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Anna McKibben


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At Appalachian State University, I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a focus on health psychology, behavior psychology, and abnormal psychology. This academic foundation has equipped me with a deep understanding of human behavior and the ability to effectively communicate and empathize with individuals from diverse backgrounds. I am passionate about helping other's and make it my goal to make people feel heard and welcomed.


Appalachian State University

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Psychology, Other
  • Minors:
    • American Sign Language
  • GPA:


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Alternative Medicine

    • Dream career goals:

      Speech Therapist

    • Sales Associate

      Mast General Store
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Camp counselor

      Beech Mountain Recreation Center
      2023 – 2023
    • Front desk agent

      2023 – Present1 year



    2019 – 20212 years


    • Junior Olympian


    • Biological and Physical Sciences

      Appalachian State University — Research analysts
      2021 – Present


    • The Bascome

      Bowls , Cups, Plates, pottery
      2014 – 2016

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Young Life in the Dominican Republic — Volunteer
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Appalachian State University Food Pantry — Advocate for students
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Habitat for Humanity — Volunteer
      2018 – 2018

    Future Interests





    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    A week before Freshman year I sat down in my living room listening to my parents talking outside. I began to think the worst when my mother fell down on her knees sobbing. Feeling distraught I went outside to find out what had happened. My father told me to hug him tight while he told me that my uncle was dead. I lost all feeling in my body and sank in his arms in disbelief. I denied the idea of my uncle being dead, he was a man that made everyone feel alive. He was a youth pastor for a church in Winston-Salem and was active in the community. I remember him making me feel I had a place in the world when I was struggling with my mental health. We went on mission trips connecting with the lower income communities in Winston-Salem and went as far as the Dominican Republic serving in Young Life Camps. He reached into people and brought out the very best in them. He made me feel that my life was worth living. When he committed suicide me and my family's life turned upside-down. I began college stricken with panic, depression, and anxiety. I focused all my time and energy working and studying. I could hear the stadium with the noise of the football game while I studied in the library seeking solace in the quiet empty place. I felt no need to engage in social activities or have any time for rest and relaxation. I talked with a psychiatrist and started medication to help my panic and depressed state. The shock and devastation of his suicide left me grappling with intense emotions of grief, confusion, and disbelief. I felt dethatched and distant from the rest of the world. Navigating through this difficult period involved moments of reflection on my uncle's impact on my life and the legacy he left behind. Remembering the ways he inspired and uplifted others was both comforting and bittersweet. His influence continues to resonate in your memories and decisions moving forward. Though this difficult time I was trying to bring myself down to earth and remember that my life was still worth living. My extended family got closer than ever, we cried, laughed, and talked about the hard things in life. My journey through the aftermath of my uncle's suicide is a testament to my strength and resilience. It's a journey marked by grief and pain, but also by moments of self-discovery and the courage to seek help when needed.
    Scholarship Institute’s Annual Women’s Leadership Scholarship
    Being a camp counselor is a unique opportunity to develop and demonstrate leadership skills in a dynamic and challenging environment. As a counselor, you're entrusted with the responsibility of supervising and mentoring children or young adults by fostering a safe and supportive community through engaging activities. This role requires effective communication, problem-solving abilities, empathy, and the capacity to inspire and motivate others. Another important aspect of being a counselor is building rapport and establish trusting relationships with campers. In this job I have noticed that I am constantly gaining insight into my strengths and areas for improvement. I learned to embrace challenges as opportunities for learning and cultivate a sense of responsibility and accountability. These qualities are fundamental and essential to effective leadership in any setting. During camp, I have encountered situations that demand quick decision-making, conflict resolution, and the ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances. These experiences not only are to build confidence and resilience but also cultivated my ability to lead by example and earn the trust and respect of both campers and fellow staff members. Whether you're organizing games, leading team-building exercises, or providing