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Elizabeth Mickens

2475

Bold Points

4x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am a Black BIPOC artist, dancer, anime lover, and avid reader. I love to dance, illustrate, paint, sketch, draw, and create digital art. I love music, KPop, Fan Fiction and YouTube series.

Education

Bard College

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2027
  • Majors:
    • Visual and Performing Arts, General
    • Education, General
  • Minors:
    • Dance

The Springfield Renaissance School An Expeditionary Learning

High School
2019 - 2023

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Visual and Performing Arts, General
    • Dance
    • Fine and Studio Arts
    • Psychology, General
    • Education, General
    • Visual and Performing Arts, Other
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities
    • Design and Applied Arts
    • Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management
    • Community/Environmental/Socially-Engaged Art
    • Education, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Arts

    • Dream career goals:

      Therapist / Teacher / Artist

    • mentor coach

      Project Coach
      2019 – Present5 years

    Sports

    Dancing

    Varsity
    2010 – Present14 years

    Awards

    • Star of Tomorrow; Outstanding Dancer of the Year

    Research

    • Visual and Performing Arts, General

      Springfield Public Schools — Lead Researcher, Youth mentor
      2019 – Present

    Arts

    • Caribbean Culture & Dance Club

      Dance
      2019 – Present
    • Renaissance Anime Club

      Drawing
      2019 – Present
    • Shooting Star Dance Team

      Dance
      2012 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      18 Degrees;Young Women of Color — mentor
      2019 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Harry D Thomson Memorial Scholarship
    My passions in life are dance, visual and graphic art, and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I am the baby of 5 and the daughter of teachers. Education means everything to me. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week's program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. Your scholarship will help ease the burden on my family and help me reach my goals and dreams.
    John F. Puffer, Sr. Smile Scholarship
    Living and working and attending school in the midst of a pandemic has caused me to grow in tremendous ways. I had to grow up a lot in many instances. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach in 2019 and i began coaching and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group of my peers called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I learned so much about myself with this program. I learned that I am a natural born leader and it's in my DNA. I learned that I am very passionate about learning and developing myself as a person. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. I learned that I want to share my passion of arts and education with everyone I meet. I want children to have the same love of the arts as I do. I also want to highlight the importance of the arts in education for children and youth. It is so critical and vital to their growth and development. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind. From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences. I want every child to be able to experience art, music, dance and drama. These things shaped me and molded me into the young woman I am today. I learned that I am curious about how the brain operates, and I want to study human behjavior and how people think. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically.
    Rita A. Clark Future Educator Award
    I am the daughter, granddaughter, and youngest sibling of a very strong Black woman. They have been my examples and my guides during my life's journey. They've taught me grit and determination. They've taught me how to fight and be strong, and how to advocate for myself. They've taught me how to find my passions and how to live life to the fullest. They've also taught me how to serve others. My mother was my first teacher. I am brilliant and resilient because of her. She is also a teacher and touches the lives of thousands of children. She is my inspiration. I want to teach because of her. I also want to affect the lives of young children in a meaningful, positive way. Early childhood education refers to the educational programs and services that are designed for children from birth to age 8. These programs and services can be provided in a variety of settings, including child care centers, preschools, and schools, as well as through home-based and community-based programs. The goal of early childhood education is to support the development of young children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills and to prepare them for success in school and in life. Research has shown that the first five years of a child's life are crucial for their development and that early childhood education can have a significant impact on children's later success in school and in life. Therefore, it is important that children have access to high-quality early childhood education programs that provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment that promotes their learning and development. Early childhood education programs often focus on a variety of areas, including language and literacy development, math and science concepts, social and emotional development, physical development and health, and the arts. These programs may also incorporate a play-based approach, which allows children to learn through hands-on experiences and exploration. I am very passionate about STEM, and math in particular. I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity for most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not dare to speak up, or the right teacher to lead the way. I plan to have a lasting impact on every student I teach. I will be combining education with my passion and love of the arts. My passions in life are dance, visual and graphic art, and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. I help with the math and reading instruction as well as dance, visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling.
    Share Your Poetry Scholarship
    I am broken. Little pieces of me lay along a cold stone path in a dark winter wood. I am so afraid to run back for them. Afraid that all I will find is glass. Clear, cheap glass, glimmering and glittering for years at my back. Like the stars in the sky or deep-sea jewels. I have come to a clearing. Crowded with snow. Black and white in the blue of midnight. No bird songs or cricket chirps. My feet are bare and cold. I peek from behind a tree. Afraid to approach what is right in front of me. The light place. The snow is falling all around me. It’s smooth like a stone. Round like a disc. Nothing alive has touched this sacred place. I look back at the swirling twirling miles. I watch the little glass pieces of me fade. I can’t save them. Cannot recover them. I cannot go back for just a couple of jewels. Something to pay my way. I move too slowly. Hesitate too long. Now I must approach that empty snowy place at the center of the woods. The center of the universe. Broken and half awake. With dull wits and cold feet. I must leave my mark on that smooth freshness or face the anger of the trees. Trees that are tired of my face. Trees are too old for sympathy. I must go alone. In fear. And begin to gather new pieces. Make myself presentable again. I am lucky I was able to save my feet.
    Alma J. Grubbs Education Scholarship
    I am the daughter, granddaughter, and youngest sibling of a very strong Black woman. They have been my examples and my guides during my life's journey. They've taught me grit and determination. They've taught me how to fight and be strong, and how to advocate for myself. They've taught me how to find my passions and how to live life to the fullest. They've also taught me how to serve others. My mother was my first teacher. I am brilliant and resilient because of her. She is also a teacher and touches the lives of thousands of children. She is my inspiration. I want to teach because of her. I also want to affect the lives of young children in a meaningful, positive way. Early childhood education refers to the educational programs and services that are designed for children from birth to age 8. These programs and services can be provided in a variety of settings, including child care centers, preschools, and schools, as well as through home-based and community-based programs. The goal of early childhood education is to support the development of young children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills and to prepare them for success in school and in life. Research has shown that the first five years of a child's life are crucial for their development and that early childhood education can have a significant impact on children's later success in school and in life. Therefore, it is important that children have access to high-quality early childhood education programs that provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment that promotes their learning and development. Early childhood education programs often focus on a variety of areas, including language and literacy development, math and science concepts, social and emotional development, physical development and health, and the arts. These programs may also incorporate a play-based approach, which allows children to learn through hands-on experiences and exploration. I am very passionate about STEM, and math in particular. I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity for most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not dare to speak up, or the right teacher to lead the way. I plan to have a lasting impact on every student I teach. I will be combining education with my passion and love of the arts. My passions in life are dance, visual and graphic art, and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. I help with the math and reading instruction as well as dance, visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling.
    GRAFFITI ARTS SCHOLARSHIP
    I am the daughter, granddaughter, and youngest sibling of a very strong Black woman. They have been my examples and my guides during my life's journey. They've taught me grit and determination. They've taught me how to fight and be strong, and how to advocate for myself. They've taught me how to find my passions and how to live life to the fullest. They've also taught me how to serve others. My passions in life are dance, visual and graphic art, and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week's program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. I wish to own my practice and combine it with the arts nonprofit I created with my sisters. Your scholarship will help ease the burden on my family and help me reach my goals and dreams.
    Financial Hygiene Scholarship
    Financial literacy is understanding and effectively using various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. The meaning of financial literacy is the foundation of your relationship with money, and it is a lifelong journey of learning. The earlier you start, the better off you will be because education is the key to success when it comes to money. Financial literacy is understanding and effectively using various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. It involves understanding financial concepts such as credit, debt, and compound interest, as well as being able to make informed decisions about financial products and services. Financial literacy is important because it can help you make sound financial decisions, achieve your financial goals, and achieve financial stability. There are many resources available to help you improve your financial literacy, including online courses, financial education programs, and personal finance books. It is never too late to improve your financial literacy and start taking control of your financial future. Financial planning is the process of creating a strategy to manage your financial resources to achieve your goals. It involves assessing your current financial situation, setting financial goals, and developing a plan to achieve those goals. This can include budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt. Financial planning is important because it helps you make informed decisions about how to best use your financial resources to achieve your personal and financial goals. It can also help you prepare for unexpected events like a job loss or medical emergency. Being financially illiterate can lead to several pitfalls, such as being more likely to accumulate unsustainable debt burdens, either through poor spending decisions or a lack of long-term preparation. This, in turn, can lead to poor credit, bankruptcy, housing foreclosure, and other negative consequences. Being financially sound means that you consistently make good financial decisions that increase your net worth, and you're able to maintain this state for the foreseeable future. The term can refer to the state of your overall financial status, or it can be used to describe individual decisions with your finances. The COVID-19 pandemic caused long-lasting changes to the U.S. economy and how people manage their money. Scores of workers left their jobs in what was dubbed the “Great Resignation” while many others embraced a permanent remote or hybrid work schedule. Meanwhile, some families bought new houses as home purchases and prices in suburban areas soared. Others transferred their children to private schools or began homeschooling in response to virus outbreaks. Creating a budget is only one part of managing money; if you start there, you'll miss critical information. Here are some steps to take to manage your money properly: • Understand your current financial situation. • Set personal priorities and financial goals. • Create and stick to a budget. • Establish an emergency fund. • Save for retirement. • Pay off debt. • Schedule regular progress reports.
    Code Breakers & Changemakers Scholarship
    I am very passionate about STEM, and math in particular. I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity for most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not dare to speak up, or the right teacher to lead the way. Understanding Black girls’ experiences in mathematics during their K-12 trajectories can shed light on their underrepresentation in higher education majors and careers that require mathematics degrees. Teachers’ low expectations and overall assumptions about Black girls in society impede the opportunity for Black girls to learn in mathematics classrooms. Teachers hold low expectations of low-income Black girls in upper elementary classrooms who are perceived as having limited knowledge and bring social challenges to the learning environment. I see this every day. Black girls’ early confidence in and value of mathematics often fails to translate when it comes to interactions with their mathematics teachers. There are positive and negative effects on Black girls’ mathematics achievement in terms of relational interactions with their teachers. There is also a deep-seated historical and societal myth that Black girls and mathematics are incompatible. This is just not true. I am fortunate enough to have parents that are teachers, caring adults at school, and counselors looking out for me. I have been in honors and AP math classes these last 3 years of high school. I was also able to be a part of dual enrollment classes that are offered through a partnership with the college here in town. These opportunities should be afforded to everyone. Here is how math has shaped my understanding of the world around me. Mathematics is a powerful global understanding and communication tool that organizes our lives and prevents chaos. Mathematics helps us understand the world and provides an effective way of building mental discipline. Math encourages logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, abstract or spatial thinking, problem-solving ability, and even effective communication skills. Mathematics plays a vital role in all aspects of life, whether in everyday matters such as cooking, accounting, finance, banking, and engineering. These functions require a strong mathematical background, and scientific experiments by scientists need mathematical techniques. They are a language to describe scientists' work and achievements. Mathematical inventions, they are numerous throughout the ages. Some of them were tangible, such as counting and measuring devices. Some of them are not as tangible as methods of thinking and solving. The symbols that express numbers are also one of the most important mathematical inventions. I think it is impossible to limit the use of mathematics in everyday life. Can you use any entertainment game without using numbers? Can you practice any sport without using numbers to learn if you are a winner or a loser? Can you do your work without using numbers? If you are a teacher, collect your students' marks or a doctor, estimate the amount of medicine for the patient or an engineer, estimate the amount of raw material to be added to complete the work or even a leader in a battle. This summer, while at Princeton, I read First Lady Michelle Obama's new book: "Becoming". Her story is so inspiring, right from her childhood where her parents taught her the importance of never letting anyone walk over you and standing up to anyone who tried to bully you. The young Michelle loved thinking up creative solutions to common problems and reveled in the adulation of her teachers. She talked about her adventures in school with her mother who encouraged her to keep working hard and thinking out of the box. Michelle’s raw honesty shines through in her words when she talks about her experiences of being the only woman, the only African American, in all sorts of rooms through her career, and still managing to hold her own.
    Tim Watabe Doing Hard Things Scholarship
    I've overcome many difficulties in my life. My health would be one major one I have had to deal with. Due to my sickle cell anemia, doctors said that dance and sports would never be an option for me. I can't run, I can't jump, and I can't tackle or hit a layup. I wasn't supposed to be able to jump, spin, or turn. However, dance and art are my passions and first loves. I have always competed with my mind. I appreciate my parents for preparing me the way they did. I see a pediatrician yearly, a hematologist monthly, a neurologist bimonthly, and a therapist weekly. My medical bills are astronomical and have been since I have been born. My brothers suffer the same way I do. Their bills are just as high. Being a young woman with sickle cell has been incredibly painful. Every month I experience debilitating pain when my monthly cycle arrives. As I get older the pain increases. I wasn't this sick when I was younger but it is becoming progressively worse. Both my brothers also have sickle cell disease. My oldest brother, Kahari, Has sickle cell SC. My younger brother Josiah has sickle cell SS, which is stronger and attacks you more aggressively. Kahari has been relatively healthy his whole life. He does not get sick very often and is not in that much pain. He began experiencing pain when he went away to college. Stress and pressure can add to or aggravate the pain inside your body. Josiah has been sick since birth. He has been hospitalized, had transfusions, and is on several medications. Right now, there is no cure. We are all simply trying to survive. Having sickle cell has made me appreciate life. I try to be positive and make the most of every moment. I try to find joy in small victories and try to be kind to everyone. It has also made me realize who and what is important to me. My family is so very important. They are a major part of my life. My friends are also a great support system. My artistic pursuits are also important to me. I have loved dance my entire life until I physically could not dance any longer. Thanks to sickle cell anemia. That's when I focused on visual art and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. I hope and pray my story can give others hope and strength in their fight with this disease.
    TBC Academic Scholarship
    "Pay it forward" is a phrase that refers to the concept of doing a good deed for someone in response to a good deed that was done for you, rather than paying back the person who helped you. The idea is that the recipient of the good deed will then "pay it forward" by doing a good deed for someone else, creating a chain of kindness and generosity. The phrase is often used in the context of community service and volunteerism. I pay it forward through mentorship with children in a program called Project Coach at Smith College. Paying it forward through mentorship is the act of providing guidance, advice and support to someone, usually a younger or less experienced person, in order to help them achieve their goals and reach their full potential. This can take many forms, including offering advice, sharing knowledge, providing networking opportunities, or even offering internships or job opportunities. The idea is that the mentee will then pay it forward by mentoring someone else in the future, creating a chain of mentorship that helps to develop and support the next generation of leaders and professionals. I also pay it forward through the arts and my non-profit for young people called Standing Ovation. Paying it forward through the arts refers to using one's artistic talents or resources to benefit others and make a positive impact on the community. This can take many forms, such as: **Teaching art classes or workshops to underprivileged youth or adults **Donating a portion of art sales to a charitable organization **Creating public art that beautifies a community and brings people together **Using art as a means of advocacy and raising awareness on social issues **Offering discounted or free art classes, materials or exhibitions to those who can't afford it **Creating art-based mentorship programs for young artists to learn and grow The idea behind paying it forward through the arts is that by sharing one's artistic talents, resources and opportunities, it can inspire others to do the same and create a ripple effect of positive change in the community. I also pay it forward academically by helping children with their reading and math in a tutoring program here in my hometown. Paying it forward through tutoring is the act of using one's knowledge and skills to help others improve their understanding of a particular subject or skill. This can take many forms, such as: **Offering free or low-cost tutoring sessions to students who are struggling in school **Creating study groups or study sessions to help students prepare for exams **Providing online or virtual tutoring to students who may not have access to in-person tutors **Tutoring students in a specific subject area, such as math, science, or English **Creating mentorship programs for students who are interested in pursuing a particular career or field of study **Donating time or resources to a local school or youth organization that provides tutoring services The idea behind paying it forward through tutoring is that by providing educational support and resources to those who need it, it can help to improve their academic performance and open up opportunities for them in the future. And in the future, these students may also become tutors and help others to achieve their goals. This is how I "pay it forward".
    Growing with Gabby Scholarship
    Living and working and attending school in the midst of a pandemic has caused me to grow in tremendous ways. I had to grow up a lot in many instances. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach in 2019 and i began coaching and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group of my peers called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I learned so much about myself with this program. I learned that I am a natural born leader and it's in my DNA. I learned that I am very passionate about learning and developing myself as a person. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. I learned that I want to share my passion of arts and education with everyone I meet. I want children to have the same love of the arts as I do. I also want to highlight the importance of the arts in education for children and youth. It is so critical and vital to their growth and development. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind. From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences. I want every child to be able to experience art, music, dance and drama. These things shaped me and molded me into the young woman I am today. I learned that I am curious about how the brain operates, and I want to study human behjavior and how people think. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically.
    Dr. Meme Heineman Scholarship
    Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my own practice will help many people. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Book Lovers Scholarship
    Everyone should read this classic by Maya Angelou : "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings". This classic by the late Dr. Maya Angelou is a must-read for every young person, but especially the young Black girl. In her autobiography, Angelou recounts her life through age 17 and the various struggles she faces living in the South. Her indomitable writing focuses on important themes that we all cope with as we grow up—identity, racism, gender, and family. The prologue describes an event in which Angelou, as a small child, is reciting a poem in church. Feeling ugly because she imagined in vain that the dress her grandmother made her would be so pretty that she would be seen as a beautiful white child, she forgets the poem and then wets her pants as she flees the church in embarrassment. The book’s title came from the poem “Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. Against the backdrop of racial tensions in the South, Angelou confronted the traumatic events of her childhood and explored the evolution of her strong identity as an African American woman. Her individual and cultural feelings of displacement were mediated through her passion for literature, which proved both healing and empowering. After the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Angelou was inspired by a meeting with writer James Baldwin and cartoonist Jules Feiffer to write I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings as a way of dealing with the death of her friend and to draw attention to her own personal struggles with racism. "Caged Bird" appears to convey the concept that anyone who is oppressed or "caged" will always "wish" for freedom, knowing that if others have it, they should, too. The overall theme is love and its power. That is why I love this book.
    Linda "Noni" Anderson Memorial Music & Arts Scholarship
    My mother is my biggest influence. She is the baby of her family and a former dancer. I get all my artistic DNA from her. She is a teacher and my biggest cheerleader. She has taught me how to be fierce, fearless, and kind. She has shown me how to fight for what is right and what is mine. She is my advocate and my ally. Everything I am is because of her. Dancing saved my life. I am the youngest child of 5 and the daughter of a dancer. My whole family is very artistic. Singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, we do it all. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. We are a kinesthetic family, always dancing, always moving. My mother danced for years, taught dance and was a dance major in college. Dance is in my DNA. I would go with her to the studio, to performances, I would dance with my twin sisters as well as dancing solo. If music was playing I was dancing and moving. In 2019, I began my freshman year of high school and started to dance a little less. I got a job mentoring and tutoring students after school. My schoolwork was so consuming and I did not have much time to go to the studio. In March 2020 the world shut down, and so did dancing. I had to make and create space in my bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen or the den to be able to dance. The pandemic was very dark and depressing. Mental health issues consumed my home. Dancing was the only thing that kept me sane and safe. Dancing saved my life. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. My art is called "Inappreciative Appropriation". Cultural appropriation refers to the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of another culture.
    John Traxler Theatre Scholarship
