokes endlessly. I still remember the sound of his laugh and doubt I'll ever forget it. Its magnitude alone broke through the strength that any language barrier could bear to muster. He was extremely bubbly and I always loved that about him. At the end of the school year, he ended up leaving. Our school had a website dedicated to students and it allowed us to message each other. Johnathon left a message to our class and it rocked me at my core. It started off quite normal. He said that he had returned to Vietnam and was grateful for the friendships he'd made. His next sentence is what floored me. "Before I come here, I want to take my life and was very depressed. Thank you, everyone for making me laugh and being my friend." I remember reading this, unable to believe the words. My mouth fell agape as my palms began sweating while my eyes stung with tears. My throat grew dry as I reread the sentence countless times; I could hear his accent through the screen and it finally brought me to tears. I never would've seen it coming. He was just so happy. He was constantly laughing. I felt blindsided. I remember how grateful I was that we spoke so often; that he was reminded of the sweet parts of life. They say a day without laughter is a day wasted. But I never thought a simple laugh could save a life. And here's the kicker. I was no perfect human. I was ragged, beaten down by the homelife I daydreamed to escape, and downright tired. I wasn't your cookie-cutter hero. And I didn't need to be. It's a common misconception that you must be this whimsical exquisite being without flaws and perform extraordinary tasks before being crowned as an ally. I want you to know that is far from the truth. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to have your life figured out. You, right now, are enough. While I may have unknowingly helped Johnathon through a rough patch in his life, he unknowingly did the same for me. I now know, and will never forget, that I (yes, little old far from perfect, me) can be an ally and so can you.
    Bold Caring for Seniors Scholarship
    A simple hello can go a long way. I think that when people think about helping the elderly, they believe that they must do some extraordinary act that takes an extreme amount of effort. This, more often than not, discourages many from doing anything at all since they believe that the little they can do won't make a difference. I'm here to say it will, even if it's saying a simple hello. I've found that many people forget just how lonely elderly people can get. Many times, their children are grown and no longer living with them. They may not have anyone to speak to on a regular basis. I've heard many youths talk about how, at one point or another, an elder at their job talked their ears off. I'm no stranger to this situation and I believe there's a reason behind its frequent occurrence. If an elderly person doesn't drive, they rarely leave the house. Many don't have a consistent place where they can socialize and talk to people. For younger people, we have school or work. For the lonely elderly, public places are the closest to a place to socialize, and some don't even get to do that very often. I say all this to say, a simple small hello can make a big difference. Being the person to reach out to them and give them the opportunity to have a meaningful or even brief conversation is amazing. I reach out and do this all of the time and the feedback has been great. While I applaud helping the elder in extravagant ways, I always encourage others to remember that there's beauty in the little things!
    Bold Equality Scholarship
    I often describe myself as the perpetual underdog. This is not due to a lack of self-esteem but more so a lack of support after nothing more than my gender or race diminished others' faith in me. The journey I continue to venture into to combat this has been tiresome yet rewarding. It has shown me the importance of incorporating supporting equality and diversity to prevent others from having to venture on this journey, to begin with. For starters, I encourage my peers to not let anyone tell you who you have to be, especially because of your race, gender, age, culture, or upbringing. If there's no space for you, we will make one. The club I started to incorporate underrepresented groups into their school has helped achieve this goal. Next is one I'm sure you've heard before: be the change you want to see. I used to always wonder, "but how". I've come to find out the proof is in the pudding; it's how you live. I've learned that the things I say and do are what inspire people the most. I've become the role model I needed to see. I always tell others not to let this phrase intimidate them. Yes, you are still allowed to make mistakes. You are still human. There is never any shame in apologizing. Matter of fact, I'd say there is pride instead! Creating a diverse and equal world does not happen overnight but rather day by day and it starts with you and me.
    Bold Acts of Service Scholarship
    A simple hello can go a long way. I think that when people think about acts of service, they believe that they must do some extraordinary act that takes an immense amount of effort. This, more often than not, discourages many from doing anything at all since they believe that the little they can do won't make a difference. I'm here to say it will, even if it's saying a simple hello. I've found that many people forget just how lonely elderly people can get. Many times, their children are grown and no longer living with them. They may not have anyone to speak to on a regular basis. I've heard many youths talk about how, at one point or another, an elder at their job talked their ears off. I'm no stranger to this situation and I believe there's a reason behind its frequent occurrence. If an elderly person doesn't drive, they rarely leave the house. Many don't have a consistent place where they can socialize and talk to people. For younger people, we have school or work. For the lonely elderly, public places are the closest to a place to socialize, and some don't even get to do that often because they can't drive. I say all this to say, a simple small hello can make a big difference. This is an act of service that can be done to anyone at any time. Being the person to reach out to someone and give them the opportunity to have a meaningful or even brief conversation is amazing. I reach out and do this all of the time and the feedback has been great. While I applaud extravagant acts of service, please don't forget that there's beauty in the little things!
