For DonorsFor Applicants
user profile avatar

Benjamin Johnston

2055

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

Bio

My name is Benjamin Johnston, and I am a 17 year old senior at Foxcroft Academy. I enjoy writing, acting, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and spending time with my family. I live in a beautiful small Maine town, Dover-Foxcroft, with a river running through the middle of it. In fact, the Piscataquis River flows behind my house. The river once divided the two towns of Dover and Foxcroft until 1921, when town residents voted to join the two towns together. In 1922 there was an actual wedding where the separate towns of Dover and Foxcroft officially became one. I have lived my entire life in a foster home and have many foster and adoptive siblings. All of my siblings have diagnoses of some sort as we are a therapeutic home. One of my brothers has Down syndrome, many have mental health diagnoses, and others have neurological disorders such as autism. Coincidentally, I was born with a Specific Learning Disability, Dysgraphia. I am lucky as with technological accommodations, my skills are on par with my non-disabled peers, and I have done quite well in school since I learned to type at a young age. Recently, I was inducted into the National Honor Society. I am graduating soon and have been accepted to all 3 of the colleges I have applied to. Although I am considering middle school education, I am not 100% sure what I want to major in yet. I want to continue volunteering my time to help bring the arts to the community. I also want to continue advocating for foster care reform and societal inclusion for those with disabilities.

Education

Foxcroft Academy

High School
2019 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Education, General
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Education

    • Dream career goals:

      Middle School Teacher

    • Paid Traveling Actor in the Play "Twain by the Tale"

      Center Theatre
      2021 – 2021
    • Cashier

      Shaw's Supermarket
      2021 – Present3 years

    Sports

    Kayaking

    Intramural
    2015 – 20194 years

    Arts

    • Foxcroft Academy

      Acting
      Little Shop of Horrors
      2019 – 2019
    • Slightly Off-Center Players

      Acting
      2010 – Present
    • Foxcroft Academy Marching Band

      Marching Band
      Marched and Played at Walt Disney World
      2019 – 2019

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Center Theatre — Actor, Selling Concessions, Ticket Sales, Cleaning, Maintenance, Set-Building, Fundraising
      2010 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Foxcroft Academy Key Club — Volunteer
      2021 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      Maine Down Syndrome Buddy Walk — Fundraiser and Activities Volunteer at the Yearly Buddy Walk
      2015 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Sebec Little Free Library and Phone of the Wind — Co-Creator, General Upkeep and Maintenance
      2019 – Present
    • Volunteering

