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Ava Caggiano


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I am a student athlete and dedicated servant to my community at Cicero Preparatory Academy. I have found admiration and appreciation for many of the Arts by partaking in them, such as Choir, Studio Art, Drama/Theatre, and Poetry. I am impassioned by reading the Great Books both in and out of my school's ciriculum. Serving others is a gift I deeply cherish, like my association with Paz De Christo, a local Homeless shelter, and the Scottsdale Public Library, as a teen volunteer over summers. Volleyball is my first love, so much so that my best friend Halle and I created our school's sand volleyball program from scratch! I have also been lucky enough to be the Indoor Volleyball Team's captain since my sophomore year. My dreams for the future are to work for a ministry and help lead, organize, and execute mission work around the world, providing for the lost, weak, and weary; spiritually, mentally, emotionally, or physically. Thank you for taking time to look over my profile, have a wonderful day.


Cicero Preparatory Academy

High School
2013 - 2024
  • GPA:


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Anthropology
    • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Other
    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Civic & Social Organization

    • Dream career goals:

      Head of Ministry Organization

    • salesperson and food prep

      BEG Bakery
      2022 – Present2 years



    2022 – Present2 years


    • Model Sportsmanship Award

    Sand Volleyball

    2020 – Present4 years


    • Regional recognition of Skill


    2020 – Present4 years


    • most valuable player


    • Chamber Singers

      GreatHearts Honor Choir Fesitval
      2021 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Centurions in Service — Coordinator
      2020 – Present