    My mother is my biggest influence. She is the baby of her family and a former dancer. I get all my artistic DNA from her. She is a teacher and my biggest cheerleader. She has taught me how to be fierce, fearless, and kind. She has shown me how to fight for what is right and what is mine. She is my advocate and my ally. Everything I am is because of her. Dancing saved my life. I am the youngest child of 5 and the daughter of a dancer. My whole family is very artistic. Singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, we do it all. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. We are a kinesthetic family, always dancing, always moving. My mother danced for years, taught dance and was a dance major in college. Dance is in my DNA. I would go with her to the studio, to performances, I would dance with my twin sisters as well as dancing solo. If music was playing I was dancing and moving. In 2019, I began my freshman year of high school and started to dance a little less. I got a job mentoring and tutoring students after school. My schoolwork was so consuming and I did not have much time to go to the studio. In March 2020 the world shut down, and so did dancing. I had to make and create space in my bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen or the den to be able to dance. The pandemic was very dark and depressing. Mental health issues consumed my home. Dancing was the only thing that kept me sane and safe. Dancing saved my life. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Joey Anderson Dance & Theater Scholarship
    Dancing saved my life. I am the youngest child of 5 and the daughter of a dancer. My whole family is very artistic. Singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, we do it all. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. We are a kinesthetic family, always dancing, always moving. My mother danced for years, taught dance and was a dance major in college. Dance is in my DNA. I would go with her to the studio, to performances, I would dance with my twin sisters as well as dancing solo. If music was playing I was dancing and moving. My mother is my biggest influence. She is the baby of her family and a former dancer. I get all my artistic DNA from her. She is a teacher and my biggest cheerleader. She has taught me how to be fierce, fearless, and kind. She has shown me how to fight for what is right and what is mine. She is my advocate and my ally. Everything I am is because of her. In 2019, I began my freshman year of high school and started to dance a little less. I got a job mentoring and tutoring students after school. My schoolwork was so consuming and I did not have much time to go to the studio. In March 2020 the world shut down, and so did dancing. I had to make and create space in my bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen or the den to be able to dance. The pandemic was very dark and depressing. Mental health issues consumed my home. Dancing was the only thing that kept me sane and safe. Dancing saved my life. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts.
    Goobie-Ramlal Education Scholarship
    Going to college is so very important to me and my family. Being a first-generation college student means that you are the first person in your immediate family to attend college. Of course, a lot of questions come with being a first-generation college student. Unlike students whose parents have attended college, there’s no one to guide or advise us. First-generation college student struggles are unique. After all, we are exploring uncharted territory within our family. Who can we go to for help? Being a first-generation college student represents progress for many families. Being able to send a child to college represents hope for my family. It also serves as a guide for family members in younger generations. The younger ones will look up to that family member who did go to college. They will also want to follow in their footsteps. I will now be an example for the rest of my family. This scholarship will be a tremendous help to my future. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. My family is from Benin. Upon arrival, everyone assumes we are all the same. There are no differences between us as far as country, tribe, language, and dialect. The most widely spoken languages in Africa include English, Arabic, Swahili, French, Portuguese, Akan, Hausa, Zulu, Amharic and Oromo. It can be easy for people in the United States to assume that one African is like the other, when in fact one might have been born and brought up in the U.S. and the other might be a first-generation immigrant from Africa. Such an assumption would be disadvantageous to immigrants from Africa because their varied and diverse experiences would be ignored. Art is my passion and my first love. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    My parents have always emphasized community service and volunteering. My brothers and sisters and I started volunteering at very early ages. Every October we walk and run for Breast Cancer Awareness and raise money for a cure. In November and December we collect food and donate turkeys to local families in need. We also collect coats, hats, and gloves for children in need. September is Sickle Cell Awareness month. Both my brothers have the disease so we participate in a 5k Walk/run and rally for them, to raise money and awareness for a possible cure. Since the pandemic I have volunteered both virtually and in person. Project Coach is a mentor program where I tutor, coach, and mentor elementary aged students. I talk to them, play with them, teach them how to dance and help them with their homework. I also work with a group called 18 degrees: Young Women of Color. This group empowers young women of color in high school in my city. We work on our vision and goals and we are taught entrepreneurship. The things we learn we bring back to other youth in our community. I give back to my community and to Black and Brown people in many ways. I have a non profit arts group here in my home city. This group was created by myself and my older twin sisters. We focus on creating and developing young artists in the areas of dance, drama, music and theater. I am a visual and graphic artist and I am excited about working with young people in my city and developing their craft. I have made many connections with many students. I love what I do. I also give back with the local sickle cell awareness group. Both my brothers have sickle cell anemia, a rare blood disease found only in people of African or Mediterranean descent. They have had it since birth and there is no cure. I help organize fundraisers, I am the youth chair of the 5k walk and run, and I help take care of my brothers here at home. I also give back here in my community with a group called 18 Degrees: Women of Color. This group focuses on and teaches young women how to create and start businesses and how to become entrepreneurs. They take our dreams and ideas and help us turn them into reality. They also help us find funding and capital to make those dreams happen. I plan to continue working with youth and working in my community. Kids that look like me need to see me and be able to talk to and relate to me. I want to be an example to them and continue to serve the needs of my community.
    Kynnedy Simone 'I Am The Dream' Scholarship
    My parents have always emphasized community service. My brothers and sisters and I started volunteering at very early ages. Every October we walk for Breast Cancer Awareness and raise money for a cure. In November and December we collect food and donate turkeys to local families in need. We also collect coats, hats, and gloves for children in need. September is Sickle Cell Awareness month. Both my brothers have the disease so we participate in a 5k Walk/run and rally for them, to raise money and awareness for a possible cure. Since the pandemic I have volunteered both virtually and in person. Project Coach is a mentor program where I tutor, coach, and mentor elementary aged students. I talk to them, play with them, teach them how to dance and help them with their homework. I also work with a group called 18 degrees: Young Women of Color. This group empowers young women of color in high school in my city. We work on our vision and goals and we are taught entrepreneurship. The things we learn we bring back to other youth in our community. I also have a non profit arts group here in my home town. This group was created by myself and my older twin sisters. We focus on creating and developing young artists in the areas of dance, drama, music and theater.I am a visual and graphic artist and I am excited about working with young people in my city and developing their craft.
    @normandiealise National Scholarship Month TikTok Scholarship
    Coleman for Patriots Scholarship
    I love my city and take the time to give back to my community in many ways. I am a mentor, coach, and tutor to elementary-aged students here in Springfield, Massachusetts. I work with an organization called Project Coach. We give students in grades 4 and 5 help with their homework, coaching in sports, training in dance, visual art instruction, and mentorship. I have been a part of this work since 2019. I love the kids and I love what I do. I also give back by organizing an awareness rally around sickle cell anemia. My two older brothers are afflicted with the disease, and have been all their lives. The rally I organize raises funds for research and brings awareness to the community about the disease. It also connects people with the condition to health care providers and hematologists in the area. Another way I give back is through the non profit arts program I created with my older sisters. Standing Ovation is an after school arts program for children and youth here in our city. We provide instruction in dance, drama, music and visual art. We also provide tutoring and homework help. This program gives children the opportunity to be exposed to the arts in ways they never have before. As an artist, I love teaching and performing with the children. Finally, I give back by participating in an annual Breast Cancer 5K walk and run. The Susan G. Komen Cancer Society sponsors a city wide event for everyone to participate in. This event raises awareness around issues concerning breast cancer, and raises money for funding research. I organize one of the youth teams participating in the event. Thousands of students pledge to walk and run in honor of both the survivors and those we have lost due to cancer. Growing up and going to school in the inner city was difficult but rewarding. Springfield, Massachusetts is like a tale of two cities. Nice homes, picturesque landscaped lawns, The Dr. Seuss Museum and the Basketball Hall of Fame were on one side of town. On the other side of town is where you would find my home, my school, my friends and the schools where my parents teach. Multiple family homes and apartments, strong police presence, homelessness and food insecurity. This is also where some of the most amazing people reside. Our community is tight knit and many of my neighbors are constantly out and about. We live near the main street. Whenever we take out the trash, tend to plants, or take walks with our family, it’s easy to strike up conversations with neighbors. I love it. We have a handful of older neighbors who watch over our block and give us heads ups if there is any suspicious activity around our home. Their presence is so reassuring. My neighborhood is very diverse and full of life. People in my neighborhood love stories and analogies. When I listen to stories of people from different walks of life, I move towards deeper understanding, compassion, and connection. My neighbors have taught me that it is in the informal times—not only the formal—that trust is built. It is built through laughter, tears, and spontaneity. My neighbors have modeled for me how to remain present and persevere through struggles and pain. I am gritty and resilient because of what they have taught me.
    Margalie Jean-Baptiste Scholarship
    I've overcome many difficulties in my life. My health would be one major one I have had to deal with. Due to my sickle cell anemia, doctors said that dance and sports would never be an option for me. I can't run, I can't jump, and I can't tackle or hit a layup. I wasn't supposed to be able to jump, spin, or turn. However, dance and art are my passions and first loves. I have always competed with my mind. I appreciate my parents for preparing me the way they did. I see a pediatrician yearly, a hematologist monthly, a neurologist bimonthly, and a therapist weekly. My medical bills are astronomical and have been since I have been born. My brothers suffer the same way I do. Their bills are just as high. Being a young woman with sickle cell has been incredibly painful. Every month I experience debilitating pain when my monthly cycle arrives. As I get older the pain increases. I wasn't this sick when I was younger but it is becoming progressively worse. Both my brothers also have sickle cell disease. My oldest brother, Kahari, Has sickle cell SC. My younger brother Josiah has sickle cell SS, which is stronger and attacks you more aggressively. Kahari has been relatively healthy his whole life. He does not get sick very often and is not in that much pain. He began experiencing pain when he went away to college. Stress and pressure can add to or aggravate the pain inside your body. Josiah has been sick since birth. He has been hospitalized, had transfusions, and is on several medications. Right now, there is no cure. We are all simply trying to survive. Having sickle cell has made me appreciate life. I try to be positive and make the most of every moment. I try to find joy in small victories and try to be kind to everyone. It has also made me realize who and what is important to me. My family is so very important. They are a major part of my life. My friends are also a great support system. My artistic pursuits are also important to me. I have loved dance my entire life until I physically could not dance any longer. Thanks to sickle cell anemia. That's when I focused on visual art and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. I hope and pray my story can give others hope and strength in their fight with this disease.
    Sandy Jenkins Excellence in Early Childhood Education Scholarship
    My mother was my first teacher. I am brilliant and resilient because of her. She is also a teacher and touches the lives of thousands of children. She is my inspiration. I want to teach because of her. I also want to affect the lives of young children in a meaningful, positive way. Early childhood education refers to the educational programs and services that are designed for children from birth to age 8. These programs and services can be provided in a variety of settings, including child care centers, preschools, and schools, as well as through home-based and community-based programs. The goal of early childhood education is to support the development of young children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills and to prepare them for success in school and in life. Research has shown that the first five years of a child's life are crucial for their development and that early childhood education can have a significant impact on children's later success in school and in life. Therefore, it is important that children have access to high-quality early childhood education programs that provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment that promotes their learning and development. Early childhood education programs often focus on a variety of areas, including language and literacy development, math and science concepts, social and emotional development, physical development and health, and the arts. These programs may also incorporate a play-based approach, which allows children to learn through hands-on experiences and exploration. There are many different models and approaches to early childhood education, and the specific program that a child attends will depend on their individual needs and the resources available in their community. Some common types of early childhood education programs include: Child care centers: These are facilities that provide full-time or part-time care for young children while their parents are at work or otherwise unavailable. Preschools: These are educational programs for children typically aged 3 to 5 that are designed to prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond. Head Start: This is a federally funded program that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, and family support services to low-income children and their families. Montessori: This is an educational approach that emphasizes the use of hands-on materials and activities to support children's self-directed learning and development. A child's life from ages 0 to 5 is so critical and so crucial. I want to be apart of their growth and development and also want to be a shining light in their lives. Early childhood education teachers often work closely with other professionals, such as social workers, speech therapists, and occupational therapists, to provide comprehensive support for children and their families. They may also work with parents and caregivers to provide information and resources to support children's learning and development at home.
    Young Women in STEM Scholarship
    I am the daughter, granddaughter, and youngest sibling of very strong Black women. They have been my examples and my guides during my life's journey. They've taught me grit and determination. They've taught me how to fight and be strong, and how to advocate for myself. They've taught me how to find my passions and how to live life to the fullest. They've also taught me how to serve others. My passions in life are math, dance, visual and graphic art, and mentorship. I love math because of my dad. He is a math teacher. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. We also mentor and tutor them and give homework help in all subject areas. I plan on making a positive impact in the world of STEM and STEAM (incorporating the arts). I am choosing a major and career in Mathematics. I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity to most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not dare to speak up or have the right teacher to lead the way. Understanding Black girls’ experiences in mathematics during their K-12 trajectories can shed light on their underrepresentation in higher education majors and careers that require mathematics degrees. My mother is the biggest influence in my life. She taught me how to be fearless and go get what I want, including a career and future in STEM and the arts. She is my hero. Information technology has had a significant positive impact on many aspects of society, including the following; Education: IT has revolutionized education by providing new tools and resources for students and teachers. Online learning platforms, educational software, and other technologies have made it easier for students to access information and communicate with their peers and instructors. Healthcare: IT has improved healthcare by enabling doctors and other healthcare professionals to access patient information and communicate with each other more efficiently. Electronic health records, telemedicine, and other technologies have made it easier for healthcare providers to deliver high-quality care to patients. Communication and collaboration: IT has made it easier for people to communicate and collaborate with each other, no matter where they are located. Email, messaging apps, videoconferencing, and other technologies have made it possible for people to work together and stay connected in real-time. Business: IT has transformed the way businesses operate by providing new tools and resources for automating tasks, managing data, and communicating with customers and clients. Cloud computing, data analytics, and other technologies have helped businesses become more efficient and productive. Entertainment: IT has also had a major impact on the entertainment industry, with streaming services, online gaming, and other technologies providing new ways for people to access and consume media. Overall, the use of information technology has helped to improve productivity, efficiency, and accessibility in a variety of sectors, making it easier for people to access information, communicate with others, and achieve their goals. One of my greatest challenges is my health. My parents have always told me that college would be a matter of my wits and my smarts. Due to my sickle cell anemia, doctors said that dance and sports would never be an option for me. I can't run, I can't jump, and I can't tackle or hit a layup. I wasn't supposed to be able to jump, spin, or turn. However, dance and art are my passions and first loves. I have always competed with my mind. I appreciate my parents for preparing me the way they did. I see a pediatrician yearly, a hematologist monthly, a neurologist bimonthly, and a therapist weekly. My medical bills are astronomical and have been since I have been born. My brothers suffer the same way I do. Their bills are just as high. Being a young woman with sickle cell has been incredibly painful. Every month I experience debilitating pain when my monthly cycle arrives. As I get older the pain increases. I wasn't this sick when I was younger but it is becoming progressively worse. Both my brothers also have sickle cell disease. My oldest brother, Kahari, Has sickle cell SC. My younger brother Josiah has sickle cell SS, which is stronger and attacks you more aggressively. Kahari has been relatively healthy his whole life. He does not get sick very often and is not in that much pain. He began experiencing pain when he went away to college. Stress and pressure can add to or aggravate the pain inside your body. Josiah has been sick since birth. He has been hospitalized, had transfusions, and is on several medications. Right now, there is no cure. We are all simply trying to survive. Having sickle cell has made me appreciate life. I try to be positive and make the most of every moment. I try to find the joy in small victories and try to be kind to everyone. It has also made me realize who and what are important to me. My family is so very important. They are a major part of my life. My friends are also a great support system. My artistic pursuits are also important to me.
    Catherine (Kay) Williams Memorial Arts Scholarship
    My art piece is called "Inappreciative Appropriation". Cultural appropriation refers to the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of another culture. It often involves a dominant group adopting elements of a minority group's culture without understanding or respecting the significance of those elements in the original culture. This can occur in a variety of contexts, including fashion, art, music, and language. Some people argue that cultural appropriation is a form of cultural exploitation and can be harmful because it can involve the co-opting and commodification of elements of a marginalized culture without proper acknowledgement or compensation. It can also lead to the erasure of the cultural significance and meaning of those elements, as they are often stripped of their context and significance when they are appropriated. However, others argue that cultural exchange and borrowing can be a positive and enriching process that allows for the sharing of ideas and can lead to cultural growth and understanding. It is important to recognize the power dynamics at play and to be mindful of the potential for harm when engaging in cultural exchange. It is also important to respect the traditions and cultural practices of others and to seek to understand their significance before adopting or appropriating them. In the context of black culture, cultural appropriation can take many forms. It can involve using elements of black culture, such as music, dance, fashion, or language, without understanding or respecting the cultural context in which they originated. It can also involve adopting black cultural practices or traditions without proper understanding or context, or without acknowledging or honoring the contributions of black people to those practices or traditions. Cultural appropriation can be harmful because it can perpetuate negative stereotypes, diminish the value and significance of the appropriated culture, and contribute to the marginalization of the people who belong to that culture. It is important for people to be mindful of the cultural origins of the elements they adopt and to respect and honor the contributions of other cultures. My artwork shows the clear and insincere appropriating of my culture by others outside the culture. Our hair, our facial features, our style, and our fashion has been stolen by culture vultures for decades. Culture vultures are people who are interested in and pursue cultural experiences and activities, especially those that are considered exotic or unfamiliar. This can include art, music, literature, film, food, and other forms of expression. Culture vultures may be motivated by a desire to learn about and appreciate different cultures, or they may simply be attracted to the social and intellectual cachet that comes with engaging in these activities. Some people use the term "culture vulture" pejoratively to criticize those who are seen as exploiting or appropriating the culture of others for their own gain, rather than truly engaging with and respecting it. However, the term can also be used in a more neutral or positive way to simply describe someone who is actively interested in and engaged with cultural experiences.
    Lauren Czebatul Scholarship
    My parents have always emphasized community service and volunteering. My brothers and sisters and I started volunteering at very early ages. Every October we walk and run for Breast Cancer Awareness and raise money for a cure. In November and December we collect food and donate turkeys to local families in need. We also collect coats, hats, and gloves for children in need. September is Sickle Cell Awareness month. Both my brothers have the disease so we participate in a 5k Walk/run and rally for them, to raise money and awareness for a possible cure. Since the pandemic I have volunteered both virtually and in person. Project Coach is a mentor program where I tutor, coach, and mentor elementary aged students. I talk to them, play with them, teach them how to dance and help them with their homework. I also work with a group called 18 degrees: Young Women of Color. This group empowers young women of color in high school in my city. We work on our vision and goals and we are taught entrepreneurship. The things we learn we bring back to other youth in our community. I give back to my community and to Black and Brown people in many ways. I have a non profit arts group here in my home city. This group was created by myself and my older twin sisters. We focus on creating and developing young artists in the areas of dance, drama, music and theater. I am a visual and graphic artist and I am excited about working with young people in my city and developing their craft. I also use my time and talents with a group called Project Coach. I am a mentor coach who tutors and mentors elementary aged children. We meet three days a week and on the weekends to work on writing, coding, sports, dancing and art. I have made many connections with many students. I love what I do. I also give back with the local sickle cell awareness group. Both my brothers have sickle cell anemia, a rare blood disease found only in people of African or Mediterranean descent. They have had it since birth and there is no cure. I help organize fundraisers, I am the youth chair of the 5k walk and run, and I help take care of my brothers here at home. I also give back here in my community with a group called 18 Degrees: Women of Color. This group focuses on and teaches young women how to create and start businesses and how to become entrepreneurs. They take our dreams and ideas and help us turn them into reality. They also help us find funding and capital to make those dreams happen. I plan to continue working with youth and working in my community. Kids that look like me need to see me and be able to talk to and relate to me. I want to be an example to them and continue to serve the needs of my community.
    Chris Ford Scholarship
    I am the daughter, granddaughter, and youngest sibling of very strong Black women. They have been my examples and my guides during my life's journey. They've taught me grit and determination. They've taught me how to fight and be strong, and how to advocate for myself. They've taught me how to find my passions and how to live life to the fullest. They've also taught me how to serve others. My passions in life are dance, visual and graphic art, and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. I wish to own my own practice and combine it with the arts nonprofit I created with my sisters.
    Dema Dimbaya Humanitarianism and Disaster Relief Scholarship