    Hobbies Matter
    I like smelling pickle juice. I know, allow me to explain. It really started when I would spend so much time at farms when I was growing up. We live in Texas and in our area, they are practically all over the place. I still remember the bright red tomatoes that would grow in the fields alongside all the other crops that blossomed near it. I loved looking at all the different colorful crops but there wasn't usually much time for it because, just like any other farm, there was always more than enough work to do. Staying busy was always fun but I also loved to relax. After a long day, my sister and I would crack open a jar of, you guessed it, pickles. The breeze would pick up the smell just enough for it to tickle my nose. All of these years later and even a whiff of the smell brings back fond memories of my childhood. Now that I'm older and regularly stressed about pursuing a nursing degree before heading to law school, making time to do or find the things that make me happy has become much harder than I expected. Many of what I've tried has just been out of my reach for one reason or another. Either it isn't simple or it requires time and money that I just don't have because of my school fees. That's what inspired me to go back to my roots. Now, are they slightly weird roots? Yes, but who's judging? Every now and then, when I'm particularly stressed, I open up a jar of pickles. The smell alone takes me back to a time and place when my burdens weren't plentiful. It's so simple yet makes me so happy and I couldn't be more grateful for it.
    Bold Simple Pleasures Scholarship
    I like smelling pickle juice. I know, allow me to explain. It really started when I would spend so much time at farms when I was growing up. I still remember the bright red tomatoes that would grow in the fields. Like any other farm, there was always more than enough work to do. Staying busy was always fun but I also loved to relax. After a long day, my sister and I would crack open a jar of, you guessed it, pickles. The breeze would pick up the smell just enough for it to tickle my nose. All these years later and even a whiff of the smell brings back fond memories of my childhood. Now that I'm older and regularly stressed about pursuing a nursing degree before heading to law school, making time to do or find the things that make me happy has become harder. Many of what I've tried has just been out of my reach for one reason or another. Either it isn't simple or it requires time and money that I just don't have because of my school fees. That's what inspired me to go back to my roots. Now, are they slightly weird roots? Yes, but who's judging? Every now and then, when I'm particularly stressed, I open up a jar of pickles, and the smell alone takes me back to a time and place when my burdens weren't plentiful. It's so simple yet makes me so happy and I couldn't be more grateful for it.
    Bold Giving Scholarship
    A simple hello can go a long way. I think that when people think about giving back, they believe that they must do some extraordinary act that takes an extreme amount of effort. This, more often than not, discourages many from doing anything at all since they believe that the little they can do won't make a difference. I'm here to say it will, even if it's saying a simple hello. I've found that many people forget just how lonely elderly people can get. Many times, their children are grown and no longer living with them. They may not have anyone to speak to on a regular basis. I've heard many youths talk about how, at one point or another, an elder at their job talked their ears off. I'm no stranger to this situation and I believe there's a reason behind its frequent occurrence. If an elderly person doesn't drive, they rarely leave the house. Many don't have a consistent place where they can socialize and talk to people. For younger people, we have school or work. For the lonely elderly, public places are the closest to a place to socialize, and some don't even get to do that often because they can't drive. I say all this to say, a simple small hello can make a big difference. Being the person to reach out to them and give them the opportunity to have a meaningful or even brief conversation is amazing. I reach out and do this all of the time and the feedback has been great. While I applaud giving back through extravagant ways, please don't forget that there's beauty in the little things. Giving back in any way you can is so important and helps build the community so many areas are lacking today.
    Lo Easton's “Wrong Answers Only” Scholarship
    1. Firstly, I'm like super awesome (not that you didn't already know that) and I really need this scholarship. See, my pet pig Sharon could really use some new outfits. She's a drama queen and hates repeating outfits (yes, we have too much in common). So, with this scholarship, I can stop spending money on boring books and more on Sharon's outfits! 2. See, first I like totally wanted to dedicate my life to becoming a fashion designer for pigs and donkeys around the world so they can look as fabulous as my pig (okay, almost as fabulous). But, like a total buzzkill, my parents said it's "ridiculous" and "unstainable”, so I guess I'll be a lawyer that does discrimination and medical malpractice lawsuits to help the helpless in my community. Sigh. 3. So I used to watch these ankle biters at my church. Everything was fine (except for the fact I was there but like duh) until I smelled something icky. 2 words. Baby. Jerimiah. Me being perfect I of course tried to handle his dirty diaper alone. I overcame the obstacle or whatever but like I’m making my dad buy me another nose job cause my sense of smell’s gone.
    Bold Friendship Matters Scholarship
    Winner
    I met Johnathon, a new foreign student at my middle school. He was skinny, around my height, and wore bold glasses thicker than his blazing Vietnamese accent. We stood outside classes together where I'd crack jokes endlessly. I still remember the sound of his laugh and doubt I'll ever forget it. He was extremely bubbly and I loved that about him. At the end of the school year, he ended up leaving. Our school had a website dedicated to students and it allowed us to message each other. Johnathon left a message to our class and it rocked me at my core. It started off quite normal. He said that he had returned to Vietnam and was grateful for the friendships he'd made. His next sentence is what floored me. "Before I come here, I want to take my life and was very depressed. Thank you, everyone for making me laugh and being my friend." I remember reading this, unable to believe the words. My mouth fell agape as my palms began sweating while my eyes stung with tears. My throat grew dry as I reread the sentence countless times; I could hear his accent through the screen and it finally brought me to tears. I never would've seen it coming. He was just so happy. He was constantly laughing. I felt blindsided. I remember how grateful I was that we spoke so often; that he was reminded of the sweet parts of life. They say a day without laughter is a day wasted. But I never thought a simple laugh could save a life. This, I've learned, is exactly what friendship is about. It's about picking each other up and lending a hand. It's about caring about one another, even in the little ways. Little things make big differences.