emotional support to campers, every interaction contributes to your growth as a leader. At the beginning of each day effective communication was set for expectations for camp activities, rules, and behavior. Communication is also a key when working with other counselors to ensure smooth coordination of activities, sharing of responsibilities, and alignment on goals and expectations for the camp experience. Another challenging but essential part of being a counselor is intervening when campers are in conflict with each other. With conflict resolution, it is crucial to empathize and hear all the sides of their story. After listening, we would pull the campers aside for private conversations about their behavior and how we can proceed. The skills and experiences gained as a camp counselor can pave the way for future success in various professional and personal endeavors. Leadership roles in fields such as education, youth development, psychology, or even corporate environments benefit greatly from the ability to manage diverse teams, inspire others, and navigate complex interpersonal dynamics. Moreover, the empathy and interpersonal skills gained through counseling can translate into effective advocacy, community engagement, and collaborative problem-solving. Which is the foundation for making a positive impact in your future career and beyond. By being a camp counselor, I went through a transformative experience that not only shapes my leadership capabilities but also equips you with invaluable skills and perspectives for my future career.
    A Man Helping Women Helping Women Scholarship
    I am a woman in my senior year of college pursing a degree in psychology. With my experience as a woman working in many kinds of work fields such as hospitality, restaurants, and sales. I have noticed how my supervisors, coworkers, and customers interact and treat women in different kinds of work environments. One example is when I was working at a hotel and a few men were coming in from a day outing. We bake fresh cookies every day to give out to guests. As they approached the front desk I greeted them with a smile. They asked if I had been naughty today and that they were too. My smile quickly disappeared, and I said nothing else while handing them their cookies. After they left my male manager came from out of the office, hearing everything, and apologized for them after harassing me. Later on, I had a serious conversation with him and asked that when I am being harassed, I would need to be supported instead of standing behind a wall and doing nothing. In that moment I felt subjected to a kind of inappropriate behavior in which I felt a lack of support from my manager. Personal narratives can shed light on the impact of bystander behavior—those who either stand up against harassment or passively allow it to occur—underscoring the importance of collective action in creating safe and inclusive workplaces. Many women have experienced these kinds of harassments daily from managers, other coworkers, and customers. Addressing and combating such behavior is crucial to promoting gender equality and ensuring that all individuals can live and work free from harassment or intimidation based on their gender. There are countless other scenarios where I could explain how I was harassed and stereotyped in my workplace and how some people stood up for me while others stood by and let it happen. Addressing and combatting such behavior is not only about ensuring legal compliance but also about fostering a workplace culture where everyone can live and work free from fear and bias. Supporting the dreams and ambitions of women involves creating pathways for them to thrive in their chosen fields and pursuits. As someone dedicated to women's health, I have been mentored by professionals, that provided guidance and encouragement to help me navigate challenges and seize opportunities. By women supporting other women and sharing their expertise and experiences, we can empower each other to pursue leadership roles, conduct groundbreaking research, and advocate for policy changes that benefit women's health.
    Fall Favs: A Starbucks Stan Scholarship
    The Iced Caramel Macchiato is a delightful blend of espresso, milk, and caramel syrup. The drink has become a character in my fall narrative, representing dedication, perseverance, and the reward of hard work. It has woven itself into the fabric of my life by becoming a symbol of inspiration and motivation in my academic journey. Initially, the caramel macchiato was a simple indulgence, a treat that brightened my day. Something that I grabbed in the morning to wake me up and get my day started. As the school year continued on, its significance increased. Before starting my day, beginning a study session, or before going into class my drink of choice is consistent and allows me to put routine in my day. Getting the Iced Caramel Macchiato drink at my local Starbucks, my focus and ability to study increased tenfold. The process of savoring each sip served a reminder of the rewards that come from putting all my effort into my studies. The caramel macchiato symbolized that hard labor leads to success and achievements that follow when I applied myself wholeheartedly. It's comforting presence provides stability and focus, helping me to maintain discipline and stay committed to my goals. In essence, the caramel macchiato has evolved from a simple beverage to a