    I give back to my community and to Black and Brown people in many ways. I have a non profit arts group here in my home city. This group was created by myself and my older twin sisters. We focus on creating and developing young artists in the areas of dance, drama, music and theater. I am a visual and graphic artist and I am excited about working with young people in my city and developing their craft. I also use my time and talents with a group called Project Coach. I am a mentor coach who tutors and mentors elementary aged children. We meet three days a week and on the weekends to work on writing, coding, sports, dancing and art. I have made many connections with many students. I love what I do. I also give back with the local sickle cell awareness group. Both my brothers have sickle cell anemia, a rare blood disease found only in people of African or Mediterranean descent. They have had it since birth and there is no cure. I help organize fundraisers, I am the youth chair of the 5k walk and run, and I help take care of my brothers here at home. I also give back here in my community with a group called 18 Degrees: Women of Color. This group focuses on and teaches young women how to create and start businesses and how to become entrepreneurs. They take our dreams and ideas and help us turn them into reality. They also help us find funding and capital to make those dreams happen. I love my city and take the time to give back to my community in many ways. I am a mentor, coach, and tutor to elementary-aged students here in Springfield, Massachusetts. I work with an organization called Project Coach. We give students in grades 4 and 5 help with their homework, coaching in sports, training in dance, visual art instruction, and mentorship. I have been a part of this work since 2019. I love the kids and I love what I do. I also give back by organizing an awareness rally around sickle cell anemia. My two older brothers are afflicted with the disease, and have been all their lives. The rally I organize raises funds for research and brings awareness to the community about the disease. It also connects people with the condition to health care providers and hematologists in the area. Another way I give back is through the non profit arts program I created with my older sisters. Standing Ovation is an after school arts program for children and youth here in our city. We provide instruction in dance, drama, music and visual art. We also provide tutoring and homework help. This program gives children the opportunity to be exposed to the arts in ways they never have before. As an artist, I love teaching and performing with the children. Finally, I give back by participating in an annual Breast Cancer 5K walk and run. The Susan G. Komen Cancer Society sponsors a city wide event for everyone to participate in. This event raises awareness around issues concerning breast cancer, and raises money for funding research. I organize one of the youth teams participating in the event. Thousands of students pledge to walk and run in honor of both the survivors and those we have lost due to cancer.
    Brian J Boley Memorial Scholarship
    My experience with mental health hit home with my dad in the Spring of 2020. COVID-19 shut the world down in March of 2020. My older twin sisters had to leave school and come home. My parents, who teach, had to teach from home. All 7 of us were in the house all day, and it was not easy. My father was Bipolar and was suffering from a mental breakdown while we were all at home together. He was misdiagnosed and was becoming more difficult to live with. His behavior was erratic and violent and his actions caused my two sisters to pack their things and leave. That left me, my mom, and my two brothers to try and help my dad. The tremendous hardship in this situation is seeing my day suffer through his mental illness. The hardship also included how it affected my entire family. I would be the one to calm him down. I would be the one to give him the medication. I would be the one to sit and talk with him. Finally, I would be the one to call my grandparents in NYC. His parents drove up from Long Island to come and get him and check him into a facility. He needed more help than I could, and my mother was beyond stressed and exhausted. I love my father and wanted to help him. I knew I could not do this alone. I will use my degree to improve the mental health of children and youth. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of others is my dad. I overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I am also trying to take care of my own mental health. Sheltering in place was a very isolating time and I got very sad and depressed. I am a dancer, however I could not go to class and I could not be around other people. I focused on my artwork to make myself happy. My love of art and passion for dance are the two things I will use to foster the social emotional well being of children and youth. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I will take this passion and my talents to try and aid, assist, and help the mental health of others. This is why mental health is important.
    MedLuxe Representation Matters Scholarship
    My goals include obtaining a degree in Psychology and a doctorate in Psychiatry. Mental health and wellness are so vital and important. My experience with mental health hit home with my dad in the Spring of 2020. COVID-19 shut the world down in March of 2020. My older twin sisters had to leave school and come home. My parents, who teach, had to teach from home. All 7 of us were in the house all day, and it was not easy. My father was Bipolar and was suffering from a mental breakdown while we were all at home together. He was misdiagnosed and was becoming more difficult to live with. His behavior was erratic and violent and his actions caused my two sisters to pack their things and leave. That left me, my mom, and my two brothers to try and help my dad. The tremendous hardship in this situation is seeing my day suffer through his mental illness. The hardship also included how it affected my entire family. I would be the one to calm him down. I would be the one to give him the medication. I would be the one to sit and talk with him. Finally, I would be the one to call my grandparents in NYC. His parents drove up from Long Island to come and get him and check him into a facility. He needed more help than I could, and my mother was beyond stressed and exhausted. I love my father and wanted to help him. I knew I could not do this alone. Racial diversity in healthcare is critical and necessary. Racial diversity in health care is important because it can help to improve the quality and equity of care that is provided. Having a diverse health care workforce can improve the cultural competency of providers, allowing them to better understand and meet the needs of patients from diverse backgrounds. This can help to reduce health care disparities and improve health outcomes for people from diverse communities. Additionally, having a diverse health care workforce can make health care organizations more reflective of the communities they serve, improving trust and access to care. This can help to promote a more inclusive and equitable health care system. Overall, promoting racial diversity in health care is important for improving the quality and accessibility of care for all individuals, regardless of their background. There are a number of steps that can be taken to increase racial diversity in the health care workforce and in the provision of care. Some potential strategies include: 1.Recruitment and retention: Health care organizations can actively recruit a diverse workforce and create inclusive environments that support the retention of diverse employees. 2.Training and education: Providing cultural competency training and education for health care providers can help to improve their understanding of the unique needs and experiences of patients from diverse backgrounds. 3.Data collection and analysis: Gathering data on the diversity of the health care workforce and patients can help to identify areas where there are disparities and to develop targeted strategies to address them. 4.Collaboration and partnerships: Partnering with community organizations and leaders can help to build trust and improve access to care for underserved communities. 5.Policies and regulations: Governments and health care organizations can implement policies and regulations that promote diversity and equity in health care. Increasing diversity in health care requires a sustained, comprehensive effort that involves multiple stakeholders and addresses the systemic barriers that can limit access to care for people from diverse backgrounds.
    Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship
    In 2018 I lost my aunt to cancer and diabetes. Losing a family member can be a very difficult and emotional experience. It can be hard to come to terms with the loss and to move on with your life. However, some people find that going through this experience helps them to refocus on what is truly important in life and to prioritize their relationships and their own well-being. It can be a wake-up call to take care of yourself and to cherish the people who are still in your life. Grieving the loss of a loved one can also bring people closer together and help to strengthen their relationships. There are many things I desire to achieve, and I have the grit and determination to fight for them all. It's great that you have a goal or something that you want to fight for. It's important to have ambition and to work hard to achieve your goals. To do this, you may need to develop a plan and set specific, achievable targets for yourself. You may also need to be persistent and resilient, and to stay focused and motivated even when things get tough. Surrounding yourself with supportive people who believe in you and your abilities can also be helpful. Remember to celebrate your accomplishments and to stay positive, even when you face challenges or setbacks.
    Sean Carroll's Mindscape Big Picture Scholarship
    Why is it important to understand the nature of our universe? By studying the cosmos beyond our own planet, we can understand where we came from, where we are going, and how physics works under conditions which are impossible to recreate on Earth. In astronomy, the Universe is our laboratory! It turns out that understanding the nature of the universe goes hand in hand with our understanding of who we are and how we fit into nature. To see this, consider how a person of the 16th century thought of the world. Earth was the center of creation, immobile, while everything else turned around it: moon, planets, sun, stars. The universe was spherical, onion-like, and finite: outside the celestial orbs was the Primum Mobile, the sphere responsible for imparting motion to the inner spheres. Outside the Primum Mobile was the Empyrean, the realm of God and his court of divine beings, made of pure light. People lived in a finite, spherical cosmos, with a clear vertical hierarchy: the goal of earthly life was to pave the way to the final ascendancy into Heaven. In other words, people's lives and ambitions mirrored, in a direct way, the geometry of the universe. Of course, everything changed after Copernicus and, more dramatically, after Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton established the sun-centered cosmos. Newton, in particular, opened the cosmos from its finiteness, proposing that only an infinite universe could be stable against gravitational collapse (albeit only through the occasional action of God). In an infinite universe, the verticality that defined people's spiritual quest was lost. Still, the Newtonian cosmos was static: space was simply the background arena, the stage wherein natural phenomena unfolded. To study the universe meant not only studying the things that exist within the universe, but studying the universe itself. In a very real sense, there was no longer a clear separation of the universe and the things it contains. In terms of ambition, it's hard to ask for more than to know absolutely everything there is to know about the Universe. That's the ultimate scientific dream: not just to understand the laws that govern reality as fully and deeply as possible, but to understand how every single particle in existence behaved from the moment of the Universe's birth up through the present day. However, this dream isn't necessarily one we're capable of realizing, even with arbitrarily good equipment and ideal observational methods. As vast as the Universe is, the part of it that's observable to us, both now and in the future, is still finite. With a finite number of particles and a finite amount of energy present within our observable Universe, the information we can glean is finite, too. Think about the Big Bang, and the fact that the Universe we inhabit today arose from a hot, dense state that expanded and cooled. Think back to that moment in time, some 13.8 billion years ago. Even though the fabric of space itself is expanding, and even though light can move through space at the ultimate cosmic speed limit (the speed of light), there's a limit to how far away we can see. No matter how quickly the fabric of space expands, nor how fast the speed of light is, nor how much time has passed since the Big Bang, none of these properties are infinite. Therefore, we can only see a finite distance away, and there's only going to be a finite amount of matter contained within the visible Universe. The amount of information we have access to is finite. I think it is vital and important to be able to explain these concepts to children and young people in a way they can grasp and understand. I see the limitless possibilities of space in children. To understand the creation and functioning of the universe, NASA says we should start investigating from the Big Bang. I probably could not tell a lot about the events that followed the Big Bang. However, what I strongly believe is that thousands of such bangs take place in a child’s universe.Brain studies have confirmed that learning engages the entire body. In this connection, learning is a mental and physical process. A particularly important quality of learning in children is that this is a social process – a joint formation of knowledge and meaning. If you ask me what the secret of a child’s universe is and how they approach the exploration of the world around them, I would say that the answer is in the child’s openness, inquisitiveness, curiosity and wish to share what they do with others. Every bang in their universe leads to a new question and exploration. The Universe is everything we can touch, feel, sense, measure or detect. It includes living things, planets, stars, galaxies, dust clouds, light, and even time. Before the birth of the Universe, time, space and matter did not exist. The Universe contains billions of galaxies, each containing millions or billions of stars. The space between the stars and galaxies is largely empty. However, even places far from stars and planets contain scattered particles of dust or a few hydrogen atoms per cubic centimeter. Space is also filled with radiation (e.g. light and heat), magnetic fields and high energy particles (e.g. cosmic rays). The Universe is incredibly huge. It would take a modern jet fighter more than a million years to reach the nearest star to the Sun. Travelling at the speed of light (300,000 km per second), it would take 100,000 years to cross our Milky Way galaxy alone. No one knows the exact size of the Universe, because we cannot see the edge – if there is one. All we do know is that the visible Universe is at least 93 billion light years across. (A light year is the distance light travels in one year – about 9 trillion km.) The Universe has not always been the same size. Scientists believe it began in a Big Bang, which took place nearly 14 billion years ago. Since then, the Universe has been expanding outward at very high speed. So the area of space we now see is billions of times bigger than it was when the Universe was very young. The galaxies are also moving further apart as the space between them expands.
    Kerry Kennedy Life Is Good Scholarship
    My name is Elizabeth and I am the baby of 5 siblings. I am an artist, a dancer, and a visionary. I am creative and unique. Your scholarship will help me reach my ultimate goal of becoming a graphic designer and a dancer. Dancing saved my life. I am the youngest child of 5 and the daughter of a dancer. My whole family is very artistic. We do it all by singing, dancing, acting, drawing, and painting. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. We are a kinesthetic family, always dancing, always moving. My mother danced for years, taught dance, and was a dance major in college. Dance is in my DNA. I would go with her to the studio and performances, and I would dance with my twin sisters as well as dance solo. If music was playing I was dancing and moving. In 2019, I began my freshman year of high school and started to dance a little less. I got a job mentoring and tutoring students after school. My schoolwork was so consuming and I did not have much time to go to the studio. In March 2020 the world shut down, and so did dancing. I had to make and create space in my bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen, or the den to be able to dance. The pandemic was very dark and depressing. Mental health issues consumed my home. Dancing was the only thing that kept me sane and safe. Dancing saved my life. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Anthony McPherson Memorial Automotive Scholarship
    The effects of a DUI charge can be life-changing and devastating. Not only for the driver behind the wheel but also the victims in their path. My father got his first DUI after partying with friends and trying to drive himself home. He ran into a snowbank, knocking himself unconscious. This resulted in being arrested, a suspended license, thousands of dollars in legal fees and Registry of Motor Vehicle fees, and numerous AA meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous). Families who lose loved ones to drunk driving are never the same. Their death is out of your control and completely in the hands of those who made selfish, compulsive decisions. Several strategies can be used to prevent DUI's and drunk driving deaths. When my parents attended high school 30 years ago, there was an annual campaign to try and prevent drunk driving. Every year, around the time for Prom, the State and City officials would stage a "Mock Car Accident". On the front lawn of every high school would be a totaled vehicle with the driver injured on one side, and the passengers injured and falling out of the car on the opposite side. They would be bloodied and bruised. It was very graphic and very effective. Fast forward to today and you can see numerous advertisements and commercials on television and on several social media platforms. Billboards on highways are another very effective strategy to prevent DUIs and drunk driving. As for me and my household, drunk driving and DUIs have had a lifechanging impact on all of us. My father would go on to get a second DUI five years after the first one. This resulted in a 5 year suspension of his license and a breathalizer device placed on his vehicle. We spent hundreds if not thousands on legal fees, RMV fees, alcohol detection device fees, and numerous fees and fairs for buses, trains, and Ubers for him to get to work in another state. My mother had to drive everyone all over town. We have to get the device checked and calibrated every month, and he cannot drive after 7:00 pm. It has been a very stressful time for all of us.
    James Gabriel Memorial Scholarship
    My mother is my biggest influence. She is the baby of her family and a former dancer. I get all my artistic DNA from her. She is a teacher and my biggest cheerleader. She has taught me how to be fierce, fearless, and kind. She has shown me how to fight for what is right and what is mine. She is my advocate and my ally. Everything I am is because of her. Dancing saved my life. I am the youngest child of 5 and the daughter of a dancer. My whole family is very artistic. Singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, we do it all. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. We are a kinesthetic family, always dancing, always moving. My mother danced for years, taught dance, and was a dance major in college. Dance is in my DNA. I would go with her to the studio, and to performances, I would dance with my twin sisters as well as dance solo. If music was playing I was dancing and moving. My mother is the biggest influence in my life. She taught me how to be fearless and go get what I want, including a career and future in STEM and the arts. She is my hero. My mom is sometimes a graceful woman, but usually her boisterousness changes that. She wears pretty, shiny clothes from whatever store or website she could find for a decently cheap price. She has brown skin a tinge deeper than mine, a hairstyle that changes every week to every month, and barely 5ft 4, she is a sight to marvel at. My family, including her, live in a light blue home, with a dark blue roof that doesn't give off the energy of any of us. With seven of us in the house (unless one of my sisters has a new apartment). You wouldn’t think that this simple, calm and tiny house belonged to our family. My mother is a very loud woman. I get that trait from her. She is especially loud when excited, angry, delighted, and in general an extremely loud person. Whether it’s with her presence in a room or when you hear her voice booming across an open area like a stereo. She always tells people like it is, whether she’s scared of their opinion or not. Some call her blunt while others say she’s incredibly opinionated. She’d probably say “why would I lie” as if that truth is something everyone already knows. Mama is a very busy woman. She is always doing this and that around the house, whether it’s for us, her family, or something for work. As a teacher for many years, my mama has gone through a long road to be in the classroom. When she was younger, she used to be a dancer. My Nina (grandmother) would always say she looks gorgeous when she dances, as if she was a butterfly moving swiftly but gently in the air. From what I was told, she mostly sought to be a ballet or a pointe dancer (even getting a few awards in those categories). This influenced her further career choice to be a dance teacher at an elementary school. Even when I feel upset, my mom can always put a smile on my face with her funny banter and how she carries herself. She has raised me to care for myself and my surroundings. She also does everything for me. My mama has taught me many things and continues to teach me. I thank her for that.
    @GrowingWithGabby National Scholarship Month TikTok Scholarship
    Community Reinvestment Grant: Pride Scholarship
    I am a young Black Queer woman on her way to college. My lived experiences have contributed greatly to how I affect change within myself and amongst others. To be an ally is to unite oneself with another to promote a common interest. People who are allies are not only helpers but also have a common interest with those they desire to help. In an alliance, both parties stand to benefit from the bond or connection they share. I have shown up for many of my friends in many marginalized communities. I am close with many friends in the LGBTQ+ community. I make sure to hold space for them. I create room for them to be heard and to speak their truth. Since we returned to our school buildings, I have advocated for safe spaces and proper conditions for my friends. Gender-neutral bathrooms and safe locker spaces have been at the top of my list. I have also created an afterschool club for students to speak out and share their concerns. These issues are important to me. My siblings are non-binary and queer, so things that affect them matter to me too. As a young Black woman, I am also an ally to other young people of color. In the United States and many other parts of the world, we’re finally engaging in substantive conversations about a once untouchable issue: race. The Black Lives Matter movement and the systemic inequalities laid bare by the Covid-19 pandemic have forced people in positions of power to realize some things. They must step up if there is to be any hope of making our world more diverse, fair, and inclusive. I am an ally to my friends and family in the Caribbean community, the Indigenous community, the Black community both American and African, and other young people of color. I have created and participated in clubs and spaces for my Caribbean and Immigrant friends at school. We celebrate their heritage, their food, their dance, and their culture. I also make sure their parents and guardians have updated information and any assistance they may need. The visual and performing arts are a tool I use to bring people and cultures together. I love to dance and I have a deep passion for art. I used this passion to create an anime art club and design space. There have been many divisions between Black and Asian communities. I wanted to find commonalities between our two cultures and bring people together. An ally is a helper to others. An ally provides assistance and support in an ongoing effort, activity, or struggle. I believe I am an ally, a friend, and support to many people.
    Mikey Taylor Memorial Scholarship
    My experience with mental health hit home with my dad in the Spring of 2020. COVID-19 shut the world down in March of 2020. My older twin sisters had to leave school and come home. My parents, who teach, had to teach from home. All 7 of us were in the house all day, and it was not easy. My father was Bipolar and was suffering from a mental breakdown while we were all at home together. He was misdiagnosed and was becoming more difficult to live with. His behavior was erratic and violent and his actions caused my two sisters to pack their things and leave. That left me, my mom, and my two brothers to try and help my dad. The tremendous hardship in this situation is seeing my day suffer through his mental illness. The hardship also included how it affected my entire family. I would be the one to calm him down. I would be the one to give him the medication. I would be the one to sit and talk with him. Finally, I would be the one to call my grandparents in NYC. His parents drove up from Long Island to come and get him and check him into a facility. He needed more help than I could, and my mother was beyond stressed and exhausted. I love my father and wanted to help him. I knew I could not do this alone. I will use my degree to improve the mental health of children and youth. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of others is my dad. I overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I am also trying to take care of my own mental health. Sheltering in place was a very isolating time and I got very sad and depressed. I am a dancer, however I could not go to class and I could not be around other people. I focused on my artwork to make myself happy. My love of art and passion for dance are the two things I will use to foster the social emotional well being of children and youth. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I will take this passion and my talents to try and aid, assist, and help the mental health of others. This is why mental health is important.
    V.C. Willis Foundation Scholarship
    Learning is essential to our existence. Just like food nourishes our bodies, information and continued learning nourish our minds. Lifelong learning is an indispensable tool for every career and organization. Today, continuous learning forms a necessary part of acquiring critical thinking skills and discovering new ways of relating to people from different cultures. To live a life without continuous learning is unthinkable. There are many benefits to a college degree. More doors of opportunity are open to you. You can earn a higher wage and a larger salary. College is also an excellent place to network and make connections. Those connections will be beneficial to you after graduation. You can also use your degree to help your community. Mentorship of our youth is so very vital and important. Mentoring is often one component of a program that involves other elements, such as tutoring or life skills training and coaching. The supportive, healthy relationships formed between mentors and mentees are both immediate and long-term and contribute to a host of benefits for mentors and mentees. I am a mentor, and I have many mentors who lead me and guide me on my journey through life. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. Mentoring can help youth as they go through challenging life transitions, including dealing with stressful changes at home or transitioning to adulthood. Close, healthy, supportive relationships between mentors and mentees that last for a significant portion of time (i.e., more than one year) are central to success. Mentoring has also been linked in studies to social-emotional development benefits, improvements in youth perceptions of parental relationships, and better prospects for moving on to higher education.
    Holistic Health Scholarship