    Tanya C. Harper Memorial SAR Scholarship
    While I am grateful for the clean water I drink, the roof over my head, and much more, I can't bring myself to ignore the challenges that the color of my skin has led me to face. I've found that the most powerful weapons are unfortunately the most overlooked. The most daunting challenge I've faced has been the absence of the benefit of the doubt. The color of my skin never granted me the benefit of the doubt. While this is often overlooked and seemingly powerless, it has proven to be otherwise in the lives of mine and many others. I was a perpetual underdog. As a young child, I was never assumed to be strong or brilliant. Rather than to be presumed as capable or even neutral, I was deemed inadequate before I even spoke. Thus, I remained silent, fearful of embarrassing myself and proving them right. And what does this create? What happens when a child doesn't believe in themself because their community doesn't either? The answer is that you stunt a child's opportunities. Rebuilding my confidence in myself and what I am capable of has been a difficult yet worthwhile journey. However, I firmly believe that it could have been avoided altogether. The lack of the benefit of the doubt is a silent killer. It has taken away the dreams of the young and even stolen the lives of the innocent. From the cries for change after the impacts of police brutality to the cries for change after statistics confirmed black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth, especially when ignored by their doctors; the lack of the benefit of the doubt has proven to be a silent killer. I want to change this. As we speak, I have rounded up my prerequisites and started preparing my applications to the nursing school. Before graduating from there, I will submit my application to law school so I can begin studying law with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the fall of 2025. I've learned that it is an expensive path but so is the price we pay for every day that goes by without a change. By attacking the silent killer where it has plagued the most, medicine and law, (two fields that are meant to protect all people but have yet to do so) I'd be able to serve, protect, and defend the underserved outright, unapologetically, and with a vengeance. The battle against the silent killer has been waged and I will use my education to fight for those who can't fight for themselves.
    Bold Impact Matters Scholarship
    A simple hello can go a long way. I think that when people think about impacting the world, they believe that they must do some extraordinary act that takes an extreme amount of effort. This, more often than not, discourages many from doing anything at all since they believe that the little they can do won't make a difference. I'm here to say it will, even if it's saying a simple hello. I've found that many people forget just how lonely elderly people can get. Many times, their children are grown and no longer living with them. They may not have anyone to speak to on a regular basis. I've heard many youths talk about how, at one point or another, an elder at their job talked their ears off. I'm no stranger to this situation and I believe there's a reason behind its frequent occurrence. If an elderly person doesn't drive, they rarely leave the house. Many don't have a consistent place where they can socialize and talk to people. For younger people, we have school or work. For the lonely elderly, public places are the closest to a place to socialize, and some don't even get to do that often because they can't drive. I say all this to say, a simple small hello can make a big difference. Being the person to reach out to them and give them the opportunity to have a meaningful or even brief conversation is amazing. I reach out and do this all of the time and the feedback has been great. While I applaud impacting the world in extravagant ways, please don't forget that there's beauty in the little things.
    Bold Dream Big Scholarship
    My secretary throws yet another case onto my desk as I look out the window of my law firm's office. My gaze quickly diverts from our view of the Atlantic ocean and over to him. I immediately begin skimming over the case knowing that if it's anything like my other cases, it'll be tough to win. I can't complain though, I am a lawyer, and settling discrimination and medical malpractice cases for my clients is what I've always dreamed of doing. After a long day of work at my dream job, I return to my dream home. My dog, Mon Cherie, french for my sweetheart, left me a not-so-pleasant surprise (even dreams have unpleasant parts). I clean up after her and race to my living room to relax. Oh, but not just any living room, my dream living room. An entire wall of it has been converted into a bookshelf overflooding with novels of my choosing. I curl up on the sofa with my favorite book and read the night away. The best part of my dream life? Waking up and doing it all again the next day. Nothing beats being able to know you're making a difference through your job and speaking up for those who can't speak for themselves. However, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Taking time to destress from working too much is a helpful way of exercising self-care and is very healthy!