motivational force in my life. It encourages me to give your best in your schoolwork, reminding you of the satisfaction that comes from achieving my academic ambitions. Its role in my fall narrative highlights not only your academic journey but also the importance of finding inspiration and motivation in everyday experiences. In summary, the caramel macchiato has evolved into more than just a beverage for me, it's a companion that supports and motivates me throughout my academic journey. From the moment I pull into the Starbucks parking lot until I order and grab my drink, my life has consistency. It's comforting familiarity grounds me, providing a sense of stability and routine in the midst of deadlines and challenges. It becomes a symbol of balance, reminding me to indulge in the little enjoyable moments while also staying disciplined and focused on my goals. Its role in my life is not just about taste or caffeine; it's about inspiration, perseverance, and the pursuit of academic excellence. It's a character in my own narrative of growth and achievement, reminding me to put my all into your schoolwork and savor the sweet rewards that follow.
    Disney Channel Rewind Scholarship
    The crossover episode would be called "Magic in the Family", between the two Disney Channel shows, Good Luck Charlie and Wizards of Waverly Place. PJ and Max announce to their families that they combined all their life savings, which is a total of twenty dollars, in a lottery to win an all-inclusive resort. To the families surprise they both win the lottery and are looking forward to some much-needed rest and relaxation. Before the Russo family went on vacation, they determined that they were going to be a "normal" family and leave their magic behind. At first, the Russo siblings are thrilled to leave their magical responsibilities behind. Alex being worried about a magical family with no magic, determined to keep her wand at her side just in case something went wrong. In a remote area of the island Alex was practicing spells when she is spotted by the troublemaker, Gabe Duncan. When she left her wand unattended for less than a minute, he quickly snatches it. Curious and mischievous as ever, Gabe begins experimenting with the wand and inadvertently recites spells he finds in a library near the resort. He intends to create a distraction to sneak extra desserts from the buffet. But instead, he unwittingly causes people and objects to mysteriously vanish, creating chaos across the resort. Gabe frantically tries to undo the spells, when his father walks in and shortly disappears into thin air. Overwhelmed with guilt Gabe confesses to the rest of his family about the stolen wand and the havoc he's caused. Realizing the severity of the situation, the Duncan's join forces with the Russo's to track down what spell he used to reverse the curse cast on the resort. In a climactic showdown at the library where Gabe first found the spells, the combined efforts of both families finally manage to stop the chaos. With teamwork and a blend of magic and resourcefulness, they reverse Gabe's spells, bringing back their dad and restoring order to the resort. As they reflect on the day's events, both families realize the importance of trust, responsibility, and working together, despite their differences and the unexpected challenges of magic. They bid farewell to the resort with a renewed appreciation for each other's strengths and a vow to keep their magical and family secrets safe. Gabe was shortly sent a letter informing him that he is put on the Wizard's watchlist for high-risk human (HRH).
    Emma Jane Hastie Scholarship
    A child and her family I met while volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Winston-Salem, NC made a lasting impact on how I view humanity. I learned how major cities like Winston-Salem hide away the lower income areas. Putting them far away from any access to public transportation, which makes it difficult for people to get reliable transportation for work and school. I connected with her and her family by collaborating with Habitat for Humanity. Initially, my youth group set a course to help the lower income neighborhoods to make a lasting impact them with. But it turned out that these communities had a much bigger impact on me than I would have imagined. Each morning, we set out to reach out to these communities and listened to their thoughts, needs, and struggles. Through hard work we were able to get an inside look to how living below the poverty line is like. We would have donations from Panera bread and have a picnic in local centralized areas around neighborhoods. We would go from house to house, asking about any repairs that needed to be done around the homes. We had children's books and toy donations that we would give out to the children. I learned that the only affordable housing for people below the poverty line is tucked away far from the city. This puts these people in a position where they had to work hard to travel to and from work and school. The child I spoke with initially did not speak at all but observed. I noticed that she was eyeing one of the books we were giving out and reached out to give it to her. And by showing her kindness she opened up to me and talked to me about her life. By connecting with these families, I learned the struggles they faced in everyday life I would have never found out if I did not volunteer. The family that I connected to the most had a large family, like my own, and shared their testimonies about how they struggle to get out of the continuous loop of poverty. One of the older sons of this family had gotten a scholarship to college through scholarships and hard work. This made me extremely grateful that those resources are there for people continuing their education. My dream is to connect with children and families who feel like they are at a disadvantage. By giving them opportunities to thrive there is a chance that these people will feel seen and supported.