      SeDoMoCha Middle School Gr. 6 Science Classroom Aide — Gr. 6 Science Classroom Aide
      2021 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Hobbies Matter
    Do you have a t-shirt that says, "I can't. I have play practice," or maybe the one that says, "Drama IS my sport!"? If so, perhaps you, too, are a lover of acting in community theater! I was first introduced to theater at age five while attending a summer camp which ended in a performance of Tom Sawyer. My character came bounding out from stage left, holding a paintbrush with one hand, swinging a paint can in the other, and pretending to paint Aunt Polly's fence joyfully. Tom had manipulated us into helping him paint after receiving that job as a punishment from his aunt for some transgression he had committed. After painting, I enthusiastically thanked Tom for letting me paint before I joyously skipped off stage. The small-town theater crowd, composed of mostly camp goers parents and grandparents, went wild, cheering loudly, and from that moment forward, I have been hooked on acting, and my life has never been the same. This moment was the catalyst for my love of all things theater. It is my sport, my passion, my stress relief, and my number one hobby. Being in a theater production takes hundreds of hours and is a lot of work, but I love every minute of every play. The cast and the crew become a tight-knit family in an uplifting, supportive environment where you can freely be yourself. In addition, it's just plain fun! Where else can you be a funny warthog wearing a coconut bra, be a singing Elephant saving a tiny world, or step back in history to play a small boy who testifies for Santa Claus? I've lived in the make-believe world of Neverland with Peter Pan, gone down the rabbit hole into Wonderland as the White Rabbit, and learned science, history, and grammar while rocking out on stage in "Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr." The theater has taught me many important lessons that will serve me well throughout life; teamwork, following directions, respect, communication, and time management, to name a few. I have even learned square dancing, ballroom dancing, how to read music, and stage combat. The lessons I've learned while growing up in community theater will stay in my mind and heart forever as I traverse from childhood into adulthood. The theater has allowed me magical adventures and unique experiences while never leaving my small town in rural Maine. It is where I discovered not just a hobby but a lifelong passion.
    Bold Memories Scholarship
    Author Richie Norton once said, "Sometimes blessings come in ugly wrapping paper." Well, my blessing came to me dressed in a dirty shirt and covered in scabs and bruises. But, of course, I didn't know he was a blessing yet, and if anyone had told me at the time that it would be so, I never would have believed it. I had just turned eleven the day my new brother came. On the way to the office to pick him up, I begged my parents to reconsider. "They do have other foster homes they can call," I broadcast loudly from the backseat. "He has no one," my mother responded sadly. His mom, an addict, dropped him off and never came back. When we arrived, his almond-shaped eyes were the only visible sign he had Down syndrome. He didn't speak with words, but his actions spoke volumes. He climbed on the back of the couch, kicked me in the face and laughed. Soon, he began to melt my heart. His laugh was contagious. It was impossible not to be in a good mood when he was around. He began to speak and to trust. He told me several times a day that I was his best friend. It has been almost seven years since he waltzed into my life, and I am still his best friend, but now he is also mine. He loves to sit and hold my hand while watching movies. I've taught him to play chess, catch frogs and make sandcastles, and he's taught me about unconditional love. He's taught me about strength and resilience. I have learned so much from my brother since that cold March day. Most of all, I've learned that the blessings we don't anticipate are the sweetest of all.
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    "The greatest ability is dependability" (Bob Jones). I am confident and proud of my ability to be dependable and be there for people in need. I am someone who people can count on, and that is more valuable to me than money or expensive possessions. I want people to put their trust in me. I want to help them believe in themselves and to believe they can be successful in whatever they decide to do in life. I have had many opportunities thus far in my life to show others I can be dependable, as I support others, in school, in my community, and even in my home. I may not wear a flashy uniform like a superhero, but I've been working to change the world my entire life. Little by little, young person by young person, I teach them how a child should be treated in a family. I encourage them to be proud of who they are, what they have lived through, and who they will become. I show them that I am dependable and am someone they can count on when they are in distress or need advice. Who are these children and teens? They are cherished members of my family, sometimes for a day, sometimes for years, and are some of the strongest individuals I've ever known. For the entire 17 years of my life, I have lived in a foster home. My father grew up in foster care, and long before I was born, he knew he wanted to give back to the system by becoming a foster parent. My mother, a special education teacher, always wanted to adopt. When they fell in love, they decided to foster and adopt and became therapeutic foster and adoptive parents. That means that all of the children and teens who join our family have mental, neurological, and/or health special needs. As a result of the abuse and/or neglect that landed them in foster care, I have grown up surrounded by children and teens who have endured the unimaginable, some younger, some older, all victims. These children and teens have lived through what horror movies are made of, yet, they are amazingly resilient. These are kids who have been abused in every way imaginable, others who have been severely neglected or abandoned. I encourage them to realize what strong individuals they are and to know they are worthy of love and happiness. I teach them to expect dignity and respect. I teach them what it feels like to be loved unconditionally and how to never feel powerless again. I help encourage them to understand and process their feelings healthily instead of lashing out at others. Finally, I try to be a dependable person in their lives as most of them have very few people they can truly count on. While I am not 100% sure what I want to do as an adult in terms of a daily job, I know that I want to work in either education or social services. Regardless of my career choice, I want to continue changing the world by advocating for and inspiring children and teens in foster care. I want them to truly know that they are capable of doing great things in life, of realizing their self-worth and to know I will always be in their corner, cheering them on. I want to encourage them to see that they, too, can change the world. Being someone that others can depend on in my work community, family, and community is something I aspire to do during my life journey.