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    I, understanding the taboos of the Black community from a young age, quickly learned to shove my mental health into my back pocket like a crumpled gum wrapper. Unbeknownst to 12 year old me, hiding the skeletons in my closet didn't make them disappear, but instead, created a mountain of them. Only now, as an adult, have I decided to face the music and face this closet. Am I terrified that I am not enough to unpack it, thus succumbing to an avalanche of skeletons dating back to my early childhood? Why, of course, I am. Do I recognize how worthwhile this journey is and the impact it will have on me? Without a doubt. And that is what keeps me going. So, how did I go from someone who avoided the mere thought of this topic to someone who advocates for it on a regular basis, even starting a club and deciding to pursue a career in nursing and law in hopes of sealing the cracks that many of the mentally ill fall into? Well, it started with the boy who sat in front of me. In my head, he was just a kid in my class and to him, I was probably the same. Come to find out, we were and will always be so much more than that to each other. I'm talking about Johnathon, a new foreign student that I met at my old school. He was skinny, around my height, and wore bold glasses thicker than his blazing Vietnamese accent. We stood outside classes together where I'd crack jokes endlessly. I still remember the sound of his laugh and doubt I'll ever forget it. Its magnitude alone broke through the strength that any language barrier could bear to muster. He was extremely bubbly and I always loved that about him. At the end of the school year, he ended up leaving. Our school had a website dedicated to students and it allowed us to message each other. Johnathon left a message to our class and it rocked me at my core. It started off quite normal. He said that he had returned to Vietnam and was grateful for the friendships he'd made. His next sentence is what floored me. "Before I come here, I want to take my life and was very depressed. Thank you, everyone for making me laugh and being my friend." I remember reading this, unable to believe the words. My mouth fell agape as my palms began sweating while my eyes stung with tears. My throat grew dry as I reread the sentence countless times; I could hear his accent through the screen and finally broke down in tears. I never would've seen it coming. He was just so happy. He was constantly laughing. I felt blindsided. I remember how grateful I was that we spoke so often; that he was reminded of the sweet parts of life. They say a day without laughter is a day wasted. But I never thought a simple laugh could save a life. And here's the kicker. I was no perfect human. I was ragged, beaten down by the homelife I daydreamed to escape, and downright tired. I wasn't your cookie-cutter hero. And I didn't need to be. It's a common misconception that you must be this whimsical exquisite being without flaws and perform extraordinary tasks before being able to help someone. I used to believe this and want you to know it is far from the truth. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to have your life figured out. You, right now, are enough. And while I may have unknowingly helped Johnathon through a rough patch in his life, he unknowingly did the same for me. His message facilitated the point in my life that pushed me into deciding that I had had enough. Pretending my battles didn't exist didn't heal the wounds I pretended not to feel. Instead, it deepened them. Learning that the beast that ate at me every day also ate away at someone else to such a grave extent ignited a fire I've yet to quench. No more hiding; that was only enabling it. I wanted to face it head-on. These experiences with mental health have brought me to where I am today. By no means am I perfect or anywhere near it. I am simply a work in progress and could not be more grateful. Instead of goals oozing with nothing but material accolades, I've grown to appreciate mental health-oriented goals the most. Now, I couldn't write this without writing about her. Former Miss USA, Cheslie Kryst, fell victim to the battle against mental illnesses. Her passing led me to write this. I, more than ever, have adopted a new way of thinking. The way the world works and the relationships that thrive within it don't look the same to me. I've come to learn that I, the ones I hold dear, and my community as a whole cannot win a battle that we let taboo convince us doesn't exist. This is the first step, and while it may be difficult, it doesn't have to be ugly. It's okay to say "I'm not okay". Berating ourselves about being tough only gaslights us and enables mental illnesses to run rampant. Killing the stigma surrounding mental health saves the lives that can fall victim to it at any time. I do not know who may be reading this or where they may be but I must make it clear. You can make it through this battle. Take it easy and take it one step at a time. If you have any harmful thoughts please don't hesitate to contact 800-273-8255.
    "A State of Mind" Texas Scholarship
    Howdy! My name is Angel and I was born and raised in Texas. I've traveled through the state and have met many different Texans along the way. From city Texans to ones in the rural parts, I've seen them all! Through our vast differences, one similarity shines through vibrantly. Being a Texan means lending a hand. No matter the race, background, or area code, we all strive to help one another. Southern hospitality thrives in Texans and goes far beyond just being polite. We are so much more than that. We are there for each other and I couldn't wish for another state to call my own!
    Black Students in STEM Scholarship
    Throughout the years, I've done plenty of volunteering in my community, even starting my own club. However, I constantly find myself frustrated when I realize many of the problems our community faces trickle down from the top. While I, and many others, work restlessly to patch up the leaks, the true problem persists. I’ve come to learn and appreciate that to fix a leak, you must fix its source. The system is broken and must be repaired. From the cries for change after the impacts of police brutality to the cries for change after statistics confirmed black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth, especially when ignored by their doctors; the system has proven itself to be broken and in immediate need of repair. I want to change this. As we speak, I have rounded up my prerequisites and started preparing my applications to nursing school. Before graduating from there, I will submit my application to law school so I can begin studying law with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the fall of 2025. After graduation, I will tap into my entrepreneurial spirit and start a law firm litigating cases of discrimination and medical malpractice, two phenomenons plaguing our community. I've learned that it is an expensive path but so is the price we pay for every day that goes by without a change. By repairing the system where it has hurt us the most, medicine and law, (two fields that are meant to protect all people but have yet to do so) I'd be able to serve, protect, and defend the underserved outright, unapologetically, and with a vengeance. The journey to a better, more efficient, and equal system has begun and I will use my education to fight for those who can't fight for themselves. It'd be an honor to use my education to help build a fair and equal nation for the next generation. Being the role model I wanted to see growing up would've meant wonders to me. By being this to someone, even if it's just one person, I believe that they too can be that to someone. Little changes can make big differences when executed with consistency. One day, we will have a generation that will no longer write about what they were able to achieve despite their background because it will no longer be used against them as a hurdle. It may sound far-fetched, brushed off as crazy talk. But isn't that what they said when we wanted to vote? Even now, I am writing an essay for a scholarship dedicated to furthering the progression of our community. Feats such as these would have easily been scoffed at not too long ago. The presence of this opportunity is evidence enough that little steps make big changes. But not without perseverance. Change is usually met with resistance. Funny enough, it is also created via the same mechanism. I cannot allude to changing the world by myself and in the blink of an eye through the use of my education. However, I can confidently confirm that passing on the baton to the next generation and teaching them to do the same will build a legacy that bears good fruit and will change the world over time, one day at a time.