    1989 (Taylor's Version) Fan Scholarship
    I met someone when I was 17 who was seven years older than me. I had just turned 18 and was finishing up my senior year of high school when I started to date him. Our lives were vastly different, he had already established his career, and I was just beginning mine. I was a people pleaser so when he asked me if we wanted to make it official, I felt I had to say yes in order not to hurt him. I felt trapped, like I made a commitment that couldn't be changed, so I stayed. Because he was older, I saw him as someone who knew how everything worked. So, I didn't question our relationship and how he had tied a rope between us so that I wouldn't go anywhere without him. My life was consumed by him, his every move was mine as well. I began college trying out my own independence but felt a tug from my boyfriend every time I tried. 1989 (Taylors version) came out along with the song "Now that we don't talk." I began to examine how tightly he had tied the knots and how short the rope became. I was becoming someone that he wanted me to be. I was blinded by my naive thoughts about love. I sharpened my sword and I cut myself off again. I felt free and wasn't sure how I was going to find myself after. I still had the markings on where the rope was. I would meditate on the lyrics of "Now that we don't talk" and decided to add my own. I didn't have to pretend I didn't mind him smoking a pack a day. Pretending to not own up to his mistakes and sweeping it under the rug. No matter how much I poured time into him, it wouldn't change a thing. Taylor Swift's energy and passion for her music makes her one of the greatest artists in history. Her songs are revolutionary, they are poems meant to break down barriers. She exposes her deepest thoughts and puts it out into the world so that others can learn from her. I remember the first time I listened to "Is it over now" I remember diving into my own thoughts and the meaning behind this sone. With each lyric my jaw slowly dropped to the floor. With more of her songs, we all can relate to them. She had a way to bring out how a relationship can be toxic and how your own worth is important. With this album specifically, most of her songs state that she felt trapped in a toxic relationship. Her songs are an inspiration to me and have forever changed my life. She has made me grow more confident and self-aware of my needs in life and in my relationships.
    Mental Health Empowerment Scholarship
    As a college student who started off my freshman year losing my uncle to suicide, mental health is crucial to the wellbeing of everyone. I have a history of depression, anxiety, and panic episodes which left me feeling powerless. Being open, honest, and willing to seek help honest was very difficult for me to do. My family structure was set up so that feelings like I had were not talked about, and if you felt them, you were shamed and ignored. So, I would bottle up my feelings and emotions so they would be nobody's problem. In high school my parents noticed a real change in my behavior and realized that I needed help. It was very difficult to sit in the doctor's office, with my father by my side, telling the doctor that I had been feeling depressed and having thoughts of ending my life. But with support from friends, family, and loved ones, I started to believe that it was possible for me to get help with my mental health. A few weeks before I moved into my college dorm, I heard of the news about my uncle's death. This news began a spirals of panic attacks and disassociation. My life didn't feel worth living, and the world looked bleak and pointless. My life consisted of sleeping when I could and waking up feeling a tightness in my chest and vomiting from feeling panicked. I focused all my time and energy on school, never reached out to friends, and spent my year at school alone. I isolated myself, and never thought about processing my grief. At Christmas time, my extended family got together. Before then we never discussed mental health with each other, but now, it was an uncomfortable transition. We started to talk about my uncle's life, and I slowly begin to realize that we should celebrate his memory by sharing who he was and his impact on all of us. My uncle was the kind of person who would make you feel important, wanted, and special. That your life was worth living. Throughout the years I have worked with my therapists to help me with communication and my own mental health. Being able to understand that feeling depressed, anxious, and panicked is something that you should not feel ashamed of. I have continued to talk with my family and friends about their own mental health status and make it known that they can count on me to be there for them.