    I am trying to take care of my mental health. Sheltering in place was a very isolating time and I got very sad and depressed. I am a dancer, however, I could not go to class and I could not be around other people. I focused on my artwork to make myself happy. My love of art and passion for dance are the two things I will use to foster the social-emotional well-being of children and youth. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I will take this passion and my talents to try and aid, assist, and help the mental health of others. This is why mental health is important. I will use my degree to improve the mental health of children and youth. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of others is my dad. I overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. It is critical and vital to have healthy eating habits. Health habits equal a longer more fulfilled life. I've begun my healthy eating journey by becoming vegan. It may seem odd and rare for teenagers and young people to become vegan or vegetarian. However, we are discovering the physical and mental health benefits of these eating habits and this lifestyle. I am also vegan because I am trying to be environmentally aware. Teenagers are aware of how the environmental damage that’s happening now can have a big impact on our futures. The biggest, yet most ignored, cause of environmental destruction? That is animal agriculture. In fact, the United Nations reported that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases that driving automobiles. We need to act now before it’s too late to reverse global warming. Young people are waking up and realizing that their choices matter, and going vegan is an important choice that many who are concerned about the future of the world are making. I plan to incorporate my visual art and dance into my veganism. I want my artwork to be powerful and tell a vivid story. My art will depict both the beauty of animals and other living creatures, as well as the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Art is a universal language and speaks to each of us as an individual. For those on the path of veganism, my art may serve as an encouragement to keep going.
    @Carle100 National Scholarship Month Scholarship
    Voila Natural Lifestyle Scholarship
    My name is Elizabeth and I am the baby of 5 siblings. I am an artist, a dancer, and a visionary. I am creative and unique. Your scholarship will help me reach my ultimate goal of becoming a graphic designer and a dancer. Dancing saved my life. I am the youngest child of 5 and the daughter of a dancer. My whole family is very artistic. We do it all by singing, dancing, acting, drawing, and painting. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. We are a kinesthetic family, always dancing, always moving. My mother danced for years, taught dance, and was a dance major in college. Dance is in my DNA. I would go with her to the studio and performances, and I would dance with my twin sisters as well as dance solo. If music was playing I was dancing and moving. In 2019, I began my freshman year of high school and started to dance a little less. I got a job mentoring and tutoring students after school. My schoolwork was so consuming and I did not have much time to go to the studio. In March 2020 the world shut down, and so did dancing. I had to make and create space in my bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen, or the den to be able to dance. The pandemic was very dark and depressing. Mental health issues consumed my home. Dancing was the only thing that kept me sane and safe. Dancing saved my life. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Curtis Holloway Memorial Scholarship
    My mother is my motivator. She is my biggest influence and my cheerleader. She taught me how to fight for what I want and go after what I am passionate about. She showed me how to be fearless. My mother is my biggest influence. She is the baby of her family and a former dancer. I get all my artistic DNA from her. She is a teacher and my biggest cheerleader. She has taught me how to be fierce, fearless, and kind. She has shown me how to fight for what is right and what is mine. She is my advocate and my ally. Everything I am is because of her. My mom is sometimes a graceful woman, but usually her boisterousness changes that. She wears pretty, shiny clothes from whatever store or website she could find for a decently cheap price. She has brown skin a tinge deeper than mine, a hairstyle that changes every week to every month, and barely 5ft 4, she is a sight to marvel at. My family, including her, live in a light blue home, with a dark blue roof that doesn't give off the energy of any of us. With seven of us in the house (unless one of my sisters has a new apartment). You wouldn’t think that this simple, calm and tiny house belonged to our family. My mother is a very loud woman. I get that trait from her. She is especially loud when excited, angry, delighted, and in general an extremely loud person. Whether it’s with her presence in a room or when you hear her voice booming across an open area like a stereo. She always tells people like it is, whether she’s scared of their opinion or not. Some call her blunt while others say she’s incredibly opinionated. She’d probably say “why would I lie” as if that truth is something everyone already knows. My mother was named Laverne and she grew up in New York for 6-7 years until she moved to Springfield with her mother and father. Mama went to community college before going to AIC. There she met my dad. Before I was born, my mother had 4 children already, 2 sisters and 2 other siblings. We didn’t have our tiny home until my second sibling was born. Before then, when my twin sisters were babies and my biggest sibling was 6 years old, they lived with my nana. Mama is a very busy woman. She is always doing this and that around the house, whether it’s for us, her family, or something for work. As a teacher for many years, my mama has gone through a long road to be in the classroom. When she was younger, she used to be a dancer. My Nina (grandmother) would always say she looks gorgeous when she dances, as if she was a butterfly moving swiftly but gently in the air. From what I was told, she mostly sought to be a ballet or a pointe dancer (even getting a few awards in those categories). This influenced her further career choice to be a dance teacher at an elementary school. Even when I feel upset, my mom can always put a smile on my face with her funny banter and how she carries herself. She has raised me to care for myself and my surroundings. She also does everything for me. My mama has taught me many things and continues to teach me. I thank her for that.
    Justin David Valle Scholarship
    I have been able to maintain a positive outlook on life thanks in part to my amazing family. My parents have always told me that college would be a matter of my wits and my smarts. Due to my sickle cell anemia, doctors said that dance and sports would never be an option for me. I can't run, jump, tackle, or tackle or hit a layup. I wasn't supposed to be able to jump, spin, or turn. However, dance and art are my passions and first loves. I have always competed with my mind. I appreciate my parents for preparing me the way they did. I see a pediatrician yearly, a hematologist monthly, a neurologist bimonthly, and a therapist weekly. My medical bills are astronomical and have been since I have been born. My brothers suffer the same way I do. Their bills are just as high. Being a young woman with sickle cell has been incredibly painful. As I get older the pain increases. I wasn't this sick when I was younger but it is becoming progressively worse. Both my brothers also have sickle cell disease. My oldest brother, Kahari, Has sickle cell SC. My younger brother Josiah has sickle cell SS, which is stronger and attacks you more aggressively. Kahari has been relatively healthy his whole life. He does not get sick very often and is not in that much pain. He began experiencing pain when he went away to college. Stress and pressure can add to or aggravate the pain inside your body. Josiah has been sick since birth. He has been hospitalized, had transfusions, and is on several medications. Right now, there is no cure. We are all simply trying to survive. Having sickle cell has made me appreciate life. I try to be positive and make the most of every moment. I try to find joy in small victories and try to be kind to everyone. It has also made me realize who and what is important to me. My family is so very important. They are a major part of my life. My friends are also a great support system. My artistic pursuits are also important to me. I have loved dance my entire life until I physically could not dance any longer. Thanks to sickle cell anemia. That's when I focused on visual art and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. I hope and pray my story can give others hope and strength in their fight with this disease.
    Peter and Nan Liubenov Student Scholarship
    I value the grit and determination I possess. Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals. It is the ability to persist in something you feel passionate about and persevere when you face obstacles. This kind of passion is not about intense emotions or infatuation. It’s about having direction and commitment. When you have this kind of passion, you can stay committed to a task that may be difficult or boring. I am the baby of 5 children. My older siblings taught me early on how to be gritty and resilient. As a dancer, artist, and straight-A student, things did not come easy for me or were handed down to me. My parents cultivated a work ethic within all of us, but me especially. Grit is also about perseverance. To persevere means to stick with it; to continue working hard even after experiencing difficulty or failure. When things get difficult, I do not quit. When I experience setbacks or failures, I see these as lessons learned. I don't give up. Being a young Black woman in this country has also taught me how to be gritty, resilient, and perseverant. Quitting is not an option for me. COVID-19 shut the world down and life was never the same. I had to finish classes on line. That was difficult. My dance classes stopped meeting in person. I had to find space to dance, create art, and work in a home with 7 people. That was extremely difficult. My father had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. That was difficult and scary and wreaked havoc on all our lives. We all persevered through that. Even with all these difficulties and set backs, I maintained an A+ average, mentored and coached students on line, created a performing arts club, and celebrated three quarantine birthdays! I am so grateful for life, when so many have lost theirs. Grit is important because it is a driver of achievement and success, independent of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute. Being naturally smart and talented are great, but to truly do well and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential. It is only with effort that talent becomes a skill that leads to success. This quality and characteristic will serve me well and help me immensely in my life's journey. I can clarify my goals. I can develop my passions. I can act and practice deliberately and on purpose. I know what my passions are and what my purpose is. I know what I am invested in and what I am passionate about. I practice optimistic self talk and self affirmations. The grittiest people are very clear about their future, their goals, and their aspirations. Gritty people don't give up and keep going because they know their purpose. That is why I value the grit and determination I have within me.
    Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship
    Technology is tackling some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. There is still much to develop and improve, but initial results are pointing to exciting and helpful signs for the future of our planet. Renewable energy, also known as ‘clean energy’, is collected from renewable resources. These naturally replenished sources include sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. Some of the most recognized and important eco-friendly tech advancements in recent years have been in the clean energy sector. Renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and hydroelectric power have become much more widespread, as well as cheaper. This sector is expected to continue to grow at a staggering rate. Global renewable energy installations hit record levels in 2020; causing experts to predict that it will overtake coal to become the world’s largest energy source by 2025. Imagine a world where all kinds of environmental technological devices and sensors were able to communicate without human involvement. Experts are predicting that cities of the future will be places where every car, phone, air conditioner, light and more are interconnected, bringing about the concept of energy efficient smart cities. I am sure planet earth is looking forward to these technological advancements. During the COVID-19 pandemic, humans have been able to directly support the environment; by simply working from home in their pajamas. The world ‘shutting down’ had a positive impact on nature. There was an astounding improvement in air quality, and substantially decreased levels of air pollution; which even resulted in a population spurt for the honey bees. Water quality improved, and wildlife started to return to urban areas. Essentially, connectivity allowed society to continue to function during the pandemic, and less commuting saw less hazy skies. The rollout of 5G will continue this trend, with many workers finding that they can work from anywhere and enjoy optimal internet connectivity. In fact, Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25 percent to 30 percent of the labor force will work from home multiple days a week by the end of 2022. Recycling old clothes can also make the world a much better place. The production of one single pair of jeans requires 10,000 to 20,000 liters of water. To significantly reduce this water consumption, Swedish sustain tech company, Renewcell, has developed a new way to reprocess old clothes; using 80 percent less water. They are able to dissolve cotton and other cellulose materials.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    My experience with mental health hit home with my dad in the Spring of 2020. COVID-19 shut the world down in March of 2020. My older twin sisters had to leave school and come home. My parents, who teach, had to teach from home. All 7 of us were in the house all day, and it was not easy. My father was Bipolar and was suffering from a mental breakdown while we were all at home together. He was misdiagnosed and was becoming more difficult to live with. His behavior was erratic and violent and his actions caused my two sisters to pack their things and leave. That left me, my mom, and my two brothers to try and help my dad. The tremendous hardship in this situation is seeing my day suffer through his mental illness. The hardship also included how it affected my entire family. I would be the one to calm him down. I would be the one to give him the medication. I would be the one to sit and talk with him. Finally, I would be the one to call my grandparents in NYC. His parents drove up from Long Island to come and get him and check him into a facility. He needed more help than I could, and my mother was beyond stressed and exhausted. I love my father and wanted to help him. I knew I could not do this alone. I will use my degree to improve the mental health of children and youth. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of others is my dad. I overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I am also trying to take care of my own mental health. Sheltering in place was a very isolating time and I got very sad and depressed. I am a dancer, however I could not go to class and I could not be around other people. I focused on my artwork to make myself happy. My love of art and passion for dance are the two things I will use to foster the social emotional well being of children and youth. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I will take this passion and my talents to try and aid, assist, and help the mental health of others. This is why mental health is important.
    R.L. Sexton Memorial Scholarship
    I have had many challenges in pursuit of my education. I have demonstrated resilience in many ways. Studying and learning amid a global pandemic has been quite challenging. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week's program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. Another challenge I have had to overcome would be mental illness in my family. My experience with mental health hit home with my dad in the Spring of 2020. COVID-19 shut the world down in March of 2020. My older twin sisters had to leave school and come home. My parents, who teach, had to teach from home. All 7 of us were in the house all day, and it was not easy. My father was Bipolar and was suffering from a mental breakdown while we were all at home together. He was misdiagnosed and was becoming more difficult to live with. His behavior was erratic and violent and his actions caused my two sisters to pack their things and leave. That left me, my mom, and my two brothers to try and help my dad. The tremendous hardship in this situation is seeing my day suffer through his mental illness. The hardship also included how it affected my entire family. I would be the one to calm him down. I would be the one to give him the medication. I would be the one to sit and talk with him. Finally, I would be the one to call my grandparents in NYC. His parents drove up from Long Island to come and get him and check him into a facility. He needed more help than I could, and my mother was beyond stressed and exhausted. I love my father and wanted to help him. I knew I could not do this alone. Sickle cell anemia is another challenge I have to live with. My parents have always told me that college would be a matter of my wits and my smarts. Due to my sickle cell anemia, doctors said that dance and sports would never be an option for me. I can't run, I can't jump, and I can't tackle or hit a layup. I wasn't supposed to be able to jump, spin, or turn. However, dance and art are my passions and first loves. I have always competed with my mind. I appreciate my parents for preparing me the way they did. I see a pediatrician yearly, a hematologist monthly, a neurologist bimonthly, and a therapist weekly. My medical bills are astronomical and have been since I have been born. My brothers suffer the same way I do. Being a young woman with sickle cell has been incredibly painful. Stress and pressure can add to or aggravate the pain inside your body. I have been sick since birth. I have been hospitalized, had blood transfusions, I am on several medications, and I am part of a research study for a cure. Right now we are all trying to survive.
    Minority/Women in STEM Scholarship
    I have had many challenges in pursuit of my education. I have demonstrated resilience in many ways. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week's program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. Going to college is so very important to me and my family. Being a first-generation college student means that you are the first person in your immediate family to attend college. Of course, a lot of questions come with being a first-generation college student. Unlike students whose parents have attended college, there’s no one to guide or advise us. First-generation college student struggles are unique. After all, we are exploring uncharted territory within our family. Who can we go to for help? Being a first-generation college student represents progress for many families. Being able to send a child to college represents hope for my family. It also serves as a guide for family members in younger generations. The younger ones will look up to that family member who did go to college. They will also want to follow in their footsteps. I will now be an example for the rest of my family. I plan on making a positive impact in the world of STEM and STEAM (incorporating the arts). I am choosing a major and career in Mathematics. I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity to most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not dare to speak up or have the right teacher to lead the way. Understanding Black girls’ experiences in mathematics during their K-12 trajectories can shed light on their underrepresentation in higher education majors and careers that require mathematics degrees. My mother is the biggest influence in my life. She taught me how to be fearless and go get what I want, including a career and future in STEM and the arts. She is my hero. Art is also my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Act Locally Scholarship
    I would like to see more kindness, empathy, and understanding in the world right now. These things are severely lacking right now. Since the pandemic, and even before, people are a lot meaner, less tolerant, and very judgmental. In February 2020, our lives were on the brink of immense change. Whisperings of a strange novel virus circulated, with those whispers quickly turning to shouts by March 2020 when we entered a global lockdown. Two years later, many of our lives are unrecognizable. Parents are experiencing psychological distress due to financial uncertainty, school closures, and distance learning. To date, COVID-19 has claimed 5.5 million lives, resulting in collective grief for each of us. Food insecurity has inevitably increased due to widespread financial fallout and difficulty accessing affordable provisions. Many are leaving their jobs due to employer expectations, decreased boundaries, and increased stress. We're also developing a reduced bandwidth for reality, evidenced by a recent study linking the influx of negative news during the pandemic to individuals disengaging with health-related media. It feels that pain is present no matter where we turn, and our empathy is rapidly depleting. Simply put, it hurts to care. Unfortunately, no one is immune to dwindling empathy. Decreased empathy presents as an inability to witness and aid the suffering of others because we are overwhelmed with our current circumstances. As a senior in high school, I see a lack of empathy every day among my peers and teachers. This makes me sad. This waning empathy is called compassion fatigue, a term that was initially attributed to those in helping professions, but now, after two years of a pandemic, has become a mainstream phenomenon. Eventually, that slow burn can turn into a difficulty in accessing compassion and care for those in pain. You may be reading this and thinking, a lack of empathy? Sure, I've been tired and frustrated, grieving and in pain, but I am not lacking any empathy. Struggling to access empathy often doesn't come bearing obvious red flags. Instead, it has the same symptoms that can feel as mundane as the fallout from a stressful day. In addition, those who experience compassion fatigue may feel numb to the scale of death occurring in our world and pressure to stay informed, resulting in general discontent. Others may become uncharacteristically rigid and controlling with irritable tendencies. If any of these scenarios feel familiar, you may be at risk for compassion fatigue. Empathy is a finite resource. It is natural to avoid anything that reminds you of our nation's agony as a protective mechanism. However, compassion fatigue isn't a terminal diagnosis. With some education and tools, we can begin to refill our well of empathy. Creating this foundation helps build a sense of security and functions as a form of healthy control, signaling to the mind that help is here. When so much feels out of our hands, having a self-determined plan provides solace. A self-care plan focuses on day-to-day maintenance. Think along the lines of meditating during a work break, engaging in an activity or stretching, connecting with people you love, and tending to your sleep hygiene. Volunteering and exploring ways to get involved in your community is another way to come back into contact with a sense of control. When we move away from the despair of feeling powerless and towards the energy of bringing forth positive change, we begin to replenish our empathy resources. Remedying compassion fatigue with helping others may seem counterintuitive, but it can decrease the fatigue and increase empathy when balanced with restorative forms of self-care. I also want to highlight the importance of the arts in education for children and youth. It is so critical and vital to their growth and development. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind. From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences. I want every child to be able to experience art, music, dance and drama. Art is my passion and my first love. My family and my community inspire my art every day. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Ryder Collections Scholarship
    My grandmother was one of the earliest graduates of Howard University in 1913. My mother went back to school at the age of 50 after my father passed away and after she lost her mother. My father owned his own business before changing careers and becoming a teacher. He and my mother both have doctorate degrees. I am the baby of 5 children, and all 4 of my siblings have graduated from college or are currently in college right now. Education is key ad paramount in our lives. I am the daughter, granddaughter, and youngest sibling of very strong Black women. They have been my examples and my guides during my life's journey. They've taught me grit and determination. They've taught me how to fight and be strong, and how to advocate for myself. They've taught me how to find my passions and how to live life to the fullest. They've also taught me how to serve others. My passions in life are dance, visual and graphic art, and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. My parents have always told me that college would be a matter of my wits and my smarts. Due to my sickle cell anemia, doctors said that dance and sports would never be an option for me. I can't run, I can't jump, and I can't tackle or hit a layup. I wasn't supposed to be able to jump, spin, or turn. However, dance and art are my passions and first loves. I have always competed with my mind. I appreciate my parents for preparing me the way they did. I see a pediatrician yearly, a hematologist monthly, a neurologist bimonthly, and a therapist weekly. My medical bills are astronomical and have been since I have been born. My brothers suffer the same way I do. Their bills are just as high. Having sickle cell has made me appreciate life. I try to be positive and make the most of every moment. I try to find the joy in small victories and try to be kind to everyone. It has also made me realize who and what are important to me. My family is so very important. They are a major part of my life. I have loved dance my entire life, until I physically could not dance any longer. Thanks to the sickle cell anemia. That's when I focused on visual art and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. I will major in dance and art and psychology so I can use my art as therapy.
    Mental Health Importance Scholarship
    My experience with mental health hit home with my dad in the Spring of 2020. COVID-19 shut the world down in March of 2020. My older twin sisters had to leave school and come home. My parents, who teach, had to teach from home. All 7 of us were in the house all day, and it was not easy. My father was Bipolar and was suffering from a mental breakdown while we were all at home together. He was misdiagnosed and was becoming more difficult to live with. His behavior was erratic and violent and his actions caused my two sisters to pack their things and leave. That left me, my mom, and my two brothers to try and help my dad. The tremendous hardship in this situation is seeing my day suffer through his mental illness. The hardship also included how it affected my entire family. I would be the one to calm him down. I would be the one to give him the medication. I would be the one to sit and talk with him. Finally, I would be the one to call my grandparents in NYC. His parents drove up from Long Island to come and get him and check him into a facility. He needed more help than I could, and my mother was beyond stressed and exhausted. I love my father and wanted to help him. I knew I could not do this alone. I will use my degree to improve the mental health of children and youth. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of others is my dad. I overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I am also trying to take care of my own mental health. Sheltering in place was a very isolating time and I got very sad and depressed. I am a dancer, however I could not go to class and I could not be around other people. I focused on my artwork to make myself happy. My love of art and passion for dance are the two things I will use to foster the social emotional well being of children and youth. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I will take this passion and my talents to try and aid, assist, and help the mental health of others. This is why mental health is important.
    Hester Richardson Powell Memorial Service Scholarship