    Future Interests





    Aspiring Musician Scholarship
    Every little girl has a phase where she wants to become a "professional pop star". My desire, however, was a little longer than a phase. At first, I wanted to be a rock star, per my 7-year-old Birthday party's theme. Then I wanted to be a country singer, as my 8-year-old birthday party displayed. Finally, my 9-year-old birthday party was pop-star-themed. Even as a young child, I felt a deep attraction to singing; like the tides of vocal music were drawing me out to some vast and enchanting sea, encapsulating much more beauty to be found. At the time I had no idea why I felt so drawn to singing, but I knew that it was something freeing, beautiful, and creative. Fast forward, I am starting my junior year in high school. I will admit, I was a typical underclassman up to this point; one who went with the crowd, didn't quite think for herself, and more often than not was in on the latest trends rather than more noble pursuits, such as studying. I was lost, you could say; a speck of sand along the beach of teenagehood in the search for identity. As a result of my aimless wandering, I wasn't myself, but rather a shadow of who people wanted me to be. But then, I was presented with an opportunity that forever changed the way I view the world. I joined my school's choir. Even at just the first rehearsal, I remember my skin feeling like it was set on fire, in a good way. I felt alive, enflamed, and passionate. I was in complete awe of the beauty of the harmonies we were making as a unified group of singers. Something from long ago that had fallen into a deep slumber within me was suddenly re-awoken by the beauty of that sound of choral unity. This was the beginning of something wonderful and reviving. After continuing to be revitalized by the choir and making music, I came to understand what exactly was awakening within me, which I had let fall asleep in my youth. I found it was the fire of life; the will to live for something greater and more beautiful than myself and my identity. Where before all I could think about was where my identity and perception by others might be, now I was consumed with creating, being a part of, and cherishing the beauty of our harmonies. In surrendering myself to the greater good, true, and beautiful things in life, I slowly became who I am today. In surrendering to those tides, I was able to encounter such beauty as I had never known existed; and this beauty continued to serve as the oxygen for my soul's fire for life. Music has drastically shaped my view of life and the world by teaching me one important lesson; to find yourself, you must first stop looking. Instead, surrender all your time and energy to noble and beautiful pursuits, and the rest will follow. You will eventually become like the beautiful, unique, and lively things you pursue. Loving and living with the choir and the beauty of the music it revealed has helped me find myself in a world of chaos and disillusionment. It has helped me stay focused on the greater good in life, and not fall into the vicious and obsessive cycle of trying to define myself by my appearance, reputation, or other temporal aspects. So to music, I am forever indebted, as it simultaneously saved and created me by allowing me to see the beauty in life worth living for.
    Michael Rudometkin Memorial Scholarship
    "All human beings are inherently valuable and deserve kindness." This is a quote I have come to understand and chosen to live by in my daily life. Putting others' needs above my own is selfless. Since I have been asked to speak on my selflessness, I would say I embody selflessness by taking action to put others' needs above my own; thus honoring that others are inherently valuable human beings who naturally deserve kindness. Since I deeply believe that all people are inherently worthy of being loved, I have made it my mission in life to show them that. I do so by acting for their good rather than my own. By "mission in life" I do not mean that merely my career will flow from this idea, although if life so allows, I do plan to become a Ministry Projects Coordinator as a future career path. What I more mean is that I want as many of my actions as possible to be aimed at helping others feel loved, and plan to do so by acting for their good. For some examples of my acts of selflessness, I will list a few, although I will admit that it feels somewhat wrong to share in the spotlight the things I have done for others, as that is not the reason I serve. At least once a week, when a friend is having a difficult day, I find that I take a moment to stop them and ask what is bothering them, then offer them a safe space to be heard and let go of whatever is plaguing their happiness. I view this as embodying selflessness on a small scale, yet no less important, because such an act requires me to put aside what I would rather be doing at the moment for the sake of another's needs and happiness. For another, yet larger example, I will share what selflessness is required of me to be the Community Service Club Coordinator for my school. I spend several hours a week reflecting on how my school or local community could be bettered, then create projects that aim to solve the problems of said communities. This could be called selfless because it is an act of choosing to spend my time and energy benefiting my community rather than myself alone. Last December, I reached out to Vista Del Camino, Scottsdale's local community service outreach, and organized a way for my school to help collect toys for Vista's annual 'Toys for Tots' toy drive. After much planning, organizing, and physical labor (I had to build and decorate the boxes for collecting toys by hand after soccer practice one night), the service project was a success! My school as a whole donated 150 toys to this local toy drive. Such acts, big and small, are equally aimed at one thing; to help others feel loved. By aiming at this goal, I necessarily find myself putting their needs before my own. I would say that embodies selflessness. It may be difficult for some to find this selflessness within themselves, but once a vital question is asked and the true answer is found, it is quite easy to turn one's heart to serving others. The vital question is "Why would another person not deserve my time, energy, and love when they are struggling?". If the true answer is reached; that those struggling always deserve our time, energy, and love, then being selfless feels more like an honorable duty than a tiresome burden.
    McClendon Leadership Award