    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    There is a socioeconomic divide in Winston-Salem, so much that you wouldn't even notice the low-income communities because they are so well hidden by the city. For Seek the City the church called Redeemer in Winston-Salem reached out to Habitat for Humanity. We volunteered for about a week, working long hours building and repairing houses. We also made time to connect with the community by going out and sharing the food given to us courtesy of Panera Bread. We shared stories about our mission and also spread the gospel to all who wanted to hear. We met with fellow believers and strengthened each other by sharing testimonials, the kind of hardships in our lives, and the joy we experience in everyday life. We knocked on doors to spread the news of our fellowship. Picked up children's books and gave them out. This opportunity for me was life changing and my idea of society and how it works was completely changed. I found out about how the major cities in this country hide the lower-income communities by placing housing that is more adorable to areas well farther away from the city. And these areas are not visited by any kind of public transportation, so traveling to and from a job or school is much more difficult. Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity put me in a position where I could reach out to the community and make change for the better. While I have been at school, I have had the opportunity to be involved in my community by volunteering at the food pantry and spread flyers out to the campus community. I never understood the reason for food pantries such as this until I was a college student and struggling to keep food in my pantry. Many students find it difficult to be a full-time student and work at the same time. So, food pantries are there for the students and for people who worry about where their next meal will come from. There are three locations that I volunteer at by stocking food and organizing food and keeping the items we have fresh. Whenever I get an opportunity to speak with a student, I always tell them about the food options we have on campus. This opportunity has given me the opportunity to help immediately with the community and help my fellow students not go hungry. Overall, volunteering in these two communities has been a fulfilling experience for me, as it has given them the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
    Top Watch Newsletter Movie Fanatics Scholarship
    I have a favorite movie that I absolutely love - Pride and Prejudice made in 2005. It's a movie adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel, and it is one of the best movies I have ever seen. The cast is just incredible - they are all so talented and passionate about their roles. The movie is a beautiful period piece that tells the story of a middle-class family with five daughters. Their mother is determined to find husbands for them so that they won't be left destitute when their father dies. The story revolves around two wealthy bachelors - Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy. Mr. Bingley falls in love with the eldest daughter, Jane, while Mr. Darcy is initially interested in the second eldest daughter but is put off by her family's lack of social status. Elizabeth, the third daughter, overhears Mr. Darcy's insulting comments about her and immediately takes a dislike to him. Elizabeth Bennet, played by Keira Knightley, is the main protagonist of the movie, and she is incredibly intelligent, independent, and strong-willed. She is determined to marry for love, not for money or social status, which is why she initially resists Mr. Darcy's advances. Mr. Darcy, played by Matthew Macfadyen, is proud, aloof, and initially seems like an arrogant snob. However, as the story progresses, we see him soften and become more vulnerable as he falls in love with Elizabeth. The supporting characters in the movie are also fantastic. Mrs. Bennet, played by Brenda Blethyn, is hilarious and over-the-top, constantly worrying about her daughters' marriage prospects. Mr. Bennet, played by Donald Sutherland, is a kind and loving father who doesn't take his wife's antics too seriously. Jane Bennet, played by Rosamund Pike, is sweet, gentle, and beautiful - the perfect match for Mr. Bingley, played by Simon Woods, who is charming and affable. The cinematography in the movie is just stunning. The movie was filmed on location in England, where the scenery is breathtaking. The costumes and set design are also incredible - they really transport you back in time to the early 19th century. The music made for the movie is brilliant and soothing with the score composed by Dario Marianelli. As the story unfolds, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy keep running into each other, and their relationship evolves. However, misunderstandings and miscommunications keep getting in the way, and they seem destined to be apart. It's only when Mr. Darcy writes Elizabeth a letter explaining his actions that she realizes she had been wrong about him. Overall, Pride and Prejudice (2005) is a timeless classic that I will always cherish. It's a story about family, love, and the power of first impressions. I admire how the characters are developed, and how their relationships with each other are portrayed. This movie is one that I will always cherish, and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.
    Sean Carroll's Mindscape Big Picture Scholarship