    I have demonstrated resilience in many ways. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week's program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. My parents have always told me that college would be a matter of my wits and my smarts. Due to my sickle cell anemia, doctors said that dance and sports would never be an option for me. I can't run, I can't jump, and I can't tackle or hit a layup. I wasn't supposed to be able to jump, spin, or turn. However, dance and art are my passions and first loves. I have always competed with my mind. I appreciate my parents for preparing me the way they did. I see a pediatrician yearly, a hematologist monthly, a neurologist bimonthly, and a therapist weekly. My medical bills are astronomical and have been since I have been born. My brothers suffer the same way I do. Their bills are just as high. Being a young woman with sickle cell has been incredibly painful. Every month I experience debilitating pain when my monthly cycle arrives. As I get older the pain increases. I wasn't this sick when I was younger but it is becoming progressively worse. Both my brothers also have sickle cell disease. My oldest brother, Kahari, Has sickle cell SC. My younger brother Josiah has sickle cell SS, which is stronger and attacks you more aggressively. Kahari has been relatively healthy his whole life. He does not get sick very often and is not in that much pain. He began experiencing pain when he went away to college. Stress and pressure can add to or aggravate the pain inside your body. Josiah has been sick since birth. He has been hospitalized, had transfusions, and is on several medications. Right now, there is no cure. We are all simply trying to survive. Having sickle cell has made me appreciate life. I try to be positive and make the most of every moment. I try to find the joy in small victories and try to be kind to everyone. It has also made me realize who and what are important to me. My family is so very important. They are a major part of my life. This is how I have showed resilience. This is how I inspire others.
    Learner Higher Education Scholarship
    Higher education is important to me because of my health and my parents. My parents have always told me that college would be a matter of my wits and my smarts. Due to my sickle cell anemia, doctors said that dance and sports would never be an option for me. I can't run, I can't jump, and I can't tackle or hit a layup. I wasn't supposed to be able to jump, spin, or turn. However, dance and art are my passions and first loves. I have always competed with my mind. I appreciate my parents for preparing me the way they did. I see a pediatrician yearly, a hematologist monthly, a neurologist bimonthly, and a therapist weekly. My medical bills are astronomical and have been since I have been born. My brothers suffer the same way I do. Their bills are just as high. Being a young woman with sickle cell has been incredibly painful. Every month I experience debilitating pain when my monthly cycle arrives. As I get older the pain increases. I wasn't this sick when I was younger but it is becoming progressively worse. Both my brothers also have sickle cell disease. My oldest brother, Kahari, Has sickle cell SC. My younger brother Josiah has sickle cell SS, which is stronger and attacks you more aggressively. Kahari has been relatively healthy his whole life. He does not get sick very often and is not in that much pain. He began experiencing pain when he went away to college. Stress and pressure can add to or aggravate the pain inside your body. Josiah has been sick since birth. He has been hospitalized, had transfusions, and is on several medications. Right now, there is no cure. We are all simply trying to survive. Having sickle cell has made me appreciate life. I try to be positive and make the most of every moment. I try to find joy in small victories and try to be kind to everyone. It has also made me realize who and what is important to me. My family is so very important. They are a major part of my life. My friends are also a great support system. My artistic pursuits are also important to me. I have loved dance my entire life until I physically could not dance any longer. Thanks to sickle cell anemia. That's when I focused on visual art and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. I hope and pray my story can give others hope for higher education!
    Learner Scholarship for High School Seniors
    Going to college is so very important to me and my family. Being a first-generation college student means that you are the first person in your immediate family to attend college. Of course, a lot of questions come with being a first-generation college student. Unlike students whose parents have attended college, there’s no one to guide or advise us. First-generation college student struggles are unique. After all, we are exploring uncharted territory within our family. Who can we go to for help? Being a first-generation college student represents progress for many families. Being able to send a child to college represents hope for my family. It also serves as a guide for family members in younger generations. The younger ones will look up to that family member who did go to college. They will also want to follow in their footsteps. I will now be an example for the rest of my family. This scholarship will be a tremendous help to my future. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. I will use my degree to improve the mental health of children and youth. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of others is my dad. I overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time.
    Lifelong Learning Scholarship
    Learning is essential to our existence. Just like food nourishes our bodies, information and continued learning nourish our minds. Lifelong learning is an indispensable tool for every career and organization. Today, continuous learning forms a necessary part of acquiring critical thinking skills and discovering new ways of relating to people from different cultures. To live a life without continuous learning is unthinkable. “The only thing that is constant is change,” Heraclitus famously said; change in your career, change in your personal life, change in your community and organizations. One of the most effective ways of dealing with change is lifelong learning. Being a lifelong learner and being educated; both formally and informally; is essential to the development of considerate, compassionate, and cooperative societies, the success of organizations, and the personal pursuit of happiness. Learning is essential to humanity. It’s so embedded in our lives that we rarely consider what it means. Learning is the process of gaining new skills, knowledge, understanding, and values. This is something people can do by themselves, although it’s generally made easier with education: the process of helping someone or a group of others to learn. With educational support, learning can happen more efficiently. Education is also how we collect and share all the skills and knowledge we learn individually. Benefitting from education instead of having to build new skills and knowledge by ourselves from scratch is part of what it means to live in a society instead of in isolation. Learning and education impart more than just knowledge and skills. They also transmit the values, attitudes, and behaviors we have decided to share. In simple terms, learning and education help hold together human life and civilization as we know it. Learning is what we use to make our societies better for ourselves, those around us, and those who come after us. Among humans, educational practices can be traced back practically as far as human life goes. Evidence of teaching and learning has been found from remnants of human life dating back thousands of years BCE—and that’s just where we’ve found written evidence. Oral and practical education (for example, early humans physically teaching their children to hunt and forage for food) likely go back even further. Learning has continued all over the world throughout the history of human life. Continuous learning is your self-motivated persistence in acquiring knowledge and competencies in order to expand your skillset and develop future opportunities. It forms part of your personal and professional development in an effort to avoid stagnation and reach your full potential. Knowledge is now at everyone’s fingertips. Those not making use of this opportunity will remain where they are – their capabilities diminishing in importance.
    Jaqaun Webb Scholarship
    I plan to succeed in college by continuing my serious, strong work ethic and staying connected to my family and friends. They are my support system. I will also succeed in college by staying true to myself and continuing to be creative. Going to college is so very important to me and my family. Being a first-generation college student means that you are the first person in your immediate family to attend college. Of course, a lot of questions come with being a first-generation college student. Unlike students whose parents have attended college, there’s no one to guide or advise us. First-generation college student struggles are unique. After all, we are exploring uncharted territory within our family. Who can we go to for help? Being a first-generation college student represents progress for many families. Being able to send a child to college represents hope for my family. It also serves as a guide for family members in younger generations. The younger ones will look up to that family member who did go to college. They will also want to follow in their footsteps. I will now be an example for the rest of my family. This scholarship will be a tremendous help to my future. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. There are many benefits to a college degree. More doors of opportunity are open to you. You can earn a higher wage and a larger salary. College is also an excellent place to network and make connections. Those connections will be beneficial to you after graduation. You can also use your degree to help your community. Art is my passion and my first love. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Your Dream Music Scholarship
    Nina Simone and her music deeply speak to me. Speaking out and taking action are critical steps in social movements, and her song “Mississippi Goddam.” is the perfect embodiment of this. Many consider the controversial track to be Simone’s “first civil rights song.” It was a response to the murder of Medgar Evers and the bombing of the 16th street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Next is Nina Simone’s civil rights anthem for African-Americans, which was originally recorded by Simone. A play called “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” produced by Lorraine Hansberry inspired this serendipitous Nina Simone song. Hansberry was also Nina’s friend and the author of “A Raisin in the Sun.” Simone explained to her musical director, Weldon Irvine, what she couldn’t express lyrically, and they had a song two days later. Nina Simone’s civil rights songs became a spark of optimism for African-American children. Simone first experienced racism at a concert at age 12. Thus, she saw the world through the eyes of young people. Moreover, she cited this incident as to why she would later join the civil rights movement. Her most unapologetic lyric: “There are times when I look back and I am haunted by my youth.” As a black woman in the music industry, Nina Simone faced several oppressions. She then developed a tough-spirited attitude as a result. Nina Simone’s civil rights songs soon shifted her purpose from artist to activist. Not only did she tackle racial matters, but she also addressed black feminism. Her song "Four Women" is a genealogical portrayal of Black women throughout the history of slavery. The song would later become the inspiration for the play "Nina Simone: Four Women" by Christina Ham. This powerful lyric: “I’m awfully bitter these days/because my parents were slaves.“ speaks to many Black women.
    Living Well Scholarship
    Did you know you may have hundreds of individual toxins and harmful chemicals in your body at any given moment? While many people are becoming more conscious of what they eat, most people are not aware of the other ways they are introducing harmful chemicals into their bodies and the benefits that clean living can have on their health. Body Burden is a term used to define the harmful chemical buildup in your body. Toxic chemicals can enter your body in many ways, including through the food you eat, the water you drink, the air you breathe, and what you put on your skin. Chemicals are everywhere! While we probably cannot eliminate our contact with chemicals, we can reduce it drastically. By improving the quality of the food you eat, the ingredients and products you use on your body, and the cleaning products you use in your home, you can switch to a clean living lifestyle and improve your health, wellbeing and the future of our planet. When it comes to the food you consume, it makes sense to limit processed foods in your diet, to eat whole, nutrient-rich foods, and to buy organic foods when possible. Many harmful chemicals and toxins are found in processed foods, in the pesticides used on traditional fruit and vegetables, and the hormones found in meat, eggs, and dairy. As for your skin, it is your largest, fastest-growing organ and your barrier between the outside world and the systems within your body. Anything that comes in contact with your skin can be absorbed in as quick as just 26 seconds. Therefore, what you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your body. Finally, your skin and respiratory system are at risk of chemical exposure depending on what type of cleaning products and other household products you use in your home. While this may be alarming and worrisome, the good news is that you are in control of what you put in and on your body and can benefit by switching to a clean-living lifestyle. There are many benefits to clean living. You will have increased energy levels. You will have a decrease in allergies and asthma symptoms. You will have better sleep patterns and a better mood. You will see increased immunity. You will also have decreased risk of disease. All of these benefits will help you reach your goals of a healthy lifestyle while having the additional benefit of helping the health of our planet at the same time.
    Healthy Eating Scholarship
    It is critical and vital to have healthy eating habits. Health habits equal a longer more fulfilled life. I've begun my healthy eating journey by becoming vegan. It may seem odd and rare for teenagers and young people to become vegan or vegetarian. However, we are discovering the physical and mental health benefits of these eating habits and this lifestyle. Going vegan may seem easy to some animal lovers, while it’s a hard-fought challenge for others. Most people seem to agree that it gets much easier when you get very clear on why you want to go vegan. Being vegan is no longer rare or only something that very affluent people can afford to do or be. Great vegan foods and recipes are now more appealing and accessible. Since the world shut down in 2020, being sheltered in place gave me more time to read and study. My older twin sisters have been vegan for some time now. I decided I would try it for myself. I am also vegan because I am trying to be environmentally aware. Teenagers are aware of how the environmental damage that’s happening now can have a big impact on our futures. The biggest, yet most ignored, cause of environmental destruction? That is animal agriculture. In fact, the United Nations reported that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases that driving automobiles. We need to act now before it’s too late to reverse global warming. Young people are waking up and realizing that their choices matter, and going vegan is an important choice that many who are concerned about the future of the world are making. It’s easier now than ever to spread information about the detrimental impact of animal agriculture. Not only are young people flocking to a variety of mainstream social media networks in droves, where they can connect with each other through groups and hashtags, there are also sites just for teen vegans. This has been very helpful for me to connect with other like-minded people. Keeping healthy is critical to being successful as a vegan. It is very important that you research what to eat before or while changing your diet. Knowing, for example, that chickpeas and spinach are great sources of iron could prevent you from getting anemia. Research is essential. I went vegan for three reasons: animals, health and the environment. People worry about the lack of B vitamins when going vegan, especially B12, so I eat food supplemented with it, such as nutritional yeast. Being vegan is inherently quite healthy, however, because you eat so many fruits and vegetables. Many people in my family still eat meat, and sometimes it is a struggle trying to make my own meals. However, they are very supportive of me. My mom even does separate shopping just for me. I am an artist, so I plan to incorporate my visual art and dance into my veganism. I want my artwork to be powerful and tell a vivid story. My art will depict both the beauty of animals and other living creatures, as well as the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. To me, veganism is love in abundance. It is caring about others. It is sharing compassion and helping those in need. For many, there is no need to awaken these qualities — they are already there. For others, they might need a little more inspiration. Art is a universal language and speaks to each of us as an individual. For those on the path of veganism, my art may serve as an encouragement to keep going. This helps my physical and mental health.
    Mind, Body, & Soul Scholarship
    Many things excite me about going to college next year. I am excited about gaining independence. I am excited about being out on my own. I am very excited about learning and growing and becoming a whole new person. Going to college is so very important to me and my family. Being a first-generation college student means that you are the first person in your immediate family to attend college. Of course, a lot of questions come with being a first-generation college student. Unlike students whose parents have attended college, there’s no one to guide or advise us. First-generation college student struggles are unique. After all, we are exploring uncharted territory within our family. Who can we go to for help? I am excited about what the next chapter of my life has to offer. I have so many interests and passions, including art, dance, math, and psychology. I want the chance to embark upon them all. Being a first-generation college student represents progress for many families. Being able to send a child to college represents hope for my family. It also serves as a guide for family members in younger generations. The younger ones will look up to that family member who did go to college. They will also want to follow in their footsteps. I will now be an example for the rest of my family. This scholarship will be a tremendous help to my future. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I maintain a healthy mind, body, and soul through my artwork and through dance. It is like therapy for me. Art is my passion and my first love. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Ruthie Brown Scholarship
    There are several things I am doing to address and eradicate future student debt. First, I am working and saving money. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I mentor and tutor elementary aged children. I also teach them dance and visual art. I also work for a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. We help young women find their passions and help them start their own businesses. The next thing I am doing is taking AP classes and enrolling in Dual Enrollment Courses. Receiving a score of "4" or "5" on my AP exams will earn me college credit. I have already done this successfully with last years classes. Participating in dual enrollment courses has already earned me college credit in 4 courses so far. I have college credit for English Composition 1 and 2, as well as Psychology and Diverse World Cultures. Earning college credits while in high school will reduce the credits I will need to take and pay for next year in college. Another thing I am doing is actively, vigorously searching for scholarships and grant money. Bold.org has been a blessing and a wealth of information in my scholarship search. I search for money everyday and I apply to several scholarships on a weekly basis. I created a club at school designed specifically for scholarship searches. We meet weekly, chat daily, and update one another on new scholarships we have found. I have also filled out my FAFSA ad CSS profiles to receive financial aid for school. I plan on working while on campus, so I also selected a "work-study" option for aid as well. One other solution I have found is enrolling into community college. Community colleges are two year junior colleges that are a lot cheaper and much more affordable than 4 year institutions. Where students choose to attend college can make a big difference. Attending a community college can give students time to work, save up money, earn credits and ultimately transfer to a four-year college to earn a degree for less. Tuition and fees at public two-year schools, for instance, cost $3,800 on average for in-state, in-district students. "No Loan" schools are another great option for eradicating future debt. Schools may have unique policies around financial aid and student loans. Some colleges offer students who have household incomes under a certain threshold free tuition. Others are no-loan schools, meaning they have a policy of meeting the full financial need of students without relying on student loans. These are the ways I am working and planning to address and eradicate student loan debt.
    Marie J. Smith Esq. Social Sciences Scholarship
    I plan to make a positive impact as a psychologist, a therapist, and an artist. I will use my degree to improve the mental health of children and youth. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of others is my dad. I overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I am also trying to take care of my mental health. Sheltering in place was a very isolating time and I got very sad and depressed. I am a dancer, however, I could not go to class and I could not be around other people. I focused on my artwork to make myself happy. My love of art and passion for dance are the two things I will use to foster the social-emotional well-being of children and youth. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I will take this passion and my talents to try and aid, assist, and help the mental health of others. I will use my degree to improve the mental health of people of color. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of Black and Brown people is my dad. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. I can clarify my goals. I can develop my passions. I can act and practice deliberately and on purpose. I know what my passions are and what my purpose is. I know what I am invested in and what I am passionate about. Gritty people don't give up and keep going because they know their purpose. That is why I value the grit and determination I have within me.
    Sikora Drake STEM Scholarship
    I am pursuing a degree in STEAM which incorporates Mathematics and the Arts. I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity to most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not have the courage to speak up, or the right teacher to lead the way. Understanding Black girls’ experiences in mathematics during their K-12 trajectories can shed light on their underrepresentation in higher education majors and careers that require mathematics degrees. I am fortunate enough to have parents that are teachers, caring adults at school, and counselors looking out for me. I have been in honors and AP math classes these last 3 years of high school. I was also able to be a part of dual enrollment classes that are offered through a partnership with the college here in town. These opportunities should be afforded to everyone. I think it is impossible to limit the uses of mathematics in everyday life. Can you use any entertainment game without using numbers? Can you practice any sport without using numbers to learn if you are a winner or a loser? Can you do your work without using numbers? If you are a teacher, collect your students' marks or a doctor, estimate the amount of medicine for the patient or an engineer, estimate the amount of raw material to be added to complete the work, or even a leader in a battle. Math is crucial and critical to all of our lives. Here is how math has shaped my understanding of the world around me. Mathematics is a powerful tool for global understanding and communication that organizes our lives and prevents chaos. Mathematics helps us understand the world and provides an effective way of building mental discipline. Math encourages logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, abstract or spatial thinking, problem-solving ability, and even effective communication skills. This is why I love math! I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. Representation matters, and diversity in the workplace is critical and essential to depicting the world we live in. Diversity in STEM is important because you do not see many women or people of color in this area. Diversity in STEM creates a more inclusive environment. a more diverse team is more likely to outperform a more homogenous team—even when the homogenous team is considered to have “relatively greater ability” as individuals than the more diverse group. Authors of the study suggest this is because people with different backgrounds have different experiences and perspectives, and because of this, they approach problems differently, ask different questions, and develop more innovative solutions. By being more inclusive, the likelihood of scientific success is higher, promoting economic growth and competitiveness.
    Greg Lockwood Scholarship
    I would like to see more kindness, empathy, and understanding in the world right now. These things are severely lacking right now. Since the pandemic, and even before, people are a lot meaner, less tolerant, and very judgmental. In February 2020, our lives were on the brink of immense change. Whisperings of a strange novel virus circulated, with those whispers quickly turning to shouts by March 2020 when we entered a global lockdown. Two years later, many of our lives are unrecognizable. Parents are experiencing psychological distress due to financial uncertainty, school closures, and distance learning. To date, COVID-19 has claimed 5.5 million lives, resulting in collective grief for each of us. Food insecurity has inevitably increased due to widespread financial fall-out and difficulty accessing affordable provisions. Many are leaving their jobs due to employer expectations, decreased boundaries, and increased stress. We're also developing a reduced bandwidth for reality, evidenced by a recent study linking the influx of negative news during the pandemic to individuals disengaging with health-related media. It feels that pain is present no matter where we turn, and our empathy is rapidly depleting. Simply put, it hurts to care. Unfortunately, no one is immune to dwindling empathy. Decreased empathy presents as an inability to witness and aid the suffering of others because we are overwhelmed with our current circumstances. As a senior in high school, I see a lack of empathy everyday among my peers and teachers. This makes me sad. This waning empathy is called compassion fatigue, a term that was initially attributed to those in helping professions, but now, after two years of a pandemic, has become a mainstream phenomenon. Eventually, that slow burn can turn into difficulty accessing compassion and care for those in pain. You may be reading this and thinking, a lack of empathy? Sure, I've been tired and frustrated, grieving and in pain, but I am not lacking any empathy. Struggling to access empathy often doesn't come bearing obvious red flags. Instead, it has the same symptoms that can feel as mundane as the fall-out from a stressful day. In addition, those who experience compassion fatigue may feel numb to the scale of death occurring in our world and pressure to stay informed, resulting in general discontent. Others may become uncharacteristically rigid and controlling with irritable tendencies. If any of these scenarios feel familiar, you may be at risk for compassion fatigue. Empathy is a finite resource. It is natural to avoid anything that reminds you of our nation's agony as a protective mechanism. However, compassion fatigue isn't a terminal diagnosis. With some education and tools, we can begin to refill our well of empathy. Creating this foundation helps build a sense of security and functions as a form of healthy control, signaling to the mind that help is here. When so much feels out of our hands, having a self-determined plan provides solace. A self-care plan focuses on day-to-day maintenance. Think along the lines of meditating during a work break, engaging in activity or stretching, connecting with people you love, and tending to your sleep hygiene. Volunteering and exploring ways to get involved in your community is another way to come back into contact with a sense of control. When we move away from the despair of feeling powerless and towards the energy of bringing forth positive change, we begin to replenish our empathy resources. Remedying compassion fatigue with helping others may seem counterintuitive, but it can decrease the fatigue and increase empathy when balanced with restorative forms of self-care.
