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Christina Wilson


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I come from a military family with a passion for helping others. When my dad passed away in 2014, I joined an organization called TAPS (the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) where I developed skills to aid me in my grief journey. Around the same time, I began horseback riding. I found it to be incredibly therapeutic and it became one of my coping mechanisms. In the future, I would like to be an athlete in the equestrian world and advocate for mental health issues. I would like to create an organization that uses equine therapy or hippotherapy as a way to help those with mental health issues such as; anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, etc. as I have found it to be a very useful tool in my journey towards a healthier mind, body, and soul. When my dad died, life became very challenging for me and my family. I stepped into a parental role from the age of 6, and grew up faster than my peers. I've been able to use the skills I learned at TAPS and with horseback riding in order to deal with my own mental health issues, especially over the pandemic, when school became very challenging. I hope to be a beacon of light to others who are in similar situations as me. I want to help other children who have suffered loss or who are in need of help. At my school, I served as the 9th-grade representative for my school's Student Government Association. I am a part of my school's Multimedia Club, HOSA chapter, as well as a leader in our Model UN delegation.


District of Columbia International School

High School
2022 - 2026


  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Majors of interest:

    • Medicine
    • International Relations and National Security Studies
    • Agricultural/Animal/Plant/Veterinary Science and Related Fields, Other
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:


    • Dream career goals:

      Non-profit Leader


      Ultimate Frisbee

      2023 – 2023


      2023 – 2023


      • 3rd place women's novice 1x Robert E. Day Jr. Capital Sprints 2023


      2014 – 20228 years


      • 1st place
      • 2nd place
      • 4th place

      Ultimate Frisbee

      2022 – 2022


      • DC International School Multimedia Club

        Varsity Boys Soccer versus Latin, , Girls Varsity Basketball v. Idea, Boys Varsity Basketball v. Idea, Girls Varsity Basketball v. Latin, Girls Varsity Basketball v. Banneker, Varsity Flag Football v. Latin
        2022 – Present
      • American Youth Chorus

        2015 – 2016
      • Music
        2015 – Present

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors — Volunteer
        2021 – 2022