    Knowing the world's past and present is crucial to understanding how we can make the future a better place to live in. Without our history, we have nothing to learn from. I hope that everyone will eventually comprehend the significance of mental health and its impact on our daily lives. Psychology, the study of human behavior and thought processes, plays a critical role in shaping our perception of the world. Without comprehending ourselves, we cannot grasp the complexities of the universe we inhabit. As we are a part of this universe, our understanding of the mind is key to unlocking the mysteries of creation. Therefore, understanding our minds will help us understand the universe. With mental disorders, we are learning how the brain can change and shape the way you function. With this, an education in psychology is essential for any kind of career. My mission is to empower people with the knowledge of how they can lead a healthy and holistic lifestyle. I will be an advocate for those who feel they have no voice and be the one to step up when people are in need. I am hopeful that in the future everyone will understand that holistic health is one of the best ways that we as humans can live healthier lives. Living a holistic lifestyle means that you are taking care of your mind and body to the best of your ability. By researching and exploring the human mind, we can unlock the secrets of creation and understand our universe better. To lead a healthy lifestyle, it is imperative to rest and allow the body to recover. Getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep is essential for the proper functioning of the body and mind. Exercise plays a crucial role in releasing the right hormones in the brain to combat stress, relieve muscle tension, and facilitate better sleep. Research shows that exercising in the morning can improve mental alertness and productivity. Lastly, consuming the right kind of foods can energize our bodies and provide the stability needed for a healthy mind. Psychology is the research and study of humanity and the connection we have with ourselves. I have learned throughout the year that by focusing on the whole rather than partial aspects of life we can gain a comprehensive understanding of ourselves and our environment. As we live in this universe, it is vital to explore the cosmos inside us to connect more with the world. As a research psychologist, I aim to pave the way for future generations to continue exploring the complexities of the human mind.
    Once Upon a #BookTok Scholarship
    The Hunger Games is a story about a girl named Katniss Everdeen, who is selected to compete to death in an arena for the entertainment of wealthy citizens of a damaged dystopian country. It's a story that shows how one person's actions can make a difference in the face of great injustice. Despite her doubts about her abilities, she manages to spark a rebellion that inspires others to fight against the oppressive government. Through her journey, Katniss overcomes trauma from her past experiences, including losing family members, her identity, and her home. Her story shows how one can grow stronger from their past and overcome things they would have never thought possible. One of the most impactful aspects of the series is how it portrays mental health and the impact that past experiences have on it. The books delve into the psychological effects of trauma and how it can shape a person's view of the world. Katniss' experiences and her journey to overcome them provide a relatable and inspiring example of how one can change and grow through past experiences. As the story progresses, Katniss becomes the symbol of hope for the nation, the Mockingjay. Her character is relatable to many readers because of her cynical point of view and her struggles with mental health. Despite these challenges, she overcomes her suffering and becomes stronger because of it. Her transformation inspired others to join the rebellion with her in the fight against oppression. I first discovered the Hunger Games series through #BookTok, a social media platform where users can recommend books and share their thoughts on them. When I opened the first book of the series, I was immediately drawn in and finished it in less than a week. The story's themes of resilience, courage, and hope made a lasting impact on me, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a thought-provoking and inspiring read. Despite the dark and disturbing premise of the series, it is ultimately a story of hope and resilience. It shows that even in the face of overwhelming odds, one person can make a difference and inspire others to fight for a better future. I am inspired by the other readers of #BookTok and the community that has been shaped by it. #BookTok has shown me that books are a way for people can explore different worlds and perspectives. I recommend anyone who's struggling to find their voice to explore their different passions through the #BookTok community.
    Veerakasturi and Venkateswarlu Ganapaneni Memorial Scholarship