    Science Appreciation Scholarship
    I am choosing a major and career in Mathematics. I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity to most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not dare to speak up or have the right teacher to lead the way. Understanding Black girls’ experiences in mathematics during their K-12 trajectories can shed light on their underrepresentation in higher education majors and careers that require mathematics degrees. My mother is the biggest influence in my life. She taught me how to be fearless and go get what I want, including a career and future in STEM and the arts. She is my hero. Here is how math has shaped my understanding of the world around me. Mathematics is a powerful tool for global understanding and communication that organizes our lives and prevents chaos. Mathematics helps us understand the world and provides an effective way of building mental discipline. Math encourages logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, abstract or spatial thinking, problem-solving ability, and even effective communication skills. Mathematics plays a vital role in all aspects of life, whether in everyday matters such as time tracking, driving, cooking, or jobs such as accounting, finance, banking, engineering, and software. These functions require a strong mathematical background, and scientific experiments by scientists need mathematical techniques. They are a language to describe scientists' work and achievements. Science is very vital and critically important to our society. Science plays a huge part in our daily lives, and it’s transforming our world at an incredible pace. However, not everyone understands that it is not just about inventions or new technology or new medicines; Science is a lot more than that. So, what role does science play in today’s society, and what makes it so important? Science has created crucial knowledge that we need every day such as medicine, food preparation, and agricultural practices. All modern medicines we have were discovered or created using science. One of the first was the discovery of Penicillin in 1928 when Sir Alexander Fleming was experimenting in his lab in London. Ancient people learned how to cook and prepare food through trial and error—the scientific method. Now, thanks to modern science, we understand how cooking such as the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar usually requiring heat, work. Ancient peoples also used a nascent scientific method to learn what practices worked best in agriculture. Today, science has taught us rotating crops, increased crop diversity, cover crops, reducing tillage, integrated pest management, and other practices are very effective. Other benefits of science in your everyday life include technologies such as computers, cell phones, and other communications devices, television, cars, buses, and the like. If scientists hadn’t discovered electricity, none of these would be possible. In 1800, Italian physicist Alessandro Volta is credited with discovering that certain chemical reactions could produce electricity, kicking off an exciting era of electric discoveries. We need science to solve current and future problems, including how to get along with one another, how to better predict severe weather like tornadoes and hurricanes, possible ways to fix climate change, and even how to cure cancer.
    Palette & Purpose Scholarship
    Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I also want to highlight the importance of the arts in education for children and youth. It is so critical and vital to their growth and development. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind. From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences. I want every child to be able to experience art, music, dance and drama.
    Terry Masters Memorial Scholarship
    Art is my passion and my first love. My family and my community inspire my art every day. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Hilda Klinger Memorial Scholarship
    Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I also want to highlight the importance of the arts in education for children and youth. It is so critical and vital to their growth and development. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind. From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences. I want every child to be able to experience art, music, dance and drama. My favorite artist is my mother. My mother is my biggest influence. She is the baby of her family and a former dancer. I get all my artistic DNA from her. She is a teacher and my biggest cheerleader. She has taught me how to be fierce, fearless, and kind. She has shown me how to fight for what is right and what is mine. She is my advocate and my ally. Everything I am is because of her.
    Learner Math Lover Scholarship
    I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity to most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not have the courage to speak up, or the right teacher to lead the way. Understanding Black girls’ experiences in mathematics during their K-12 trajectories can shed light on their underrepresentation in higher education majors and careers that require mathematics degrees. Teachers’ low expectations and overall assumptions about Black girls in society impede the opportunity for us to learn in mathematics classrooms. Teachers hold low expectations of low-income Black girls in upper elementary classrooms who are perceived as having limited knowledge and bring social challenges to the learning environment. I see this everyday. My early confidence in and value of mathematics often fails to translate when it comes to interactions with my mathematics teachers. There are positive and negative effects on Black girls’ mathematics achievement in terms of relational interactions with their teachers. There is also a deep-seeded historical and societal myth that Black girls and mathematics are incompatible. This is just not true. I am fortunate enough to have parents that are teachers, caring adults at school, and counselors looking out for me. I have been in honors and AP math classes these last 3 years of high school. I was also able to be a part of dual enrollment classes that are offered through a partnership with the college here in town. These opportunities should be afforded to everyone. Here is how math has shaped my understanding of the world around me. Mathematics is a powerful tool for global understanding and communication that organizes our lives and prevents chaos. Mathematics helps us understand the world and provides an effective way of building mental discipline. Math encourages logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, abstract or spatial thinking, problem-solving ability, and even effective communication skills. This is why I love math!
    Yan Scholarship
    My mother is my motivator. She is my biggest influence, and my personal cheerleader. She taught me how to fight for what I want, and how to go after what I am passionate about. She showed me how to be fearless. Going to college is so very important to me and my family. Being a first-generation college student means that you are the first person in your immediate family to attend college. Of course, a lot of questions come with being a first-generation college student. Unlike students whose parents have attended college, there’s no one to guide or advise us. First-generation college student struggles are unique. After all, we are exploring uncharted territory within our family. Who can we go to for help? Being a first-generation college student represents progress for many families. Being able to send a child to college represents hope for my family. It also serves as a guide for family members in younger generations. The younger ones will look up to that family member who did go to college. They will also want to follow in their footsteps. I will now be an example for the rest of my family. This scholarship will be a tremendous help to my future. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. My field of study will also be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. I wish to own my own practice and combine it with the arts nonprofit I created with my sisters. Your scholarship will help me realize my dreams and bring me closer to my goals.
    Learner Education Women in Mathematics Scholarship
    I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity to most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not have the courage to speak up, or the right teacher to lead the way. Understanding Black girls’ experiences in mathematics during their K-12 trajectories can shed light on their underrepresentation in higher education majors and careers that require mathematics degrees. Teachers’ low expectations and overall assumptions about Black girls in society impede the opportunity for us to learn in mathematics classrooms. Teachers hold low expectations of low-income Black girls in upper elementary classrooms who are perceived as having limited knowledge and bring social challenges to the learning environment. I see this everyday. My early confidence in and value of mathematics often fails to translate when it comes to interactions with my mathematics teachers. There are positive and negative effects on Black girls’ mathematics achievement in terms of relational interactions with their teachers. There is also a deep-seeded historical and societal myth that Black girls and mathematics are incompatible. This is just not true. I am fortunate enough to have parents that are teachers, caring adults at school, and counselors looking out for me. I have been in honors and AP math classes these last 3 years of high school. I was also able to be a part of dual enrollment classes that are offered through a partnership with the college here in town. These opportunities should be afforded to everyone. Here is how math has shaped my understanding of the world around me. Mathematics is a powerful tool for global understanding and communication that organizes our lives and prevents chaos. Mathematics helps us understand the world and provides an effective way of building mental discipline. Math encourages logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, abstract or spatial thinking, problem-solving ability, and even effective communication skills. Mathematics plays a vital role in all aspects of life, whether in everyday matters such as time tracking, driving, cooking, or jobs such as accounting, finance, banking, engineering, and software. These functions require a strong mathematical background, and scientific experiments by scientists need mathematical techniques. They are a language to describe scientists' work and achievements. As for mathematical inventions, they are numerous throughout the ages. Some of them were tangible, such as counting and measuring devices. Some of them are not as tangible as methods of thinking and solving. The symbols that express numbers are also one of the most important mathematical inventions. I think it is impossible to limit the uses of mathematics in everyday life. Can you use any entertainment game without using numbers? Can you practice any sport without using numbers to learn if you are a winner or a loser? Can you do your work without using numbers? If you are a teacher, collect your students' marks or a doctor, estimate the amount of medicine for the patient or an engineer, estimate the amount of raw material to be added to complete the work, or even a leader in a battle. Math is crucial and critical to all of our lives.
    Maida Brkanovic Memorial Scholarship
    Going to college is so very important to me and my family. Being a first-generation college student means that you are the first person in your immediate family to attend college. Of course, a lot of questions come with being a first-generation college student. Unlike students whose parents have attended college, there’s no one to guide or advise us. First-generation college student struggles are unique. After all, we are exploring uncharted territory within our family. Who can we go to for help? Being a first-generation college student represents progress for many families. Being able to send a child to college represents hope for my family. It also serves as a guide for family members in younger generations. The younger ones will look up to that family member who did go to college. They will also want to follow in their footsteps. I will now be an example for the rest of my family. This scholarship will be a tremendous help to my future. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. My family is from Benin. Upon arrival, everyone assumes we are all the same. There are no differences between us as far as country, tribe, language, and dialect. The most widely spoken languages in Africa include English, Arabic, Swahili, French, Portuguese, Akan, Hausa, Zulu, Amharic and Oromo. It can be easy for people in the United States to assume that one African is like the other, when in fact one might have been born and brought up in the U.S. and the other might be a first-generation immigrant from Africa. Such an assumption would be disadvantageous to immigrants from Africa because their varied and diverse experiences would be ignored. Culture shock was another huge challenge. Relocating from Africa to the United States is likely to be a culture shock for the immigrants. In fact, many immigrants from Africa experience culture shock even before they travel to their new country. The process of securing a visa to travel to the U.S. is a daunting experience that takes months, and sometimes years to complete. Applicants physically go to the U.S. Embassy offices in their countries or regions to attend interviews and complete official paperwork related to their travel. At these offices, they are likely to see armed white police officers in full gear, complete with duty belts, guns, sunglasses and other items dangling from the belts. We may feel intimidated by the sight of these officers, having previously been accustomed to seeing Black police officers carrying gear that is less threatening. Another cultural experience that may be shocking for new immigrants from Africa is the sole use of English to communicate. Code-switching, which is common among people who are bilingual, is not possible when English is the only language in use. Other things they learn or observe include the high cost of living, differences in dressing, the prevalence of low-context interpersonal interactions, driving on the right side of the road, a love for sports that are unique to Americans, people who are homeless, panhandlers on the streets, and the menace of opioids. Art is my passion and my first love. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. This country is very strange and exciting at the same time. The thought of living the American Dream was always prevalent in my mind. People have not always been welcoming, or empathetic, or understanding, or patient. That has only made me stronger and more determined. Your scholarship will help me realize my dreams and bring me closer to my goals.
    Elevate Women in Technology Scholarship
    Technology is tackling some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. There is still much to develop and improve, but initial results are pointing to exciting and helpful signs for the future of our planet. Renewable energy, also known as ‘clean energy’, is collected from renewable resources. These naturally replenished sources include sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. Some of the most recognized and important eco-friendly tech advancements in recent years have been in the clean energy sector. Renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and hydroelectric power have become much more widespread, as well as cheaper. This sector is expected to continue to grow at a staggering rate. Global renewable energy installations hit record levels in 2020; causing experts to predict that it will overtake coal to become the world’s largest energy source by 2025. Imagine a world where all kinds of environmental technological devices and sensors were able to communicate without human involvement. Experts are predicting that cities of the future will be places where every car, phone, air conditioner, light and more are interconnected, bringing about the concept of energy efficient smart cities. I am sure planet earth is looking forward to these technological advancements. During the COVID-19 pandemic, humans have been able to directly support the environment; by simply working from home in their pajamas. The world ‘shutting down’ had a positive impact on nature. There was an astounding improvement in air quality, and substantially decreased levels of air pollution; which even resulted in a population spurt for the honey bees. Water quality improved, and wildlife started to return to urban areas. Essentially, connectivity allowed society to continue to function during the pandemic, and less commuting saw less hazy skies. The rollout of 5G will continue this trend, with many workers finding that they can work from anywhere and enjoy optimal internet connectivity. In fact, Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25 percent to 30 percent of the labor force will work from home multiple days a week by the end of 2022. Recycling old clothes can also make the world a much better place. The production of one single pair of jeans requires 10,000 to 20,000 liters of water. To significantly reduce this water consumption, Swedish sustain tech company, Renewcell, has developed a new way to reprocess old clothes; using 80 percent less water. They are able to dissolve cotton and other cellulose materials.
    Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
    My experience with mental health hit home with my dad in the Spring of 2020. COVID-19 shut the world down in March of 2020. My older twin sisters had to leave school and come home. My parents, who teach, had to teach from home. All 7 of us were in the house all day, and it was not easy. My father was Bipolar and was suffering from a mental breakdown while we were all at home together. He was misdiagnosed and was becoming more difficult to live with. His behavior was erratic and violent and his actions caused my two sisters to pack their things and leave. That left me, my mom, and my two brothers to try and help my dad. The tremendous hardship in this situation is seeing my day suffer through his mental illness. The hardship also included how it affected my entire family. I would be the one to calm him down. I would be the one to give him the medication. I would be the one to sit and talk with him. Finally, I would be the one to call my grandparents in NYC. His parents drove up from Long Island to come and get him and check him into a facility. He needed more help than I could, and my mother was beyond stressed and exhausted. I love my father and wanted to help him. I knew I could not do this alone. I will use my degree to improve the mental health of children and youth. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of others is my dad. I overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I am also trying to take care of my own mental health. Sheltering in place was a very isolating time and I got very sad and depressed. I am a dancer, however I could not go to class and I could not be around other people. I focused on my artwork to make myself happy. My love of art and passion for dance are the two things I will use to foster the social emotional well being of children and youth. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. I will take this passion and my talents to try and aid, assist, and help the mental health of others.
    She Rose in STEAM Scholarship
    I will use my degree to improve the mental health of people of color. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my practice will help many people. Another reason I want to improve the mental health of Black and Brown people is my dad. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. COVID-19 shut the world down in March of 2020. My older twin sisters had to leave school and come home. My parents, who teach, had to teach from home. All 7 of us were in the house all day every day and it was not easy. My father was Bipolar and was suffering from a mental breakdown while we were all at home together. He was misdiagnosed and was becoming more difficult to live with. His behavior was erratic and violent and his actions caused my two sisters to pack their things and leave. That left me, my mom, and my two brothers to try and help my dad. The tremendous hardship in this situation is seeing my day suffer through his mental illness. The hardship also included how it affected my entire family. I would be the one to calm him down. I would be the one to give him the medication. I would be the one to sit and talk with him. Finally, I would be the one to call my grandparents in NYC. His parents drove up from Long Island to come and get him and check him into a facility. He needed more help than I could give, and my mother was beyond stressed out and exhausted. I love my father and wanted to help him. I knew I could not do this alone.
    Lieba’s Legacy Scholarship
    My love of art and passion for dance are the two things I will use to foster the social emotional well being of children and youth. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my own practice will help many people. I also want to highlight the importance of the arts in education for children and youth. It is so critical and vital to their growth and development. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind. From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences. I want every child to be able to experience art, music, dance and drama.
    Do Good Scholarship
    As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my own practice will help many people.
    Vegan Teens Are The Future Scholarship
    Going vegan may seem easy to some animal lovers, while it’s a hard-fought challenge for others. Most people seem to agree that it gets much easier when you get very clear on why you want to go vegan. Being vegan is no longer rare or only something that very affluent people can afford to do or be. Great vegan foods and recipes are now more appealing and accessible. Since the world shut down in 2020, being sheltered in place gave me more time to read and study. My older twin sisters have been vegan for some time now. I decided I would try it for myself. I am also vegan because I am trying to be environmentally aware. Teenagers are aware of how the environmental damage that’s happening now can have a big impact on our futures. The biggest, yet most ignored, cause of environmental destruction? That is animal agriculture. In fact, the United Nations reported that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases that driving automobiles. We need to act now before it’s too late to reverse global warming. Young people are waking up and realizing that their choices matter, and going vegan is an important choice that many who are concerned about the future of the world are making. It’s easier now than ever to spread information about the detrimental impact of animal agriculture. Not only are young people flocking to a variety of mainstream social media networks in droves, where they can connect with each other through groups and hashtags, there are also sites just for teen vegans. This has been very helpful for me to connect with other like-minded people. Keeping healthy is critical to being successful as a vegan. It is very important that you research what to eat before or while changing your diet. Knowing, for example, that chickpeas and spinach are great sources of iron could prevent you from getting anemia. Research is essential. I went vegan for three reasons: animals, health and the environment. People worry about the lack of B vitamins when going vegan, especially B12, so I eat food supplemented with it, such as nutritional yeast. Being vegan is inherently quite healthy, however, because you eat so many fruits and vegetables. Many people in my family still eat meat, and sometimes it is a struggle trying to make my own meals. However, they are very supportive of me. My mom even does separate shopping just for me. I am an artist, so I plan to incorporate my visual art and dance into my veganism. I want my artwork to be powerful and tell a vivid story. My art will depict both the beauty of animals and other living creatures, as well as the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. To me, veganism is love in abundance. It is caring about others. It is sharing compassion and helping those in need. For many, there is no need to awaken these qualities — they are already there. For others, they might need a little more inspiration. Art is a universal language and speaks to each of us as an individual. For those on the path of veganism, my art may serve as an encouragement to keep going. For others, it may help remind them of their connection to animals and inspire them to make changes towards creating a better world.
    Cedrick'a Jackson Memorial Scholarship
    My parents have always told me that college would be a matter of my wits and my smarts. Due to my sickle cell anemia, doctors said that dance and sports would never be an option for me. I can't run, I can't jump, and I can't tackle or hit a layup. I wasn't supposed to be able to jump, spin, or turn. However, dance and art are my passions and first loves. I have always competed with my mind. I appreciate my parents for preparing me the way they did. I see a pediatrician yearly, a hematologist monthly, a neurologist bimonthly, and a therapist weekly. My medical bills are astronomical and have been since I have been born. My brothers suffer the same way I do. Their bills are just as high. Being a young woman with sickle cell has been incredibly painful. Every month I experience debilitating pain when my monthly cycle arrives. As I get older the pain increases. I wasn't this sick when I was younger but it is becoming progressively worse. Both my brothers also have sickle cell disease. My oldest brother, Kahari, Has sickle cell SC. My younger brother Josiah has sickle cell SS, which is stronger and attacks you more aggressively. Kahari has been relatively healthy his whole life. He does not get sick very often and is not in that much pain. He began experiencing pain when he went away to college. Stress and pressure can add to or aggravate the pain inside your body. Josiah has been sick since birth. He has been hospitalized, had transfusions, and is on several medications. Right now, there is no cure. We are all simply trying to survive. Having sickle cell has made me appreciate life. I try to be positive and make the most of every moment. I try to find the joy in small victories and try to be kind to everyone. It has also made me realize who and what are important to me. My family is so very important. They are a major part of my life. My friends are also a great support system. My artistic pursuits are also important to me. I have loved dance my entire life, until I physically could not dance any longer. Thanks to the sickle cell anemia. That's when I focused on visual art and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. I hope and pray my story can give others hope and strength in their personal fight with this disease.
    Omniwomyn Empowerment Scholarship
    I am the daughter, granddaughter, and youngest sibling of very strong Black women. They have been my examples and my guides during my life's journey. They've taught me grit and determination. They've taught me how to fight and be strong, and how to advocate for myself. They've taught me how to find my passions and how to live life to the fullest. They've also taught me how to serve others. My passions in life are dance, visual and graphic art, and mentorship. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. I wish to own my own practice and combine it with the arts nonprofit I created with my sisters.
    Charlie Akers Memorial Scholarship
    I love my city and take the time to give back to my community in many ways. I am a mentor, coach, and tutor to elementary-aged students here in Springfield, Massachusetts. I work with an organization called Project Coach. We give students in grades 4 and 5 help with their homework, coaching in sports, training in dance, visual art instruction, and mentorship. I have been a part of this work since 2019. I love the kids and I love what I do. I also give back by organizing an awareness rally around sickle cell anemia. My two older brothers are afflicted with the disease, and have been all their lives. The rally I organize raises funds for research and brings awareness to the community about the disease. It also connects people with the condition to health care providers and hematologists in the area. Another way I give back is through the non profit arts program I created with my older sisters. Standing Ovation is an after school arts program for children and youth here in our city. We provide instruction in dance, drama, music and visual art. We also provide tutoring and homework help. This program gives children the opportunity to be exposed to the arts in ways they never have before. As an artist, I love teaching and performing with the children. Finally, I give back by participating in an annual Breast Cancer 5K walk and run. The Susan G. Komen Cancer Society sponsors a city wide event for everyone to participate in. This event raises awareness around issues concerning breast cancer, and raises money for funding research. I organize one of the youth teams participating in the event. Thousands of students pledge to walk and run in honor of both the survivors and those we have lost due to cancer.