    Leadership is not a chance for a moment in the spotlight but rather requires subtle yet intentional background work that helps guide the team towards success in the end. Being in a position of leadership is a wonderful opportunity to apply one's skills toward achieving a greater goal, however, it is more about bringing each team member's talents and contributions into the spotlight. A leader must be humble, encouraging, and first and foremost have the interest of those they lead at heart. To me, leadership means highlighting team members' contributions when the goal is successfully reached; and equally taking responsibility when the goal is not reached. No matter how much I may have contributed towards reaching the goal, I do not think it is my place to take credit, thus furthering myself from team unity. Instead, I always aim to reflect the spotlight of success on those whom I lead. That is one of the roles of a good leader; to encourage those they lead by making them aware of their part in it. When the team feels like it is a part of the success, it will be more encouraged to take initiative next time around, making the team as a whole more productive, and therefore better for itself. Because good leadership is aimed at the well-being of those led, this tactic of encouraging confidence and independence is crucial to successful leadership, as it is also crucial to bettering those being led. The second most important part of leadership, which I try to embody where I lead, is that it is also the job of the leader to take the hit when something goes wrong, whether it was their fault or not. If the team comes into conflict with something external, or even internal, it is the job of the leader to step up, take responsibility, and help the team move on. This is what I was referring to earlier when I explained that leading is about subtle work in the background. The spotlight should never be on the leader unless it is because someone needs to take responsibility for the failure or faults of the project. Leading requires humility to put oneself in a position of blame, especially when it is undeserved. It may seem strange to say that a good leader must take the blame, however such an act directly relates back to their main goal, that being to help those they lead. If there is a seemingly irresolvable conflict, someone needs to step and resolve it. By taking responsibility for the conflict in some way, the leader is helping resolve it and move the team onwards. Removing the conflict in order to continue towards the goal is vital to reach success and help the team, therefore it is vital that a leader be willing to help resolve it in any way, including taking the blame when it is not their fault. Overall, the aim of any good leadership should be to benefit those they lead. This requires the leader to be humble by highlighting the contributions of others rather than themselves after success, and also taking responsibility for faults when they occur, even if it wasn't necessarily the leader's fault. Without this type of selfless and humble leadership, no goal will be reached, and the common good of those being led will be neglected ultimately. Therefore good leadership is vital to benefiting others and success in reaching goals, because without it there would be no positive and selfless force subtly guiding everyone towards the goal, and ultimately helping them reach success.
    Writer for Life Scholarship
    Alexandra Bergson was a pioneer woman in the late 1800s, homesteading alone on the plains of Nebraska, inventing new ways to sustain life. She had to be tenacious, courageous, and persevere through many hardships before she reached success as a farmer, and became known as a pioneer in her field, nonetheless. I hope to become like Alexandra with my writing capabilities; to have her tenacity, cleverness, and endurance. Women have only just begun to impact modern journalism if the history of men is taken into account. We are inching our way in, slowly but surely. We have had to fight tooth and nail to be heard, much less willingly listened to. Therefore we know what it means to work for something we deserve. This tenacity for our right to freedom of speech and press has been fought for much harder than it ought to have been. However, we are here, and making a difference. If one wishes to learn about pioneering, not only in the agricultural sense but societal sense as well, one ought to read "O Pioneers!" by Willa Cather. Cather expounds greatly upon the moral character required to break barriers and reach success, both in homesteading, and life in general. As a writer, I wish to set my sights on highlighting other women who must be heard. There are incredible stories in the world of women standing up to their oppressors, but they have yet to be truly heard. I want my writing to one day magnify all the heroic and true stories of women standing up for their unalienable human rights. I believe all women would benefit from more stories on this topic, as we are too often pitted against each other. My goal is to further expose and publicize women fighting for truth, justice, and equality, rather than against one another. I detest nothing more than gossip magazines that highlight two celebrity women in serious conflict with one another, usually over superficial matters such as physical appearance or some man. Jo March, a character from Little Women, is someone I have always idolized. She is brave, strong, independent, and unshaken by the "shoulds" of her society. We need more women like Jo March and Alexandra Bergson. But how? By spotlighting real-life women like them. By teaching our current generation of women what it looks like to be audacious, stubborn, and strong-willed, but for the most worthy cause of course-- that being their independence and respect. Women like Marie Curie, Jane Austen, Willa Cather, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Indira Gandhi are everywhere, waiting to be heard, to give their testimony. They just need someone to tell their story. This is my mission, as a writer, to encapsulate the beauty, valor, and goodness of these influential women; to let their stories of freedom of the soul and mind ring out for all to hear, should others lend their ear. I plan to do this by studying, severely, good writing invention, arrangement, style, and delivery to ensure my message is heard well and articulated. Yet what moves me to pursue writing is this question, quiet, but ever-present: What is the purpose of writing well if the content is but superficial? I hope to curate my writing abilities so that I might aid in the mission that every woman has on their yoke, whether she chooses to acknowledge it or not, and that is to progress the movement of women becoming empowered, independent, and freer. I choose to contribute to this duty of ours, my fellow womankind I mean, by helping become heard.