    Giving Back to the Future Scholarship
    Throughout the years, I've done plenty of volunteering in my community, even starting my own club. However, I constantly find myself frustrated when I realize many of the problems our community faces trickle down from the top. While I, and many others, work restlessly to patch up the leaks, the true problem persists. I’ve come to learn and appreciate that to fix a leak, you must fix its source. The system is broken and must be repaired. From the cries for change after the impacts of police brutality to the cries for change after statistics confirmed black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth, especially when ignored by their doctors; the system has proven itself to be broken and in immediate need of repair. I want to change this. As we speak, I have rounded up my prerequisites and started preparing my applications to nursing school. Before graduating from there, I will submit my application to law school so I can begin studying law with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the fall of 2025. I've learned that it is an expensive path but so is the price we pay for every day that goes by without a change. By repairing the system where it has hurt us the most, medicine and law, (two fields that are meant to protect all people but have yet to do so) I'd be able to serve, protect, and defend the underserved outright, unapologetically, and with a vengeance. The journey to a better, more efficient, and equal system has begun and I will use my education to fight for those who can't fight for themselves. It'd be an honor to use my education to help build a fair and equal nation for the next generation. Being the role model I wanted to see growing up would've meant wonders to me. By being this to someone, even if it's just one person, I believe that they too can be that to someone. Little changes can make big differences when executed with consistency. One day, we will have a generation that will no longer write about what they were able to achieve despite their background because it will no longer be used against them as a hurdle. It may sound far-fetched, brushed off as crazy talk. But isn't that what they said when we wanted to vote? Even now, I am writing an essay for a scholarship dedicated to furthering the progression of our community. Feats such as these would have easily been scoffed at not too long ago. The presence of this opportunity is evidence enough that little steps make big changes. But not without perseverance. Change is usually met with resistance. Funny enough, it is also created via the same mechanism. I cannot allude to changing the world by myself and in the blink of an eye through the use of my education. However, I can confidently confirm that passing on the baton to the next generation and teaching them to do the same will build a legacy that bears good fruit and will change the world over time, one day at a time.
    Bold Learning and Changing Scholarship
    Minimizing and downplaying your gifts helps no one. I always knew humor was my strong suit but hated how everyone else's gifts were so much cooler. I spent so much time ridiculing and beating myself up about who I was and who others were that I never stopped to think about how great my qualities were. What made me stop? Well, here's what happened. I met Johnathon, a new foreign student at my middle school. He was skinny, around my height, and wore bold glasses thicker than his blazing Vietnamese accent. We stood outside classes together where I'd crack jokes endlessly. I still remember the sound of his laugh and doubt I'll ever forget it. He was extremely bubbly and I loved that about him. At the end of the school year, he ended up leaving. Our school had a website dedicated to students that allowed us to message each other. Johnathon left a message that rocked me at my core. It started off quite normal. He said that he had returned to Vietnam and was grateful for the friendships he'd made. The next sentence is what floored me. "Before I come here, I want to take my life and was very depressed. Thank you, everyone for making me laugh and being my friend." I remember reading this, unable to believe the words. I could hear his accent through the screen and it brought me to tears. I never saw it coming. I remember how grateful I was that we spoke so often; that he was reminded of the sweet parts of life. It taught me that all gifts, no matter how "small" could make a big difference. They say a day without laughter is a day wasted. But I never thought a simple laugh could save a life.
    Bold Caring for Seniors Scholarship
    A simple hello can go a long way. I think that when people think about helping the elderly, they believe that they must do some extraordinary act that takes an extreme amount of effort. This, more often than not, discourages many from doing anything at all since they believe that the little they can do won't make a difference. I'm here to say it will, even if it's saying a simple hello. I've found that many people forget just how lonely elderly people can get. Many times, their children are grown and no longer living with them. They may not have anyone to speak to on a regular basis. I've heard many youths talk about how, at one point or another, an elder at their job talked their ears off. I'm no stranger to this situation and I believe there's a reason behind its frequent occurrence. If an elderly person doesn't drive, they rarely leave the house. Many don't have a consistent place where they can socialize and talk to people. For younger people, we have school or work. For the lonely elderly, public places are the closest to a place to socialize, and some don't even get to do that often because they can't drive. I say all this to say, a simple small hello can make a big difference. Being the person to reach out to them and give them the opportunity to have a meaningful or even brief conversation is amazing. I reach out and do this all of the time and the feedback has been great. While I applaud helping the elder in extravagant ways, please don't forget that there's beauty in the little things.