    John J Costonis Scholarship
    As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. Owning my own practice will help many people.
    Theresa Lord Future Leader Scholarship
    Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. I wish to own my own practice and combine it with the arts nonprofit I created with my sisters. One change I would like to make is the stigma around mental illness. More than half of people with mental illness don't receive help for their disorders. Often, people avoid or delay seeking treatment due to concerns about being treated differently or fears of losing their jobs and livelihood. That's because stigma, prejudice and discrimination against people with mental illness is still very much a problem. Stigma, prejudice and discrimination against people with mental illness can be subtle or it can be obvious—but no matter the magnitude, it can lead to harm. People with mental illness are marginalized and discriminated against in various ways, but understanding what that looks like and how to address and eradicate it can help. I also want to highlight the importance of the arts in education for children and youth. It is so critical and vital to their growth and development. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind. From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences. I want every child to be able to experience art, music, dance and drama.
    ALS Family Scholarship
    When many people hear the letters ALS, they may think of the 2014 ice bucket challenge. However, for those who are friends and family members of someone living with ALS, the acronym for this terminal disease evokes a different reaction. Right now, ALS is a death sentence. Once you are diagnosed, you are told to prepare for the inevitable loss of muscle to the point of paralysis, the loss of your voice, and eventually, the loss of your life. Most ALS patients are told by their doctors they will have approximately two to five years to live. In 2012, my dad was told the same thing. Growing up with a parent who is terminally ill is a little different. As a child, my parents did everything in their power to keep things as normal as possible for my siblings and me. Unfortunately, I have very few memories of my dad when he was still able to walk because of how young I was when he lost that ability. However, I can confidently say that my childhood felt completely normal. My dad has had a long battle with ALS and is still fighting. We bickered on occasion about normal things like a normal family does. Our friends came over a lot. My sisters and I were very involved in the arts, and my parents were at every performance from dance recitals to plays and musicals. They went to every band concert. Every meaningful event I have had in my life, I am thankful that I have been able to look out into the crowd and see both of my parents cheering me along. ALS isn’t just a deadly disease, it is incurable. Most patients do not live like my father has been able to. A lot of people ask, "How has he managed to live for so long?" If you ask me, there are a number of reasons. First, he has an immense amount of inner strength. Second, we try keeping things as normal as possible. Also, maintaining a positive outlook has had a tremendous affect on his health. Finally, having a loving support system has helped him tremendously. Those are all things that have contributed to my dad being alive today. When you are a family member of someone living with ALS, you are constantly grieving. I have been grieving for essentially my entire life. You grieve the loss of each thing as it happens. I grieved his ability to walk, his ability to speak, his ability to eat, our ability to travel, and things of this nature. This is while also grieving the larger things. I worry daily knowing that it is not a matter of if, but when my dad will die if a cure is not found. I struggled with the idea of this from a young age. I remember the first time things really felt real to me regarding my family’s situation. My dad became sick with pneumonia and was in the hospital for over a week. My neighbor, my aunt, and my cousin stayed with me while my parents were in the hospital. I remember sitting in one of my favorite teacher’s classrooms, and for the first time, I absolutely lost it. My teacher had fun pillows in the corner of her classroom, and I remember sitting in that corner during her off period as I broke down. For the first time, it really hit me that there was a chance I may lose my dad. There are no adequate words to convey the grace and strength with which my dad has lived with ALS.
    Francis “Slip” Madigan Scholarship
    Going to college is so very important to me and my family. Being a first-generation college student means that you are the first person in your immediate family to attend college. Of course, a lot of questions come with being a first-generation college student. Unlike students whose parents have attended college, there’s no one to guide or advise us. First-generation college student struggles are unique. After all, we are exploring uncharted territory within our family. Who can we go to for help? Being a first-generation college student represents progress for many families. Being able to send a child to college represents hope for my family. It also serves as a guide for family members in younger generations. The younger ones will look up to that family member who did go to college. They will also want to follow in their footsteps. I will now be an example for the rest of my family. This scholarship will be a tremendous help to my future. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. My field of study will also be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. I wish to own my own practice and combine it with the arts nonprofit I created with my sisters. Your scholarship will help me realize my dreams and bring me closer to my goals.
    Arthur and Elana Panos Scholarship
    How does faith impact your life? It changes everything. I have learned from experience, that is not a cliche of false hope; it is the raw truth. Every aspect of your life will be impacted when you incorporate faith into your everyday, ordinary life. Your thoughts, your decisions, and your relationships will all change. On many days, we face interruptions and challenges that cloud our perspective leaving us feeling vulnerable and exposed. Faith impacts our life because it helps us view storms through a different lens; we put our trust in Jesus instead of ourselves. COVID-19 and the worldwide pandemic shut down has tested my faith tremendously. Will I be safe? Will my family members get sick? Is the world coming to an end? I have been incredible anxious over the past 2 years. Whether you’re struggling with the fear and isolation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic or you’re just having one of those weeks where nothing seems to go right, relying on faith can help carry you through. I took some time to reflect on how my faith guides me during my life. I maintain my faith and strength in God at all times. I really don’t separate good times or hard times from my faith. I am blessed to have my life penetrated with the gift of faith and I have striven to have my relationship with Jesus (God) be as authentic a relationship as I would have with a physical person. I have scheduled prayer and worship as a part of my day. I pray God will soften my heart during those times and make me attentive so that it is not “work” or “routine,” but true worship that I offer. In this, I desire to come to know and understand His love in my life and what He is asking of me. I find practice that brings me peace. I often go to the Passion of Christ sections because I find my challenges can be best united to His. I ask for His wisdom to look at the situations I am in with His eyes and to be able to walk with His Heart. I use the Scriptural Stations of the Cross, which follows the walk of Jesus to Calvary. This has made my reflections and prayers come more alive because my body walks from Station to Station and my focus becomes engaged in His, carrying our sins, our wounds, our pain to an ultimate redemption. I also rest in the Psalms, which seem to hold within them all the varied emotions I feel when going through difficult times. I keep the structure of prayer and worship intact, which creates a backbone and consistent support to my day. Finally, I rely on Confession. When I get grumpy and negative, I can confess this before God and publicly before a priest for forgiveness and strength to move on. I have learned to lay my burdens down. During hard times, I bring my true emotions, the conversations I have with others, including their concerns, into my prayer. I lay them at the feet of Jesus, to whom I have grown in trust and confidence. It is His wisdom and love that gives me confidence and hope, even when my emotions struggle. Struggling is normal and I would say in many ways essential to growing in faith. If we can’t go before God in truth than we are not in a right relationship with Him. I think we should bring every emotion, fear, doubt and concern to Him. My faith will continue to lead and guide me.
    Cyrilla Olapeju Sanni Scholarship Fund
    Immigrants to the United States have one goal in common: to attain the American dream. For many, this dream means leading a life with fewer struggles than they experienced in their countries of origin. Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, stretching from Senegal to Somali (west to east) and Tunisia to South Africa (north to south). It has 54 countries and a population of approximately 1.3 billion people. There are about 3,000 African tribes, each of which speaks its own language or dialect. My family is from Benin. Upon arrival, everyone assumes we are all the same. There are no differences between us as far as country, tribe, language, and dialect. The most widely spoken languages in Africa include English, Arabic, Swahili, French, Portuguese, Akan, Hausa, Zulu, Amharic and Oromo. It can be easy for people in the United States to assume that one African is like the other, when in fact one might have been born and brought up in the U.S. and the other might be a first-generation immigrant from Africa. Such an assumption would be disadvantageous to immigrants from Africa because their varied and diverse experiences would be ignored. Culture shock was another huge challenge. Relocating from Africa to the United States is likely to be a culture shock for the immigrants. In fact, many immigrants from Africa experience culture shock even before they travel to their new country. The process of securing a visa to travel to the U.S. is a daunting experience that takes months, and sometimes years to complete. Applicants physically go to the U.S. Embassy offices in their countries or regions to attend interviews and complete official paperwork related to their travel. At these offices, they are likely to see armed white police officers in full gear, complete with duty belts, guns, sunglasses and other items dangling from the belts. We may feel intimidated by the sight of these officers, having previously been accustomed to seeing Black police officers carrying gear that is less threatening. Once African immigrants actually travel to the U.S., they are likely to experience culture shock in multiple ways. Depending on such factors as their previous experience with international travel, their country of origin and the port of entry to the U.S., new immigrants may be shocked by the size of the cities, highways, forests, rivers and lakes, and the sheer amount of food that gets served on a plate. We also observe that cars generally carry fewer occupants than we are used to and that there are more people driving up and down the streets than people walking or using public transportation. Immigrants from Africa also quickly realize that they are a minority race in the United States; a stark contrast to their majority status in their country of origin. Another cultural experience that may be shocking for new immigrants from Africa is the sole use of English to communicate. Code-switching, which is common among people who are bilingual, is not possible when English is the only language in use. Other things they learn or observe include the high cost of living, differences in dressing, the prevalence of low-context interpersonal interactions, driving on the right side of the road, a love for sports that are unique to Americans, people who are homeless, panhandlers on the streets, and the menace of opioids. This country is very strange and exciting at the same time. The thought of living the American Dream was always prevalent in my mind. People have not always been welcoming, or empathetic, or understanding, or patient. That has only made me stronger and more determined.
    Bold Science Matters Scholarship
    My favorite scientific discovery is gene therapy that could provide a permanent cure for sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that causes red blood cells to form abnormally, resulting in them taking on a shape like that of a sickle. This disease is incredibly debilitating and can be fatal. For thousands of years, many have suffered from sickle cell disease with little hope of it being cured. But now, researchers have begun making strides in this area and some promising new therapies are starting to show results. My two older brothers have had sickle cell all of their lives. My twin sisters and I all have the trait. Their lives have been forever altered by this debilitating disease. Much research has been done on using gene therapy to cure sickle cell disease, and recently some progress has been made. Researchers involved in one gene therapy clinical trial were able to make sickle cells switch back to normal. Sickle cell disease is a crippling ailment that many have to suffer through their entire lives. It primarily affects those who have African ancestry, but it can also occur in people who have a Hispanic background. It is also carried down genetically, and so some people will get tested for it before having children to ensure that they don’t pass it on to their children. The symptoms of sickle cell disease can include both acute and chronic pain in just about any area of the body, severe anemia, a damaged spleen, cough, and fever. Because sickle cell disease is the result of a genetic defect, the most promising treatment for curing the disease is gene therapy. If it was possible to change the gene that causes sickle cell to occur, then it would be possible to cure it.
    Selma Luna Memorial Scholarship
    As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach dance, music, and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion for the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. I wish to own my own practice and combine it with the arts nonprofit I created with my sisters.
    Ms. Susy’s Disney Character Scholarship
    Princess Tiana is my favorite Disney character. She marked an important shift in the way Disney portrays its princesses, bringing us not only a princess who is willing to roll up her sleeves and work hard for what she wants, but also the very first Black princess in Disney history. Princess Tiana is known for her work ethic and her fantastic cooking. Princess Tiana is also modeled after the famed restauranteur and New Orleans legend, Leah Chase. What strikes me about Tiana, no matter how many times I watch this film, is how gifted, resourceful, and determined she is. First, Tiana is an extremely hard worker. I’d go as far as to say she’s perhaps the hardest-working Disney Princess. She is the first Disney Princess who holds not just one job, but two! She strongly believes in the ethics of hard work and consistently stands by the idea that anything will be achieved. Tiana’s determination is unparalleled. Tiana will become a chef and will own her own restaurant and never loses sight of that dream. Not once. Secondly, Princess Tiana is sincere and authentically herself. Her newfound royalty (after marrying Prince Naveen) doesn’t change who she is or deter her from achieving her dream. She buys the restaurant that she worked tirelessly for with the money she earned from working two jobs. Even after she buys her restaurant with her own money, instead of outsourcing the hard labor, she and Naveen put in the labor themselves from the ground up to create Tiana’s Palace. Tiana doesn’t grow complacent in the ease of life as a royal either. As a Disney Princess, Tiana continues to operate the restaurant as owner and head chef, even after earning her crown. Third, Tiana is a loyal friend. I adore the friendship between Tiana and Lottie. These are two women from vastly differing social statuses, and their outlooks on life are as different as night and day. However, the two of them, having been besties since childhood, continue to support and love each other no matter what. Tiana is never jealous when Lottie is handed everything her heart desires on a silver platter, without lifting a finger. Tiana is always there to help her in any way she can. Princess Tiana wants to break barriers and show that she can do anything she sets her mind to, regardless of race, wealth, or social status.
    Superfood Lover Scholarship
    My favorite superfood is berries. The higher levels of flavonoids in berries have been shown to lower the risk trusted Source of a heart attack. A few commonly identified superfood berries include acai berries, blueberries, raspberries, tart cherries, cranberries, and goji berries. They boast the following benefits: Acai berries: These are small, dark purple berries grown in South America. They contain 19 amino acids and many antioxidants. Blueberries: These are high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin K. Cranberries are high in a particular flavonoid that helps lower the risk of urinary tract infection. Goji berries: These are small red berries native to Asia that are high in vitamin C and E, along with many different types of flavonoids. They are frequently used in Eastern medicine to help treat diabetes and high blood pressure and maintain eye, liver, and kidney health. Superfoods are foods that have a very high nutritional density. This means that they provide a substantial amount of nutrients and very few calories. They contain a high volume of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural molecules that occur in certain foods. They help neutralize free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are natural byproducts of energy that have demonstrated as trusted sources that superfoods high in antioxidants and flavonoids help prevent coronary heart disease and cancer, as well as improve immunity and decrease inflammation. Regularly eating fruits and vegetables also has strong associations with a lower risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions and overall mortality. The nutrients they contain help promote a healthy complexion, nails, and hair and increase energy levels. Superfoods are foods — mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy — that are thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one's health. Blueberries, salmon, kale and acai are just a few examples of foods that have garnered the "superfood" label. Superfoods contain a variety of nutrients, such as antioxidants, which are thought to ward off cancer. They also have healthy fats, thought to prevent heart disease; fiber, thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems; and phytochemicals — the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, which can have numerous health benefits.
    Olivia Vada Camacho Scholarship
    As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    #Back2SchoolBold Scholarship
    Keeping a calendar helps you plan—but you’ve got more going on than just homework assignments! Make sure you’re also marking your extracurricular, work, and social commitments. Tests, band practice, away games, SAT dates, half-days, and holidays are just a few examples of reminders for your planner. A well-stocked desk in a quiet place at home is key, but sometimes you need variety. Coffee shops, libraries, parks, or even just moving to the kitchen table will give you a change of scenery which can prompt your brain to retain information better. If you’ve got a big assignment looming, like a research paper, stay motivated by completing a piece of the project every few days. Write one paragraph each night. Or, do 5 algebra problems from your problem set at a time, and then take a break.
    Grandmaster Nam K Hyong Scholarship
    Trying to study and learn amid a global pandemic has been quite a challenge. I am proud to say I have overcome quite a bit on my educational journey. I am an introvert and I am extremely shy and anxious around others. However, I overcame this fear to begin working with Project Coach and mentoring elementary-aged students. I have been working with them for four years now. I also joined a group called "Women of Color: 18 degrees" which mentors young women of color in entrepreneurship. I overcame my fear of leaving home when I joined Cohort 18 of the LEDA Leadership Program on the campus of Princeton University this past summer. This 5 week program trained and mentored 100 high school juniors from across the country in leadership and college readiness. I also overcame my fear of mental illness when I had to help take care of my father. He had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. He has bipolar manic depression, and our world turned upside down. My 5 siblings and I all had to pitch in to help my mom take care of my dad. This was an extremely hectic time. I also survived "Zoom" and remote learning. Online learning is not the most ideal way to learn or take classes. However, I persevered and maintained an A+ average. I am proud of this. My field of study will be psychology coupled with visual art and dance. My goal is to become a therapist and to combine the visual and performing arts as a part of my therapy practice. I want to help other children and teens like myself. I want to help those who may be suffering mentally and physically. Those that are anxious, depressed, injured, or hospitalized. I wish to own my own practice and combine it with the arts nonprofit I created with my sisters. One change I would like to make is the stigma around mental illness. More than half of people with mental illness don't receive help for their disorders. Often, people avoid or delay seeking treatment due to concerns about being treated differently or fears of losing their jobs and livelihood. That's because stigma, prejudice and discrimination against people with mental illness is still very much a problem. Stigma, prejudice and discrimination against people with mental illness can be subtle or it can be obvious—but no matter the magnitude, it can lead to harm. People with mental illness are marginalized and discriminated against in various ways, but understanding what that looks like and how to address and eradicate it can help. I also want to highlight the importance of the arts in education for children and youth. It is so critical and vital to their growth and development. Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind. From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences. I want every child to be able to experience art, music, dance and drama. When you think about the purposes of education, in my opinion, there are three. We are preparing students for careers. We are preparing them to be global citizens. Finally, we are teaching them to be human beings who can enjoy the deeper forms of beauty. It is my belief that the third is just as important as the other two. My schooling and my majors will help me accomplish and attain these goals.
    Jameela Jamil x I Weigh Scholarship
    To be an ally is to unite oneself with another to promote a common interest. People who are allies are not only helpers but also have a common interest with those they desire to help. In an alliance, both parties stand to benefit from the bond or connection they share. I have shown up for many of my friends in many marginalized communities. I am close with many friends in the LGBTQ+ community. I make sure to hold space for them. I create room for them to be heard and to speak their truth. Since we returned to our school buildings, I have advocated for safe spaces and proper conditions for my friends. Gender-neutral bathrooms and safe locker spaces have been at the top of my list. I have also created an afterschool club for students to speak out and share their concerns. These issues are important to me. My siblings are non-binary and queer, so things that affect them matter to me too. As a young Black woman, I am also an ally to other young people of color. In the United States and many other parts of the world, we’re finally engaging in substantive conversations about a once untouchable issue: race. The Black Lives Matter movement and the systemic inequalities laid bare by the Covid-19 pandemic have forced people in positions of power to realize some things. They must step up if there is to be any hope of making our world more diverse, fair, and inclusive. I am an ally to my friends and family in the Caribbean community, the Indigenous community, the Black community both American and African, and other young people of color. I have created and participated in clubs and spaces for my the Caribbean and Immigrant friends at school. We celebrate their heritage, their food, their dance, and their culture. I also make sure their parents and guardians have updated information and any assistance they may need. The visual and performing arts are a tool I use to bring people and cultures together. I love to dance and I have a deep passion for art. I used this passion to create an anime art club and design space. There have been many divisions between Black and Asian communities. I wanted to find commonalities between our two cultures and bring people together. An ally is one that is a helper to others. An ally provides assistance and support in an ongoing effort, activity or struggle. I believe I am an ally , a friend, and a support to many people.
    Ojeda Multi-County Youth Scholarship
    Growing up and going to school in the inner city was difficult but rewarding. Springfield, Massachusetts is like a tale of two cities. Nice homes, picturesque landscaped lawns, The Dr. Seuss Museum and the Basketball Hall of Fame were on one side of town. On the other side of town is where you would find my home, my school, my friends and the schools where my parents teach. Multiple family homes and apartments, strong police presence, homelessness and food insecurity. This is also where some of the most amazing people reside. Our community is tight knit and many of my neighbors are constantly out and about. We live near the main street. Whenever we take out the trash, tend to plants, or take walks with our family, it’s easy to strike up conversations with neighbors. I love it. We have a handful of older neighbors who watch over our block and give us heads ups if there is any suspicious activity around our home. Their presence is so reassuring. My neighborhood is very diverse and full of life. People in my neighborhood love stories and analogies. When I listen to stories of people from different walks of life, I move towards deeper understanding, compassion, and connection. My neighbors have taught me that it is in the informal times—not only the formal—that trust is built. It is built through laughter, tears, and spontaneity. My neighbors have modeled for me how to remain present and persevere through struggles and pain. I am gritty and resilient because of what they have taught me. The adults in my life have not always been reliable and stability wasn’t promised. In the midst of uncertainty, I have grown much more flexible and adaptable to survive. I have been able to grow wider networks for support. I have also developed muscles for emergencies. When there’s an unexpected emergency or death, neighbors pull together any resources to help in any way—whether community connections, funds, meals, or presence. I am learning how to communicate with more feelings and emotion—even the ones more difficult to express—to be more honest and remind myself that I am human. People in my community don’t care so much about status or titles or how important people think they are. Their test of trust is whether someone will be there for them. We remember those who have touched our lives more than their status in life. When I had cause for celebration, who rejoiced with me? When I was sick, hurting, or in need, who was it that showed up for me? My community has taught me to show up for birthdays, games, and special milestone events, because we cannot take them for granted. My community has taught me to show up when there is heartbreak and tragedy. My family and friends have shown me how to show up day in, and day out, with hard work, courage, and determination. It may be inconvenient at times, but showing up for people is to show that their lives matter… and that we are always better together.