      Future Interests





      Bethel Memorial Award for Veterinary Medicine
      My experience with veterinary medicine has inspired me to be a better person through a stronger and deeper understanding of care and compassion. When I was six years old, I started horseback riding. It became my passion. It became my coping mechanism and my therapy. I learned how to communicate with another being, without words. This taught me so much about body language, patience, and reactiveness. I learned the importance of being calm and collected, even when you're about to get bucked off. Several years later, during the COVID pandemic, I was forced to move to New Jersey for a year to live with my grandparents. During that time, I was fortunate enough to be able to continue horseback riding, this time with a 60-year-old woman who ran the barn of 10-12 horses, all by herself. I was riding one day, and my horse, Chatty, suddenly began to limp. I asked her to pick up a trot, and she continued to struggle with putting weight on that hoof. I hopped down and my instructor checked her out. We brought her back to the barn and gave her some treats while we put her on the crossties. My instructor, a 60-year-old woman, with no veterinary training, reached down to the hoof, picked it up, looked around, and called me over. She explained to me what an abscess is and how it can impact a horse. I asked her how she knew, and she said that after decades of being around animals, she developed a knack for identifying diseases, disorders, and general issues. I found it absolutely fascinating. She called her local vet who confirmed there was an abscess in Chatty's hoof. That's when I fell in love with veterinary medicine. Since then, I've gone to several veterinary medicine conferences, including the AAVMC Pre-Vet Career Fair, where I was able to hear stories from Dr. Kwane Stewart, the CNN Hero of the Year. Hearing about his experience as a "Street Vet" was inspiring, and reminded me of being a 6-year-old girl, learning how to balance my desire for perfection as a human being, and my understanding of the animal I'm working with as a collaborator. I feel that my profound familiarity with the relationship between man and animal, and the compassion and care that I've applied through my journey as a horseback rider in learning how to work in tandem with an animal, will enable me to be a great vet, and give animals and their owners the care and compassion they deserve.
      Learner Math Lover Scholarship
      I love math because it enables us to understand the world. As someone who is detail-oriented and loves when things are logical, math is a strong suit for me. With regular math, a rule is a rule. You can't get around it. You can't say that 1 times 8 is 6. It's not possible. You have to follow the specific rules and laws of math. I love how you can rely on the consistency of math. I also love how you can always learn more about math. Every year we go to school, we learn a new thing in our math class. The doors of learning opportunities are always open. Currently, in 9th grade, I'm learning about the Angle Angle Similarity Theorem, Triangle Congruence and Similarity, SAS, AAS, SSS theorems, parallel lines, transversals, and so much more. I love it when I'm struggling for a bit, and I stop and think for a moment, and in a moment, everything clicks, and I'm able to solve the problem. And then going back in and being able to solve so many variations of the same problem that still cause me to think carefully makes it more fun. I enjoy helping other people to feel the same feelings I have about math. When I finish work in class, I go around and help others who might be confused or need help, and I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they finally understand what they're doing. In my life, few things have been constant. My dad passed away when I was six, changing the dynamic of my family forever. The COVID-19 pandemic forced my family to temporarily move in with my grandparents in New Jersey, 150 miles away from home and friends. The ups and downs of middle and high school, relationships, and friendships are all so unpredictable. But what have I always been able to count on to be there? Math. Every year, regardless of whether or not I've gone through a huge change in my life, I've always learned something new in math, and math always has a consistent set of rules that you must follow. Life isn't linear, but math can be, and that's why it's so great.
      Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship
      When you're six, you're not supposed to lose your dad. You're not supposed to be getting ready to go to school and look downstairs, and your dad is collapsed on the floor. You're not supposed to miss Kindergarten in order to go to the hospital and say your last goodbyes. You're not supposed to spend the rest of your childhood with only one parent while you carry the memory of your dad with you forever. Thinking about what could've been or what I wish I'd said. The loss of my father was something that impacted me very heavily. The heavy realization of death is a weight I will bear with me forever. It was the first time I really understood what loss and death and grief were. Having a dad that went to MIT and Stanford and being dubbed a child prodigy from birth means having big shoes to fill. Education has always been incredibly important to my family. My second-generation American grandfather was the first in his family to go to college, my great-uncles all went to the Naval Academy, my dad was the first person from his high school to go to MIT, and the first Stanford applicant they'd seen with a return address of an aircraft carrier. My family will commit to their education, no matter the circumstances, even while in the middle of the ocean, going to war. When I first allowed myself to feel and grieve my dad, it felt like an uphill battle. I would try to better myself and express my emotions, and then I would be reminded that my dad won't be there for my wedding. It was unbearable. But I never let that stop me. I knew that if I wanted to be who my dad would want me to be, I would have to work for it. I went back to school the day after my dad died. When I was in third grade, I decided I wanted to go to Stanford and did all the necessary research for what I should do in order to get in. In middle school, I started visiting colleges. The summer before my freshman year, I applied for my first scholarship. Whenever I feel lazy or unmotivated, I think about what my dad would say. I use the thought of him as motivation and as a way to "fight" for a better future for myself. Would he be happy that I'm scrolling on Instagram instead of doing my English homework? If I spend this time working on math, dad would be proud. Sometimes when I really need help, I'll picture him next to me, helping me along the way. I know he would be so excited to start this college journey with me, and it's really sad that he can't be here, but I know that if I do everything he would encourage me to do, and work hard to achieve my dreams of higher education, it'll be like he's here with me. "The best motivation in life is knowing what you're fighting for". I'm fighting for resilience within my own mind when it comes to the loss of my father and I use it for motivation by channeling that into my schoolwork and education. I've spent over eight years of my life remembering my dad and thinking about what my life would've been like if he were here. I've come to realize that I need to focus on what I can do, despite his loss instead of thinking of what could've been. Looking toward the future, instead of dwelling on the past, while using my past pain as fuel for the fire for the fight has been an essential part of my life. When I let myself get caught up in hypotheticals, it sends me down a road that distracts me from my goals. I instead like to think about where my dad would want me to be right now. I want to make him proud.
      Dr. Edward V. Chavez Athletic Memorial Scholarship
      When I lost my father in 2014 at the age of six, it was an incredibly traumatic event that caused a series of twists and turns throughout my life. I was unable to express myself or get any pent up emotions out. Losing my dad affected me because I was suddenly thrust into this world of grief, with very little help. Six year olds aren't supposed to have their dads die. Because of the circumstances of my loss, I had very little help on my grief journey for a while. Before he died, I used to watch the show 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' with my parents. I told them I wanted to ride horses and to my surprise, they signed me up for a riding camp in the DC area. The camp was set to start in June, yet a cold February day turned an excited, happy, sweet little girl into a silent, reserved, and solitary child. When June rolled around, I was still hesitant to talk about my loss, and wanted to simply stay in my room, read, and sleep. I didn't want to experience anything new, or do anything out of my comfort zone. My mom encouraged me to try the camp for a day and see how it felt. I decided to go, just to make my mom happy. I got to the stables, and was astounded by how much I felt I fit in in the equestrian community. I cried in the car on the way home because I didn't want to leave so badly. I realized the connection I felt with the animals as I rode. Horseback riding is not about control of the horse. It's about partnership to achieve the goal of the rider. It's about the connection between the horse and rider. Whether you ride western or english, do dressage, hunter/jumping, cross country, rodeos, racing, or any other form of riding, it's about the connection. And while riding, I felt a connection I had never experienced before in my life. It sort of "filled a gap" in my heart that was created when my dad passed away. Through the challenges of grief- anger, frustration, sadness, depression, guilt, confusion, lethargy, reflection, and so much more- I always find myself back at the barn and riding. During the pandemic, I had an incredibly difficult time with my mental health- as most teens did- but it was augmented by the loss I had already experienced with my dad, and it caused a lot of feelings that were similar to my grief from when I was younger. My mom would take me to the barn nearly every day so I could ride, and take my mind off of the challenges I was facing, as well as allowing me to enjoy something I was passionate about. In the future, I would love to become an equestrian athlete as well as an advocate for mental health. I want to open a barn or organization that aids people with mental health issues or similar issues where children, teens, adults, and seniors alike can come and ride. I found riding to be an incredible coping mechanism when my dad died, and I want to share that with others.