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    This may sound corny but my sense of humor is my strong suit. I love making people laugh. Seeing their grin spread from ear to ear makes me swoon. However, I didn't always like this quality about myself. When they said that comparison was the thief of joy, they sure weren't kidding! By this I mean, I wanted every quality or characteristic that everyone else had. You see, my conversations with God would go a little bit like this, " Ugh, my neighbor Kylie plays basketball, God why couldn't you make me good at sports, you know, something useful!" Or, even a little something like this, "Wow, Jason is so smart, I bet he's going to get so far in life. God, you sure do have favorites." I spent so much time ridiculing and beating myself up about who I was and who others were that I never stopped to think about how great my qualities were. What made me stop? Well, here's what happened. I met Johnathon, a new foreign student at my middle school. He was skinny, around my height, and wore bold glasses thicker than his blazing Vietnamese accent. We stood outside classes together where I'd crack jokes endlessly. I still remember the sound of his laugh and doubt I'll ever forget it. He was extremely bubbly and I loved that about him. At the end of the school year, he ended up leaving. Our school had a website dedicated to students that allowed us to message each other. Johnathon left a message that rocked me at my core. It started off quite normal. He said that he had returned to Vietnam and was grateful for the friendships he'd made. The next sentence is what floored me. "Before I come here, I want to take my life and was very depressed. Thank you, everyone for making me laugh and being my friend." I remember reading this, unable to believe the words. I could hear his accent through the screen and it brought me to tears. I never saw it coming. He was just so happy. He was constantly laughing. I was blindsided. I remember how grateful I was that we spoke so often; that he was reminded of the sweet parts of life. They say a day without laughter is a day wasted. But I never thought a simple laugh could save a life. This was when I valued my humor. I always knew I had this gift but never knew the power it bestowed and never thought it'd come in handy. Sure, it may not sound as cool as other qualities but I think that is the best part. Sloane Stephens has used her qualities to help so many people. My story goes to show that any characteristic can be utilized, even the ones that may not sound as cool on paper. Please do not discourage or stunt yourself by believing that one gift is better than another. We all have different gifts that can be used to help ourselves and others. This was the first time that my sense of humor has helped me in my journey, and even if it will be the last, it was more than enough. Johnathan, if you somehow find this; remember to live love, and laugh. I wish you the best.
    Bold Financial Freedom Scholarship
    The saying, "If you can't buy it three times, you can't afford it." always struck a nerve with me. As a teenager with a tiny addiction to shopping and little to no money, this was the last piece of financial advice I wanted to take heed to. I loved the idea of opening my laptop or even my phone and shopping for God knows what for God knows how long. And while I absolutely adored the idea of this, my wallet didn't take too kindly to it. You would think this would be obvious, but it wasn't. Here's the problem a lot of my friends and I tend to face: we see the money in our account and as long as what we're buying is below what we see, we believe we can afford the purchase. This couldn't be further from the truth and this is the ideology that gets a lot of people into financial binds. Everyone understands that living above their means will create financial bondage. But, what they don't realize is what living above their means truly looks like. Yes, you may have enough money to buy something but that doesn't mean that you have enough money to afford it. Understanding this difference has proven to be key to achieving financial freedom. I began utilizing this in my everyday life. I started out by differentiating my absolutely necessary expenses from my secondary expenses. When I receive my paycheck, I instantly subtract my necessary expenses and what I plan on saving so that I can see how much money I truly have to spend on secondary expenses (yes, I gave my shopping spree a name). Practicing this has led to less frivolous spending and is a technique I hope to share with more people!
    Bold Perseverance Scholarship
    So there I was, teaching children's bible study at my church. Now, let's use the word teaching very lightly. The kids were about 2 years old so I just watched over them for the most part. Everything was going as usual. I heard the occasional whining and saw the occasional teeth marks on toys. We were just getting ready to round up and that's when it hit me. And by hitting me I mean absolutely crushed me. It had to be the foulest stench my nose has ever had the displeasure of smelling. I crinkled up my nose and my eyes began darting across the room as I frantically searched for the culprit. And there he was: baby Jeremiah. His eyes met mine and his body language told me everything I didn't want to know. Now, here's some context, 12-year-old me was quite cocky and thought, "I've seen this on T.V. before so how hard could it be?" And boy oh boy was I about to find out. Now, truth be told, I was forewarned. Jeremiah's mom had mentioned him eating something that bothered his stomach so I knew to call her but I brushed it off and toted him to the lady's room with me anyway. As I began to remove his diaper reality set in. There was just no way I could do it. I started panicking as I realized I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Now, to spare you the gruesome details, I did it. This was hands down one of the most difficult situations of my life. I'm still not quite sure my nose has ever been the same! However, I'm happy I had the opportunity to share it with you and hope it made you smile!
    Mary P. Perlea Scholarship Fund
    While I am grateful for the clean water I drink, the roof over my head, and much more, I can't bring myself to ignore the challenges that the color of my skin has led me to face. I've found that the most powerful weapons are unfortunately the most overlooked. The most daunting challenge I've faced has been the absence of the benefit of the doubt. The color of my skin never granted me the benefit of the doubt. While this is often overlooked and seemingly powerless, it has proven to be otherwise in the lives of mine and many others. I was a perpetual underdog. As a young child, I was never assumed to be strong or brilliant. Rather than to be presumed as capable or even neutral, I was deemed inadequate before I even spoke. Thus, I remained silent, fearful of embarrassing myself and proving them right. And what does this create? What happens when a child doesn't believe in themself because their community doesn't either? The answer is that you stunt a child's opportunities. Rebuilding my confidence in myself and what I am capable of has been a difficult yet worthwhile journey. However, I firmly believe that it could have been avoided altogether. The lack of the benefit of the doubt is a silent killer. It has taken away the dreams of the young and even stolen the lives of the innocent. From the cries for change after the impacts of police brutality to the cries for change after statistics confirmed black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth, especially when ignored by their doctors; the lack of the benefit of the doubt has proven to be a silent killer. I want to change this. As we speak, I have rounded up my prerequisites and started preparing my applications to the nursing school. Before graduating from there, I will submit my application to law school so I can begin studying law with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the fall of 2025. I've learned that it is an expensive path but so is the price we pay for every day that goes by without a change. By attacking the silent killer where it has plagued the most, medicine and law, (two fields that are meant to protect all people but have yet to do so) I'd be able to serve, protect, and defend the underserved outright, unapologetically, and with a vengeance. The battle against the silent killer has been waged and I will use my education to fight for those who can't fight for themselves.