    Marian Haley Memorial Scholarship
    Education means freedom. In reading Frederick Douglass, I was deeply moved by the idea that freedom of the mind and soul was determined by acquiring an education. This is a realization that has rung about in the chambers of my mind since I learned it, and motivates me now to pursue teaching as my goal in life. I wish to enable students with knowledge by educating them so that they too can become free. Most students dread their school work, which is horrifying, as education is what will truly free their souls. Ignorance is the narrowest and most passive way for any person to live. Ignorance means easy persuasion by those who claim to know more, and say they should be trusted. Ignorance is how people end up voting based on who will appeal to their desires most, rather than who will benefit the common good most. Ignorance is how people end up in situations they never really chose for themselves, but rather blindly followed others into. Knowledge, by education, is the key to unlocking all the beauty, truth, and nobility of life. While knowledge also reveals all the ugly, awful, and evil of life, it still gives people awareness of the ugliness and evil of the world, so they might defend against it. My teachers are the most reasonable human beings I know, and what is more, they want their students to join them in their knowledge and freedom. They do not want to manipulate us, or make us feel unworthy for our ignorance but rather help lift us out of our ignorance on heavenly wings so that we too might enjoy the beauty of a life of wisdom. Education is the most pertinent aspect of life to order one's soul. Without knowledge about human nature, how could we ever master our own? How could we know how to obey our reason and silence our unruly desires, if we had never been taught how by a good education? Knowledge about our nature by learning through others' mistakes, like Gatsby's mistaking Daisy for his only purpose in life, or Victor Frankenstein's abandoning his creation, is how we come to order our souls. Without a soul ruled by reason, we are merely animals, beasts, enslaved to our instantaneous desires. Our education is what makes us more free, rational creatures. In other words, our education is what makes us more human. Education, therefore, is pertinent, if not the most necessary thing, for any human to be truly successful and happy in life. In understanding the resounding effects of education on the human soul, I am impassioned to become a high school teacher. I wish to provide children, who are just beginning to form ideas about the world, with an opportunity to learn more about ordering themselves and approaching life in such a way that it will be fulfilled by education rather than drained by desire. Education means freedom, and freedom means happiness. Therefore, aiding others in becoming educated, while it is at times trying, is the most noble pursuit. So, I choose this path; to become a teacher once I myself am properly educated, that I might help others reach the glittering life of freedom and happiness, rather than the dull and dreary life of ignorance and desire.
    My school's 1A varsity volleyball team went from losing every game to being in the Final Four of our state playoffs in a mere 3 years. Allow me to explain. In 2020, Cicero Prep's volleyball program had an extremely underwhelming participation. As a result, I, who had never played volleyball before, and a few other teammates in a similar position, had to play on both JV and Varsity to ensure our team even had a schedule that season. Either way, I came to ardently love the sport, and it fired up a passion within me. We lost nearly every game on both JV and Varsity. This first year was the quiet season of learning what exactly volleyball meant to us, and understanding what would be required of us to reach our goals. we learned that success required perseverance, despite our losing streak. We had to overcome the mockery of our classmates by being on a "losing team" and instead continue to suit up before each match and play our hardest. Much perseverance was gained in that first, quiet season. By my sophomore year, our program was growing; there were at least enough people to make two separate teams. Our varisty's returning players, however, came back with a new tenacity and hunger for victory, unlike anything any Cicero sports program had seen before. This second season I was appointed team captain; and while I still didn't fully understand the game, I did know it took perseverance. That is what I reminded my teammates of before every match. "Think of how hard we have worked, how much we have endured together to make this program better", I would say before a set. Slowly but surely, we began to win games. We played with such spirit and heart that more than once larger 2A and 3A schools would compliment our team's tenacity during tournaments. For us all, as a team, to take our capabilities to the next level, we needed to overcome our lack of experience and persevere. So we did. Another season passed by, and the next thing I knew, we were in the final 4 for our State Playoffs. Words could hardly express how proud we all were of how far we had taken our team in a mere two and a half years. I reflected on how we had gotten so far until it became quite clear to me that it was our perseverance through the losses that finally brought us to a win. But where did the motivation to endure come from? I thought. It came from inside us, all of us. We all desired to change, become better athletes, and create a better program for future years of volleyball at Cicero, more than we desired our comfort in the moment. Sacrificing momentary comfort for a long-term goal led to perseverance, which led to achieving goals. Volleyball has taught me how to persevere for a goal greater than a momentary desire for comfort. This mindset is a tool I will forever cherish and often fall back on in life. I plan to cultivate this skill as life's trials, unbeknownst to me, confront me. In college this might look like more sincere and diligent work, as my education is a greater cause to persevere for than my comfort. In my career, I will use this persevering mindset to be a productive team member rather than avoid work and stay comfortable. Overall, volleyball has taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life, and that is to persevere for a noble cause rather than seek comfort.