    I Am Third Scholarship
    I feel I am destined to become a teacher. After all, I have been teaching others for most of my life. But, you may ask, who are these children/teens I have been teaching? They are former and current members of my family. They are some of the strongest people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. They are an inspiration to all and have taught me far more than I have taught them. For the entire 17 years of my life, I have lived in a foster home. When I was born, I was welcomed home by a houseful of children/teens who may not share my DNA but shared my parents, my home, and our love. As a result, I have grown up surrounded by children who have endured the unimaginable. Many of the kids arrive not knowing basic functional life skills that we take for granted, and I help teach them these skills, such as how to cut their food, brush their teeth, and proper restaurant etiquette. Even more important than these skills, I help teach them that they are amazingly strong individuals who are worthy. They are worthy of love. They are worthy of respect. They are worthy of living happily ever after. I help teach them that what they have experienced in their former lives was not their fault and that they deserve to be happy and taken care of. I teach them how to advocate for themselves and be strong and brave in a not always kind world. Sometimes people say that it must be tough to live with foster siblings and share my home, parents, and life. These people don’t know the meaning of the word tough. My foster siblings are the ones who have had it tough. The things they have lived through are what horror movies are made of. Yet, despite their horrific backgrounds, these kids are amazingly resilient. I am proud of each and every one of my foster siblings, both current and past, for what they have had to endure and overcome. Growing up in a foster home has taught me how to show and model patience, forgiveness, empathy, and express anger and frustration appropriately. It has also helped me develop communication skills such as communicating feelings and concerns without sounding threatening or judgmental. It has also taught me how to listen not just to the words spoken but to the emotions behind the words and actions of others. My dream job is to become a middle school teacher as I want to continue to inspire children and teens to overcome any challenges they may have experienced or be experiencing. I want to continue teaching underprivileged children and young teens that they can do great things, despite any home and any other challenges they may be facing. I want to continue teaching and advocating for all children, especially those who don’t have anyone in their corner to help them reach their full potential.
    Normandie Cormier Greater is Now Scholarship
    When I was five, my teacher tried to teach me to tie my shoes. Most of my friends learned in a day. Some needed a little more practice and learned in a few days. One by one, all the little boys and girls in my kindergarten class mastered the task, each earning a brand new pair of sparkly shoelaces and a special badge to wear home on their special day. I began to lose hope. After trying day after day, week after week, month after month, I began to wonder what was wrong with me. Finally, the teacher passed me off to the Occupational Therapist, who promised me that she would teach me how to tie my shoes so fast my head would spin. It wasn't true. Her intentions were good, but I proved a more difficult challenge than she'd anticipated. Over the next few years, several other professionals also tried, and I disappointed each one of them as well as myself. I never did get my fancy shoelaces or my badge. It was four more years before I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia, a neurological condition that affects a person's coordination, movement, processing, balance, and ability to integrate the two sides of their body. Everything suddenly made sense. Now I knew why I was the only student in the entire fifth grade unable to jump rope, the only student unable to skip, the only student still unable to tie his shoes, one of the few who struggled with stairs. With that understanding came intense relief. My questions were finally answered. I no longer had to wonder why. I felt empowered. I felt free. For the remainder of middle school and high school, I no longer felt shame for my inability to do some of the tasks that my friends found so easy. Instead, I've found other areas to excel in. I've found joy and success in acting, having even won an acting award at a state drama competition. I've found academic success, recently inducted into the National Honor Society, and consistently making high honors. I've found joy in volunteering and working at a local theater to sell tickets and concessions for movies and concerts. Most importantly, I've found joy in mentoring other children with learning disabilities such as mine. I let them know that they are perfect, just how nature made them. I tell them that they can, and will, do great things in life despite their disability. I let them know that I still can't tie my shoes at almost eighteen. And that is perfectly okay with me.
    Next Young Leaders Program Scholarship
    I may not wear a flashy uniform like a superhero, but I've been working to change the world my entire life. Little by little, young person by young person, I teach them how a child should be treated in a family. I encourage them to hold their heads high and be proud of who they are, what they have lived through, and who they will become. Who are these children and teens? They are cherished members of my family, sometimes for a day, sometimes for years, and are some of the strongest individuals I've ever known. For the entire 17 years of my life, I have lived in a foster home. I have grown up surrounded by children and teens who have endured the unimaginable, some younger, some older, all victims. They have lived through what horror movies are made of. These are kids and teenagers who have been abused in every way imaginable, others who have been severely neglected or abandoned. I am their leader of sorts. I encourage them to realize what strong individuals they are and to know they are worthy of love and happiness. I teach them to expect dignity and respect. I teach them what it feels like to be loved unconditionally and how never to feel powerless again. I help encourage them to understand and process their feelings healthily instead of lashing out at others. Growing up in a foster home has taught me how to show and model patience, forgiveness, empathy, and express anger and frustration appropriately. It has also helped me develop communication skills such as communicating feelings and concerns without sounding threatening or judgmental. It has taught me how to listen not just to the words spoken but