    Connie Konatsotis Scholarship
    It was baby Josiah's birthday and his mother had begun cutting the cake. 8 year old me waited patiently, styrofoam plate in hand, as I watched her carefully slice through the cake. She locked eyes with me and as my smile grew, hers began to diminish. "What are you doing here? You know the boys always eat first", these words quickly wiped the smile off of my face. She took my plate away and ushered me to the back of the line. She was right. Even at a young age, I was well aware of the sexist rules that surrounded me. I was just always determined to undermine them. As I got older, I realized it wasn't just at birthday parties, it was everywhere. Sharing this glimpse of my childhood will help explain my relationship with STEAM. To be frank, it was my escape. I sat in multitudes of math and science classes with content. In the world of math and science, I was not a little girl who was forced to the end of the line for nothing more than her gender. Instead, I was a mathematician or even a scientist. This is a feeling I want to give to all little girls, but with a twist. Rather than little girls using it as an escape, it will be used as a means of obliterating a world in need of escaping. It'd be an honor to use my education to show the young women of tomorrow that they can achieve just as much as anyone else. Being the role model I wanted to see growing up would've meant wonders to me. By being this to someone, even if it's just one person, I believe that they too can be that to someone. Little changes can make big differences when executed with consistency. One day, we will have a generation that will no longer write about what they were able to achieve despite being a woman because the opportunities, information, and funding invested into the young women of tomorrow will match that of those afforded to young men. It may sound far-fetched, brushed off as crazy talk. But isn't that what they said when we wanted to vote? Even now, I am writing an essay for a scholarship dedicated to furthering the education of young women. Feats such as these would have easily been scoffed at not too long ago. The presence of this opportunity is evidence enough that little steps make big changes. But not without perseverance. Change is usually met with resistance. Funny enough, it is also created via the same mechanism. I cannot allude to changing the world by myself and in the blink of an eye through the use of my education in a male-dominated field. However, I can confidently allude and confirm that being a role model to one little girl who does the same for another little girl will change the world over time, one day at a time.
    Noah Jon Markstrom Foundation Scholarship
    To answer the prompt bluntly, my little brother Justice. Writing, typing, or speaking about him quickly reduces me to tears but, this is a story worth telling. Justice is the reason I want to pursue a career in pediatric medicine, or what I like to call, the medicine that cares for those who cannot care for themselves. While this phrase can go for all areas of medicine because they all deal with helping those who cannot help themselves, it is a different type of pain to watch the young suffer. Watching those who have yet to experience the glories of life be met with its wrath instead is nothing short of gut-wrenching. How many joyful and euphoric memories do they have to be reminiscent of as they undergo treatment? Pediatric medicine treats and cares for the youth of our world. Contrary to common belief, it is about so much more than giving medicine to children. It is about making them smile on the days they feel like crying. It's about consoling their parents because as any parent or relative of a sick child knows, some days are just harder than others. And finally, it's about consoling yourself. Putting on a smile for your patients and their family when you really feel like bawling your eyes out is a task that can be compared to death by a thousand cuts. This is a field bulging at the seams with people who love children. Considering this, one begs to ask, why would people with this passion choose a field where they'd have to watch the ones they love the most be in pain? The answer is rather simple. They have a story; a story that makes it all worthwhile. Here is my story. My little brother showed me what it meant to fight. I remember trying to get him dressed in the morning and the struggle he'd put up against me. I remember sobbing on the floor after his explosive tantrum. I remember what it did to my mom. Of course, you cannot forget something that doesn't stop reoccurring. I still see the way it affects my mom. It hurts. And yet, like a blurry star shining through a polluted sky, I remember to find the silver lining of every cloud. I remember the smile on my face after squeezing him into his jacket. I remember when he sat in my lap with a small grin and wiped my tears away with his Dorito-covered fingertips. You see, every fighter smiles in spite of his injuries once he has won the fight. That night, as he applies ice to his wounds, he remembers the blows he took to his face and body. And yet, he also remembers the rush and excitement of winning. Justice taught me how to fight. Yes, the blows hurt at the moment, but the feeling of triumphing adversity is priceless. Caring for Justice and his disability has left me with emotional scars and some wounds that have yet to heal. But it was worth it. The silver lining, that star shining through polluted skies, makes it worth it. That is what inspires us to pursue pediatric medicine. It's the hints of sweet in the bittersweetness of it all.