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    I value the grit and determination I possess. Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals. It is the ability to persist in something you feel passionate about and persevere when you face obstacles. This kind of passion is not about intense emotions or infatuation. It’s about having direction and commitment. When you have this kind of passion, you can stay committed to a task that may be difficult or boring. I am the baby of 5 children. My older siblings taught me early on how to be gritty and resilient. As a dancer, artist, and straight A student, things did not come easy for me or were handed down to me. My parents cultivated a work ethic within all of us, but me especially. Grit is also about perseverance. To persevere means to stick with it; to continue working hard even after experiencing difficulty or failure. When things get difficult, I do not quit. When I experience setbacks or failures, I see this as lessons learned. I don't give up. Being a young Black woman in this country has also taught me how to be gritty, resilient, and perseverant. Quitting is not an option for me. COVID 19 shut the world down and life was never the same. I had to finish classes on line. That was difficult. My dance classes stopped meeting in person. I had to find space to dance, create art, and work in a home with 7 people. That was extremely difficult. My father had a mental breakdown at the height of the pandemic. That was difficult and scary and wreaked havoc on all our lives. We all persevered through that. Even with all these difficulties and set backs, I maintained an A+ average, mentored and coached students on line, created a performing arts club, and celebrated three quarantine birthdays! I am so grateful for life, when so many have lost theirs. Grit is important because it is a driver of achievement and success, independent of and beyond what talent and intelligence contribute. Being naturally smart and talented are great, but to truly do well and thrive, we need the ability to persevere. Without grit, talent may be nothing more than unmet potential. It is only with effort that talent becomes a skill that leads to success. This quality and characteristic will serve me well and help me immensely in my life's journey. I can clarify my goals. I can develop my passions. I can act and practice deliberately and on purpose. I know what my passions are and what my purpose is. I know what I am invested in and what I am passionate about. I practice optimistic self talk and self affirmations. The grittiest people are very clear about their future, their goals, and their aspirations. Gritty people don't give up and keep going because they know their purpose. That is why I value the grit and determination I have within me.
    Gourmet Foods International Culinary Scholarship
    The topic, idea, and concept that captivates me is the re-emergence of African American cuisine, also known as "soul food", and how this cuisine is also American cuisine. The canon of recipes and food ways emerging from Southern culture, shaped by centuries of agricultural and culinary labor by African people and their descendants, is the foundation of American cooking. Soul food is unique and complex. It is diverse and creative, and takes some expertise to create. Soul food can be found in fine dining and in an outdoor pit. Our food has a history, joy, pain and perseverance unlike any other. To understand Black food in the United States, you first must look to where Black people in the Americas descended from: West and Central Africa. The ubiquity of okra in Benin and neighboring countries connects to so many Creole dishes that are found throughout and beyond the American South — where okra goes, so go Black people. The rice culture and expertise of the Africans who cultivated the grain on their home shores gave Charleston its economic backbone, at the levels we associate with oil wealth today. The enslaved chefs Hercules Posey and James Hemings, who fed our founding statesmen George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, respectively, are owed great acknowledgment for the legacy of fine dining they helped establish, as are the Black service professionals who birthed catering. Elegant, elevated dining in America, long posited as the domain of white Europeans, has been following the path blazed by Black people for centuries. It is vital and important that we preserve the history and oral tradition of African American Black Soul food. We are losing the last generation of Black folks, now in or around their 90s, who can remember the voices of grandparents who may have been enslaved as children. The proximity of this history is stunning. The enormous impact of this transition on the food world was illustrated by the deaths of the pre-eminent chefs Leah Chase and Martha Lou Gadsden in recent years. As the chef-owner of the New Orleans restaurant Dooky Chase’s, Mrs. Chase was not only a steward of classic dishes like gumbo, central to Black culture in the region, but also a civil rights pioneer. For nearly four decades, Mrs. Gadsden prepared traditional Gullah Geechee dishes at Martha Lou’s Kitchen, her restaurant in Charleston, setting the bar for Lowcountry cooking. Their passing suggests an energy shift in the story of Black America. We’re burying many of our griots. The ones whose food expertise developed from watching and observing the ancestors, rather than from reading cookbook recipes or watching YouTube videos. The ones whose regional patois still so closely mimics language and dialect rhythms from the communities that emerged throughout slavery. I am part of the next generation that will carry the torch and preserve our culinary legacies and traditions.
    Christian ‘Myles’ Pratt Foundation Fine Arts Scholarship
    My mother is my biggest influence. She is the baby of her family and a former dancer. I get all my artistic DNA from her. She is a teacher and my biggest cheerleader. She has taught me how to be fierce, fearless, and kind. She has shown me how to fight for what is right and what is mine. She is my advocate and my ally. Everything I am is because of her. Dancing saved my life. I am the youngest child of 5 and the daughter of a dancer. My whole family is very artistic. Singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, we do it all. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. We are a kinesthetic family, always dancing, always moving. My mother danced for years, taught dance and was a dance major in college. Dance is in my DNA. I would go with her to the studio, to performances, I would dance with my twin sisters as well as dancing solo. If music was playing I was dancing and moving. In 2019, I began my freshman year of high school and started to dance a little less. I got a job mentoring and tutoring students after school. My schoolwork was so consuming and I did not have much time to go to the studio. In March 2020 the world shut down, and so did dancing. I had to make and create space in my bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen or the den to be able to dance. The pandemic was very dark and depressing. Mental health issues consumed my home. Dancing was the only thing that kept me sane and safe. Dancing saved my life. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me. Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    Learner Education Women in Mathematics Scholarship
    I fell in love with math thanks to my dad. He is a high school math teacher. He taught me from a young age not to be afraid of math or numbers. He made math fun and that caused me to develop a deep passion for it. Black girls’ experiences in mathematics remain invisible and this invisibility produces obscurity to most mathematics teachers. My teachers could not fathom or understand how I was so good at math or why I loved it so much. Many of my peers struggled with math and did not have the courage to speak up, or the right teacher to lead the way. Understanding Black girls’ experiences in mathematics during their K-12 trajectories can shed light on their underrepresentation in higher education majors and careers that require mathematics degrees. Teachers’ low expectations and overall assumptions about Black girls in society impede the opportunity for Black girls to learn in mathematics classrooms. Teachers hold low expectations of low-income Black girls in upper elementary classrooms who are perceived as having limited knowledge and bring social challenges to the learning environment. I see this everyday. Black girls’ early confidence in and value of mathematics often fails to translate when it comes to interactions with their mathematics teachers. There are positive and negative effects on Black girls’ mathematics achievement in terms of relational interactions with their teachers. There is also a deep-seeded historical and societal myth that Black girls and mathematics are incompatible. This is just not true. I am fortunate enough to have parents that are teachers, caring adults at school, and counselors looking out for me. I have been in honors and AP math classes these last 3 years of high school. I was also able to be a part of dual enrollment classes that are offered through a partnership with the college here in town. These opportunities should be afforded to everyone. Here is how math has shaped my understanding of the world around me. Mathematics is a powerful tool for global understanding and communication that organizes our lives and prevents chaos. Mathematics helps us understand the world and provides an effective way of building mental discipline. Math encourages logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, abstract or spatial thinking, problem-solving ability, and even effective communication skills. Mathematics plays a vital role in all aspects of life, whether in everyday matters such as time tracking, driving, cooking, or jobs such as accounting, finance, banking, engineering, and software. These functions require a strong mathematical background, and scientific experiments by scientists need mathematical techniques. They are a language to describe scientists' work and achievements. As for mathematical inventions, they are numerous throughout the ages. Some of them were tangible, such as counting and measuring devices. Some of them are not as tangible as methods of thinking and solving. The symbols that express numbers are also one of the most important mathematical inventions. I think it is impossible to limit the uses of mathematics in everyday life. Can you use any entertainment game without using numbers? Can you practice any sport without using numbers to learn if you are a winner or a loser? Can you do your work without using numbers? If you are a teacher, collect your students' marks or a doctor, estimate the amount of medicine for the patient or an engineer, estimate the amount of raw material to be added to complete the work, or even a leader in a battle. Math is crucial and critical to all of our lives.
    Rho Brooks Women in STEM Scholarship
    My mother is my biggest influence in my life. She taught me how to be fearless and go get what I want, including a career and future in STEM and the arts. She is my hero. My mom is sometimes a graceful woman, but usually her boisterousness changes that. She wears pretty, shiny clothes from whatever store or website she could find for a decently cheap price. She has brown skin a tinge deeper than mine, a hairstyle that changes every week to every month, and barely 5ft 4, she is a sight to marvel at. My family, including her, live in a light blue home, with a dark blue roof that doesn't give off the energy of any of us. With seven of us in the house (unless one of my sisters has a new apartment). You wouldn’t think that this simple, calm and tiny house belonged to our family. My mother is a very loud woman. I get that trait from her. She is especially loud when excited, angry, delighted, and in general an extremely loud person. Whether it’s with her presence in a room or when you hear her voice booming across an open area like a stereo. She always tells people like it is, whether she’s scared of their opinion or not. Some call her blunt while others say she’s incredibly opinionated. She’d probably say “why would I lie” as if that truth is something everyone already knows. My mother was named Laverne and she grew up in New York for 6-7 years until she moved to Springfield with her mother and father. Mama went to community college before going to AIC. There she met my dad and apparently he “stole” her from her boyfriend at the time. I wouldn’t put it past that crazy man. Before I was born, my mother had 4 children already, 2 sisters and 2 other siblings. We didn’t have our tiny home until my second sibling was born. Before then, when my twin sisters were babies and my biggest sibling was 6 years old, they lived with my nana. You could say our home went through many phases. When I was a little kid, the living room walls were red because it was my mom’s favorite color and my dad thought it was a smart idea (burned my eyes for years). They finally changed it when I was in the 6th grade and my sisters were having their graduation party. Mama is a very busy woman. She is always doing this and that around the house, whether it’s for us, her family, or something for work. As a teacher for many years, my mama has gone through a long road to be in the classroom. When she was younger, she used to be a dancer. My Nina (grandmother) would always say she looks gorgeous when she dances, as if she was a butterfly moving swiftly but gently in the air. From what I was told, she mostly sought to be a ballet or a pointe dancer (even getting a few awards in those categories). This influenced her further career choice to be a dance teacher at an elementary school. Even when I feel upset, my mom can always put a smile on my face with her funny banter and how she carries herself. She has raised me to care for myself and my surroundings. She also does everything for me. My mama has taught me many things and continues to teach me. I thank her for that.
    Black Nurse Magic Scholarship
    COVID 19 shut the world down in March of 2020. My older twin sisters had to leave school and come home. My parents, who teach, had to teach from home. All 7 of us were in the house all day every day and it was not easy. My father was Bipolar and was suffering from a mental breakdown while we were all at home together. He was mis-diagnosed and was becoming more difficult to live with. His behavior was erratic and violent and his actions caused my two sisters to pack their things and leave. That left me, my mom, and my two brothers to try and help my dad. The tremendous hardship in this situation is seeing my day suffer through his mental illness. The hardship also included how it affected my entire family. I would be the one to calm him down. I would be the one to give him the medication. I would be the one to sit and talk with him. Finally, I would be the one to call my grandparents in NYC. His parents drove up from Long Island to come and get him and check him into a facility. He needed more help then I could give, and my mother was beyond stressed out and exhausted. I love my father and wanted to help him. I knew I could not do this alone.
    Parker Holder Memorial Scholarship
    The trade I want to learn is cosmetology. Here is why. As a cosmetologist, you can use your creativity daily. You can create unique color combinations for your clients, try out new haircutting techniques, play around with different styles, and more! Part of being in the beauty industry is also keeping up with the latest trends. You never know what Instagram or TikTok look clients will want next, so you will always be learning and growing! Whether you work as a commission stylist, freelance makeup artist, or self-employed barber, there are plenty of opportunities to create a flexible work schedule in the beauty industry. Many salons or spas allow you to choose how many and what days you work each week. You can also choose to work at a salon that is open in the day, evening, or both. That means you could get up and go to work in the mornings or sleep in and start later depending on your needs! If you are a self-employed stylist, you can have the opportunity to create whatever schedule you want. Speaking of, did you know that about one-third of cosmetologists are self-employed? Whether your specialty is hair, makeup, or nails, there are several ways you can set up your business to work for yourself. You can rent a chair, open your own salon suite, or even open a salon or spa! Working for yourself can give you the freedom to choose everything about your business from A to Z. That means you can offer whatever services you want (or avoid services you dislike!), choose what products you use, decide your prices, and more. If you want control over your career, becoming a self-employed cosmetologist could be the way to go!
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Music & Art Scholarship
    Art is my passion and my first love. I have loved art and dance since I was younger. My older twin sisters are artists, in the areas of music, theater, and dance. It's in my DNA. Together we created an afterschool arts program called Standing Ovation. It services children and youth here in my community. My sisters teach the dance, music and drama classes. I help with the dance and I instruct the visual and graphic arts. I love working with kids and sharing my passion with them. We will continue to help children through our shared passion of the arts. I plan to major in visual art and graphic art when I go to college. I will most definitely be making a huge, positive impact with my art. I use my artwork to communicate meaning and feeling. My art fights for justice and fights back against social ills. I also want to use my art for therapy. I want to help people. Art, dance, and music can be very healing and therapeutic. This is how I will make a positive global impact with my art.
    ProjectGiveBack Scholarship for Black Women
    I give back to my community and to Black and Brown people in many ways. I have a non profit arts group here in my home city. This group was created by myself and my older twin sisters. We focus on creating and developing young artists in the areas of dance, drama, music and theater. I am a visual and graphic artist and I am excited about working with young people in my city and developing their craft. I also use my time and talents with a group called Project Coach. I am a mentor coach who tutors and mentors elementary aged children. We meet three days a week and on the weekends to work on writing, coding, sports, dancing and art. I have made many connections with many students. I love what I do. I also give back with the local sickle cell awareness group. Both my brothers have sickle cell anemia, a rare blood disease found only in people of African or Mediterranean descent. They have had it since birth and there is no cure. I help organize fundraisers, I am the youth chair of the 5k walk and run, and I help take care of my brothers here at home. I also give back here in my community with a group called 18 Degrees: Women of Color. This group focuses on and teaches young women how to create and start businesses and how to become entrepreneurs. They take our dreams and ideas and help us turn them into reality. They also help us find funding and capital to make those dreams happen.
    Stand and Yell Community Impact Scholarship
    My parents have always emphasized community service and volunteering. My brothers and sisters and I started volunteering at very early ages. Every October we walk and run for Breast Cancer Awareness and raise money for a cure. In November and December we collect food and donate turkeys to local families in need. We also collect coats, hats, and gloves for children in need. September is Sickle Cell Awareness month. Both my brothers have the disease so we participate in a 5k Walk/run and rally for them, to raise money and awareness for a possible cure. Since the pandemic I have volunteered both virtually and in person. Project Coach is a mentor program where I tutor, coach, and mentor elementary aged students. I talk to them, play with them, teach them how to dance and help them with their homework. I also work with a group called 18 degrees: Young Women of Color. This group empowers young women of color in high school in my city. We work on our vision and goals and we are taught entrepreneurship. The things we learn we bring back to other youth in our community. I plan to continue working with youth and working in my community. Kids that look like me need to see me and be able to talk to and relate to me. I want to be an example to them and continue to serve the needs of my community.
    No You Did Not Win An Emi, But You Did Win This Scholarship
    My name is Elizabeth Jordan. I was named for my mom and because Elizabeth was a queen. The name Elizabeth is a biblical name of Hebrew origin. Its earliest origins can be traced back to the Old Testament of the Bible, where it was defined as “God is my oath” in Hebrew. The most popular reference to the name in the Bible is in the New Testament as the mother of John the Baptist. In the Old Testament, Elizabeth appears in its Hebrew form Elisheva as the wife of Aaron, who is the brother of Moses. In the New Testament, it appears in the Greek form as Elisabet, who is the mother of John the Baptist. According to the Bible, Mary, pregnant with Jesus, goes on a journey to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist at the time. When she hears Mary’s voice calling out a greeting to her, the baby leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth is special because it is my mother's middle name. Elizabeth has also been a queen. Elizabeth is a classic name that never seems to lose its appeal. It has been a popular name since the early 1900s, having been a top-30 baby name for girls in the U.S. throughout the past century. The name Elizabeth was extremely popular in the first part of the 1900s, holding a top 10 spot from 1900 to 1925. It only dropped to its lowest ranking of 26 around the late 1940s. It then steadily increased in popularity again until it made it back to the top 10 in the 1980s. Jordan is a unique name of both Greek and Hebrew origins. The origin of the name can be traced to a popular river in Israel, called the Jordan River. The Jordan River also lent its name to the country Jordan. In Hebrew, the name means “to flow down” or “descend.” Jordan is a biblical name and a perfect baby name option for religious people. In the Bible, John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. Because of this, Christian crusaders brought back water from the river to baptize their children. The name Jordan was given to the children who were baptized with the water the crusaders brought back. After this, it became a common first name for boys across Europe. Although less common, the name can also be traced to ancient German origins. Derived from the name Jordanes, an ancient German name that was notably borne by a 6th-century Roman author who wrote about the history of the Goths. However, some people believe that his name was also influenced by the name of the Jordan River. I was also named for the great Micheal Jordan, who my dad is a huge fan of.
    Moriah Janae Dance Grant
    Dancing saved my life. I am the youngest child of 5 and the daughter of a dancer. My whole family is very artistic. Singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, we do it all. I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. We are a kinesthetic family, always dancing, always moving. My mother danced for years, taught dance and was a dance major in college. Dance is in my DNA. I would go with her to the studio, to performances, I would dance with my twin sisters as well as dancing solo. If music was playing I was dancing and moving. In 2019, I began my freshman year of high school and started to dance a little less. I got a job mentoring and tutoring students after school. My schoolwork was so consuming and I did not have much time to go to the studio. In March 2020 the world shut down, and so did dancing. I had to make and create space in my bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen or the den to be able to dance. The pandemic was very dark and depressing. Mental health issues consumed my home. Dancing was the only thing that kept me sane and safe. Dancing saved my life. As I enter my senior year of high school, dance is at the forefront of my mind. I am creating audition pieces for college admissions. I am using dance as therapy for myself and others. I am also using dance as an outlet to express myself and communicate; so I do not keep my feelings and emotions all locking inside of me. Dance has sharpened my academic skills as well as my critical thinking skills. The integration of dance, art, and drama into my curriculum has helped me grow immensely as a student and as a human being. I live and breathe movement. I love to dance. It lives inside me.
    Dr. Rajesh Aggarwal Scholarship for Scientific Studies
    Winner
    Social innovation is the key to solving the most challenging, historic problems of our time. Societal issues can include the following challenges: health, demographic change and wellbeing; food insecurity, sustainable agriculture; secure, clean and efficient energy; smart, green and integrated transport. There are many ways that creativity and "out of the box" thinking combined with Science have led to innovations to affect societal change. Nicknamed by some as the “Uber for tractors,” Hello Tractor is a social enterprise that enables farmers to request service from neighboring “Smart Tractor” owners via SMS text messaging. To improve food and income security for rural farmers in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, Hello Tractor, Inc designed low-cost Smart Tractors to address farmers’ unique needs, complete with equipment to use for various crops throughout the year. I see my doctor and therapist through Telehealth Apps. “Telehealth” refers to the broad variety of healthcare and health education services delivered through technology. Telemed Medical Services aims to bring “telehealth” to many underserved communities worldwide. Enhancing creativity and developing technology skills in the classroom are the future of education and can turn out to be powerful tools to smooth out inequalities in our schools. Creative programs like "Black Girls That Code" build pathways for young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators by introducing them to skills in computer programming and technology. I am a part of this life changing, innovative group. Radical action is needed if we are to close the opportunity gap for Black women and girls. This group leads a global movement to establish equal representation in the tech sector. Black Girls CODE is devoted to showing the world that Black girls can code and do so much more. They are creating stronger economies and more equitable societies—ultimately realizing the true potential of democracy through diversity and inclusion. Having access to STEM programs combined with the visual and performing arts in our schools can be a game changer for creativity, technology, and science based projects and learning. The switch to digital has prompted high-speed social and economic changes on a global scale. The pandemic has changed how we meet and how we interact. Recent research in the arena of computer-supported collaborative learning points out to the fact that technology provides a set of tools that can enrich the learning context and nurture social creativity processes. Online settings, mobile tools, and digital blackboards are clear-cut and distinct examples of technologically-rich learning media. Such media can support successful teaching and learning practices while catalyzing skills such as creativity, cooperation, collaboration, or communication. For the past two years, since being locked down and sheltered in place, I have had to create space and opportunity for my art, dance, and creativity. Tools such as Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams have aided and assisted me with my artistry and reaching out to others. The rise and relevance of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ARTS, Math) has had a definite impact in solving current social challenges in creative and novel ways. Science based subjects are potentially creative social environments since they favor interaction of a series of factors including domain-specific knowledge, divergent thinking, imagination and visualization, and a social dimension. These aspects can be developed through different pedagogical approaches that have been reported to enhance creativity in science classrooms, namely creative writing, inquiry-based or problem-based learning, and video gaming. Collaborative creativity skills are in great demand in the current global and digital knowledge society and should be implemented taking into account all students in order to give them all the opportunity to play an active role.