to the emotions behind the words and actions of others. The trauma they have endured will affect them for the rest of their lives, but they still get up every day ready to bravely face a world that is not always kind. Sometimes people say that living in a foster home must be tough. These people don't know the meaning of the word tough. My siblings are the ones who have had it tough. The things they have lived through are what horror movies are made of. Yet, despite their horrific backgrounds, these kids are amazingly resilient. I am proud of each of them, both current and past, foster and forever, for what they have had to endure and overcome. They are some of the strongest people I've ever had the privilege of knowing. They are an inspiration to all and have taught me far more than I have taught them. As an adult, I want to continue changing the world by advocating for and inspiring children and teens in foster care. I want them to feel empowered. I want them to know and believe they can do great things in life, to realize their self-worth, and to know I will always be in their corner, cheering them on. I want to encourage them to see that they, too, can change the world.
    Deborah's Grace Scholarship
    When I was five, my teacher tried to teach me to tie my shoes. Most of my friends learned in a day. Some needed a little more practice and learned in a few days. One by one, all the little boys and girls in my kindergarten class mastered the task, each earning a brand new pair of sparkly shoelaces and a special badge to wear home on their special day. I began to lose hope. After trying day after day, week after week, month after month, I began to wonder what was wrong with me. Finally, the teacher passed me off to the Occupational Therapist, who promised me that she would teach me how to tie my shoes so fast my head would spin. It wasn't true. Her intentions were good, but I proved a more difficult challenge than she'd anticipated. Over the next few years, several other professionals also tried, and I disappointed each one of them as well as myself. I never did get my fancy shoelaces or my badge. It was four more years before I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia, a neurological condition that affects a person's coordination, movement, processing, balance, and ability to integrate the two sides of their body. Everything suddenly made sense. Now I knew why I was the only student in the entire fifth grade unable to jump rope, the only student unable to skip, the only student still unable to tie his shoes, one of the few who struggled with stairs. With that understanding came intense relief. My questions were finally answered. I no longer had to wonder why. I felt empowered. I learned to face the bullies who made fun of me for not being able to do the things they could do effortlessly. My monster in the closet had a name. It had lost its power and no longer kept me prisoner. I felt free. For the remainder of middle school and high school, I no longer felt shame for my inability to do some of the tasks that my friends found so easy. Instead, I've found other areas to excel in. I've found joy and success in acting, having even won an acting award at a state drama competition. I've found academic success, recently inducted into the National Honor Society, and consistently making high honors. I've found joy in volunteering and working at a local theater to sell tickets and concessions for movies and concerts. Most importantly, I've found joy in mentoring other children with learning disabilities such as mine. I let them know that they are perfect, just how nature made them. I tell them that they can, and will, do great things in life despite their disability. I let them know that I still can't tie my shoes at almost eighteen. And that is perfectly okay with me.
    Bold Hobbies Scholarship
    Do you have a t-shirt that says, "I can't. I have play practice," or maybe the one that says, "Drama IS my sport!"? If so, perhaps you, too, are a lover of acting in community theater! I was first introduced to theater at age five while attending a summer camp which ended in a performance of Tom Sawyer. My character came bounding out from stage left, swinging a paint can and pretending to paint Aunt Polly's fence joyfully. Tom had manipulated us into helping him paint after receiving that job as a punishment from his aunt for some transgression he had committed. After painting, I enthusiastically thanked Tom for letting me paint before I joyously skipped off stage. The small-town theater crowd went wild, cheering loudly, and from that moment forward, my life was never the same. This moment was the catalyst for my love of all things theater. Being in a theater production takes hundreds of hours and is a lot of work, but I love every minute of every play. The cast and the crew become a tight-knit family in an uplifting, supportive environment where you can freely be yourself. In addition, it's just plain fun! Where else can you be a funny warthog wearing a coconut bra, be a singing Elephant saving a tiny world, or step back in history to play a small boy who testifies for Santa Claus? The lessons learned through growing up in community theater will stay in my mind and heart forever as I traverse from childhood into adulthood. I am not saying goodbye to the theater. I will continue to act for the rest of my life. I am just saying "see you later" to the place where I discovered not just a hobby but a lifelong passion.
    Bold Encouraging Others Scholarship
    I may not wear a flashy uniform like a superhero, but I’ve been working to change the world my entire life. Little by little, young person by young person, I teach them how a child should be treated in a family. I encourage them to hold their heads high and be proud of who they are, what they have lived through, and who they will become. Who are these children and teens? They are cherished members of my family, sometimes for a day, sometimes for years, and are some of the strongest individuals I’ve ever known. For the entire 17 years of my life, I have lived in a foster home. I have grown up surrounded by children and teens who have endured the unimaginable, some younger, some older, all victims. They have lived through what horror movies are made of, yet, they are amazingly resilient. These are kids who have been abused in every way imaginable, others who have been severely neglected or abandoned. I encourage them to realize what strong individuals they are and to know they are worthy of love and happiness. I teach them to expect dignity and respect. I teach them what it feels like to be loved unconditionally and how to never feel powerless again. I help encourage them to understand and process their feelings healthily instead of lashing out at others. As an adult, I want to continue changing the world by advocating for and inspiring children and teens in foster care. I want them to know that they can do great things in life, to realize their self-worth, and to know I will always be in their corner, cheering them on. I want to encourage them to see that they, too, can change the world.