    My father was the main financial provider for our family, so when he left last year, he left me and my family to fend for ourselves. Currently, I am working a full-time job with 40 hours a week as a full-time student. I am responsible for paying my medical bills, housing, and food. I also try to assist my mother with her financial responsibilities as much as possible. My mother is a single mom raising four younger brothers, with me and my older sister out of the house. Before my father abandoned his family, he paid for my school, most of my food, and my housing. Currently with his mental instability, my mother has feared for our well-being and has filed for a restraining order so that he is not able to harm my mother or my family. My future career will focus on individuals who are affected by communication, speech, and language disorders. When I was younger, I wasn't able to speak well which influenced my confidence and my ability to explain what I wanted and how I felt. By going to speech therapy I can empathize with others who are struggling with communication disorders. I want to work in a hospital to reach people who have been involved in accidents that involve traumatic brain injuries, strokes, or other communicative disorders. I will change lives by being able to help people regain their life by helping them regain their ability to communicate effectively. My dream will have a positive effect on society by introducing new and advanced treatments and therapies for those affected by communication disorders. My career will require me to continue my education and research for the rest of my professional achievements. My dream is to pursue internships that involve Speech Therapy in a medical setting. My goal is to help others in need and to build back the lives that they had or need. Losing the ability to speak can result in a person feeling not in control and too dependent on others to get their needs met. My dream is to help people with their neurological disorders, communication disorders, and any other disorder that limits a person's ability to speak. By aiding me with my academic endeavors I will be able to focus more of my time and energy on my academics. I will also be able to help my family financially and ease some of the burdens that have been placed on my family.
    Elizabeth Schalk Memorial Scholarship
    Mental health wasn't discussed in my family, so I would usually hide my feelings so that I wouldn't be a burden. During middle school, my mental health deteriorated and I experienced episodes of depression, panic attacks, and anxiety attacks. I didn't know what I was feeling or how I could talk to my parents about how I felt. I kept it all inside until my parents started to notice big changes in my behavior. I would cry almost every day, and I wrote in my journal about ending my life When I was around 15 my parents sent me to a doctor to prescribe me antidepressants. I tried one after the other until I found one that leveled out my anxiety and depressive symptoms. A few years later age 17 I was sexually assaulted by an older man and my best friend. My body didn't feel like my own and I had my identity stripped from me. I experienced feelings of disassociation most days and had recurrent PTSD. My PTSD was taking over my life. I would curl up on the floor and scream because I felt like I died. My old self was dead and I mourned for her. I lost connections with close friends and stayed in my room most days. I hated my body and I had no appetite and lost weight fast. My sexual trauma ruined my life. I didn't feel like I deserved any help. When I went to report the sexual violence the police, hospital staff, and government officials would constantly reassure me that it wasn't my fault. In the end, there wasn't enough evidence to convict my attackers of the sexual assault. The voice in my head told me that they didn't believe me, that it was my fault, and that I should end my life. I had my first attempt a few months later and my mother was there to witness. We didn't go to a hospital but she made me get professional help. I went to my first Psychiatrist to be professionally diagnosed. She concluded her evaluation of me and told me I had PTSD, persistent depressive disorder, ADHD, and a panic disorder. I was glad that I had someone to help me manage my medication but was struggling with my identity and feeling comfortable in my own body. My mother set me up with a therapist, which I didn't like, but it was a start. I started opening up to my friends and loved ones about my mental health. I met a boy sometime later who helped me feel more comfortable in my body. A year and a couple of months after my assault I was beginning to feel more hopeful for the future. A week before I moved into my dorm, I saw my parents talking outside and my mother was sobbing. When they came inside my mother was still crying and I asked my father what was wrong. He urged me outside and held me in his arms before he told me my beloved uncle shot himself earlier that day. My knees buckled and I had him hold me up. The world went spinning and I felt sick. I went to my mother who was weeping as well and denied what I was told. The death of my uncle is constantly with me and my family. I miss him every day and sometimes wonder what life would be like if he were here. While the grieving process is heartbreaking my family and I are more aware of mental health and how it affects us.