    Learner.com Algebra Scholarship
    Nobody wants to be that guy (or girl, we don't discriminate). You're standing in front of the cashier, money in hand, and then you freeze. "What's 11 + 25", you ponder as you try to count your spare change. What about those times when you spend days in bed with a terrible headache after your pharmacist accidentally placed too few pills in your prescription bottle? Or, what about when this happens: you're driving across a bridge when it collapses after a few mathematical errors were made while constructing it. Let's face the music, whether you hate her or love her, math is important. Every scenario described shows you why because they all involve math. From everyday inconveniences to life-changing accidents, math plays a major role. We are reminded of how essential math is at every second of every day. Now, let me be completely forthcoming. My love for math hasn't always been as such. We've definitely had a tumultuous relationship flooded with ups and downs. It was all fine and dandy until they wanted to start throwing letters in the bunch when I got to the 5th grade. I'll be honest, I think my enmity towards math came from a place of confusion. I just didn't understand its relevance. I mean sure, the basics mattered, but why the letters? "Instead of asking me to find "x", how about explaining "y" I should care", my group of friends and I used to joke. My relationship with math only improved and eventually flourished once I found myself in a love triangle of sorts. Yes, you read right, a love triangle. You see, I was hopelessly in love with science. Unbeknownst to me until the 9th grade, science was hopelessly in love and intertwined with math. You can imagine my frustration. Science and I were getting along just fine and then boom, here comes math to shake things up. Why on earth would a worthwhile subject like science have anything to do with the alphabet soup we call math? Well, it all started coming together as I became more and more interested in the nursing field. Indeed, math was there, lurking at every corner, but I received it with delight this time. It made sense here, and dare I say was even needed. That's when it all clicked. This is what my math teachers were trying to teach me. Between every exponent, PEMDAS lesson, and algebraic equation was a need. Not to be a Full House fanatic, but everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there's a place that needs math. The nursing field proved to be no different. As I learned to appreciate math's capabilities and ubiquity, I began to love learning about it and couldn't be more proud of that.
    Breanden Beneschott Ambitious Entrepreneurs Scholarship
    The purpose of entrepreneurship is seemingly simple. It's to make a difference. Likewise, the pursuit of entrepreneurship is seemingly simple. To be rather blunt, person finds problem, person finds solution, then person helps (and makes) billions. Keyword? Seemingly. In reality, there is an abundance of obstacles that face those treading the treacherous and risky path we know as entrepreneurship. Luckily, establishments such as Mechanism help to fill the many gaps entrepreneurs face. Now, you may ask, what next problem should Mechanism explore and ultimately conquer? Well, then I must ask you what problem threatens us the most. Need a hint? It's in your backyard. Matter of fact, it's even in the air! Our planet is suffering, Breanden, and this is my plea to you on its behalf. If you recall, I briefly mentioned that the purpose of entrepreneurship is to make a difference. Your website highlights cofounding companies with ambitious and resilient people, amongst their other characteristics. Impressively enough, millions of people meet this criterion and strive to save our planet yet, unfortunately, fall short. If I may borrow your attention, I'd like to explain why this occurs. To begin, I'd like to touch base on a subject that would be more than familiar to you: marketing. This tool has proven itself to be extremely beneficial and, dare I even say, powerful in this day and age. Now, I don't mean to show off my devoted love and passion for Spiderman, but I must say that with great power comes great responsibility and unfortunately, many companies have behaved less than responsibly. An example of marketing being used responsibly is as follows. Mechanism data engineer, Vibhu Arul, uses data to find information that will encourage company growth whilst honoring transparency. Not all companies operate with such integrity. With buzzwords such as eco-friendly, organic, and sustainable flooding social media in subtle yet persistent waves, it was only a matter of time until companies started using these phrases to catch the eyes of poorly informed consumers. Incorporating such language into marketing is not the problem, however, the failure to incorporate earth-conscious practices alongside such language is disingenuous and far too common. Consumers that are willing to go out of their way to make a difference for our planet's sake find themselves entangled in a world of dishonest marketing. This is not the only time when dishonesty affects resilient and ambitious people on their journey towards a cleaner planet. Another instance where this occurs happens to be one of the most nefarious. For decades, recycling has been pushed to the forefront and coined as our way to save the planet; thus pushing millions of people to go out of their way to do so. Here's where things get sticky. Whispers of recycling being a sham have grown into jolting screams as articles continue to confirm that despite the persistence and best intentions of those who recycle, most of their work goes to waste and ends up in the landfill. As attempt after attempt to rescue our planet fails, we grow closer to a world we can no longer recognize. Despite this, persistence prevails. There are millions of people still ready and willing to fight the good fight and companies like Mechanism would make a valuable ally in this battle. And as for why this problem is relevant? In short, to ask why this problem is worth solving is to ask why the world is worth saving. That answer is obvious and needs little to no explanation. However, a question whose answer is far more complex is this. Why is this problem worth Mechanism solving? Why is it worth their extensive and driven team's time, energy, focus, and resources? I thought you'd ask and here is my answer. Mechanism's gift is its passion for cofounding companies with ambitious, resilient, and extraordinary people in order to make a difference. What could be more extraordinary than saving the world? People who push against the odds to do this are the exact individuals your company describes. I did not choose this topic just because it is the most daunting issue facing us, but because it is also the most ideal hurdle for Mechanism to tackle.