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    I started off the evening gathering as much alcohol as I could because the more intoxicated you were, the more fun you had. My best friend at the time was 16 and was always looking for a good time. I just turned 17 and was excited to be older and have more responsibility. I had just come back from a friend's house with her when we stopped at a QT gas station to grab some snacks for the night. As we were walking out a man in a black SUV signaled over to us. I ignored him and thought he was pathetic for hitting on two young girls. But my friend was always looking for attention from boys and went over to talk with him. I went over reluctantly and they started speaking. I was the only one on my phone so she took it to get his Snapchat. On the ride home we had fun sending him messages and laughing about how sad and desperate he sounded. At least that's what I thought, but my friend was more invested in talking with him than I was. Once we got home, we put on a scary movie and started drinking. I started to forget what happened that night when my friend had her phone and told me he was outside in his car. The next morning I woke up still drunk with vomit in my hair, I decided to stay in bed the whole day. I was tormented about what had happened and kept on asking my friend what had happened. Her story changed each time I asked. The next day I decided that I should take a shower and went to say goodbye to my friend. After that, I sat down with my mother and told her what I remembered that night. I told her that I slipped in and out of consciousness and that the man we met at QT along with my friend sexually assaulted me. My mother was horrified and hugged me and told me that should have never happened to me. That is when I realized I was raped. I went to the hospital to get a rape kit done but since so much time had gone by and I took a shower there wasn't much they could do. I was tested for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. I remember sitting on the bed at the hospital surrounded by men and feeling like they were going to do the same thing to me that happened that night. The months following were a blur, I didn't know who I was and didn't feel safe in my own body. I was a good Christian girl and was planning to save myself for marriage. I was mad at God for allowing this to happen and for my former friend to lie to the police about what happened. I wanted justice and the American judicial system failed me. I no longer spoke to my former friend because of that night. I wouldn't go out to hang out with my friends and took the rest of high school online because most days I couldn't move out of bed. My body was not my own and I had lost my identity. My career aspirations are to be an advocate for anyone that may be sexually, physically, emotionally, or psychologically abused. My goal is to be the person I wish I had when I was going through this traumatic time in my life. I still struggle with my beliefs and am repairing my relationship with God. I will be the one who fights for justice.
    Early Childhood Developmental Trauma Legacy Scholarship
    Growing up, I had an emotionally and psychologically abusive father. I grew up being aware of our financial difficulties because of the constant reminder that me and my other siblings were financial burdens. If I failed in any area of life he would take it personally and punish me for it. Because of this, I was more mature than other children my age and felt responsible for how others would feel. I grew up to be a people pleaser and would do anything in my power to make others like me. When my father was out of the house, I felt I was free to be a kid and only worry about my feelings. When he was around, everyone walked around eggshells because one wrong thing would set him off. If he didn't get a job or get paid from one, it became me, and my family's fault. It was a constant battleground in my home. My mother took a lot of the abuse, and when I became older I knew she was trying to protect us by taking most of the "blame" for things going wrong in my father's life. Every birthday I would get loads of money from family and friends and would save it in my savings account. Out of all my siblings I was told by my father that I had the most money, which made him happy. I was glad he was happy and proud that I was the sibling who saved the most money so I continued to save, but never knew how much I did. When I asked my father would divert the question with another one or simply say that I didn't need to know. One day my father came in and accused my mother of spending all our savings. I was furious with my mother but later figured out that my mother only spent money so that we could have clothes on our backs and food in our kitchen. My father blamed my mother for spending money that he took for himself. This is only one example of the twisted psychological abuse that me and my family endured. I found out later that my father has narcissistic personality disorder. He has a constant need for reassurance and praise for what he is doing. He sees his children as extensions of himself, if we do well, he is overjoyed, but when we do poorly, he emotionally and psychologically abuses us. With his disorder, it is very difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with him and set boundaries. My mother is currently going through a divorce with him which has put another emotional and traumatic strain on my family's life. Knowing what I know about parents and their influence on children, I would be more careful of how I address parents and their children. I will take into consideration the possibility of children experiencing developmental trauma when I work with kids. I will be an advocate for people who are not able to speak or help themselves.